Having been on the waiting list for after-school care at my kids’ school for nearly three years, I know the pain of childcare shortage and the struggle to get the right spots in the right centre for your child. Even if you do finally get an offer at one of these places, you’re likely to be faced with either a) the wrong combination of days available, b) only half the days you want are available, or c) all the days you want are available, only they’re at the fancy new centre, where you’ll pay double the price compared to all the other ones in your area.
Thinking about all the trials and tribulations associated with finding the right childcare and the right days for your family, I’ve been thinking about those things in life that are also hard to find … only compared to the pain and and stress of finding childcare, they’re really quite achievable. See if you agree.
1. The last of the special buys at Aldi
I know that when Aldi lists an insane special that goes on sale at 9am on a Saturday, I’m going to be hard pressed to find that item a few days later, but somehow I think I’ve got a better chance of securing that cheap as chips bar fridge than I have of getting a Monday and Tuesday at my local childcare centre.
2. A parking spot at Westfield the week before Christmas
I’ve tried this in the middle of a busy shopping Sunday and it was a painful experience … but in the end, persistence and determination paid off. So far, persistence and determination are not having quite the same effect when it comes to securing childcare places for my kids.
3. A Hatchimals toy for your kid in time for Christmas
These sold out last year and became hot property on the black market, but they were still purchasable if you tried hard enough and entrusted your money with complete strangers on the internet. To the best of my knowledge (and believe me, I’ve searched), there is no black market for childcare, and even if there was, I couldn’t bring myself to try it.
4. That super-duper vacuum cleaner from K-mart
The upright vacuum rumoured to be the cheap but just-as-good version of the coveted Dyson disappeared from the market as soon as the media got wind of it, and I’ve been searching for it ever since. I just know this baby is going to turn up someday, unlike a after-school care places for my kids.
5. All of the missing socks that ever existed
I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s missing the other halves of about a billion sock pairs, but I just know these will come out of hiding if I simply stop looking and wanting them so much. I doubt that any twigging of my mindset could help secure childcare places for my kids though. Still, I’ll be happy to have those socks back.
6. Any of the Shopkin toys that have entered my house
These toys come with so many itsy bitsy pieces that I don’t know why we bothered with them, because they are all nowhere to be seen now. Still, I’m pretty sure that with some strategic moving of the couch and a dig around under the cushions on said couch, I could probably locate a piece or two. In the case of childcare for my children, however, I’m all out of strategic moves to make.
7. The Bunnings sausage
I bought my daughter a sausage sizzle from Bunnings one time, and she dropped the sausage out of the bread while we were in the car driving home. It’s been nine months and I still haven’t found that sausage, but my hopes are high that it will turn up someday, and definitely before a childcare spot comes up for any of my kids on the childcare waitlist.