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Happy Hanukkah and Child Care

First, I feel so remise that I haven't wished the world a Happy Hanukkah through my blog! I have sent email and told people in person, but here is to the world at large: Happy Hannukah! May your oil always burn longer than it should.

Now, on to my current crisis. The Pumpkin goes to my mom's house everyday while I'm at work. My mom watches her and my niece, who is a year older than the Pumpkin, until 1:00 when the nanny/babysitter comes over to watch them in the afternoon. My mom is a music teacher and teaches out of the home in the afternoons. In addition, my 93-year-old grandma has been staying with my mom since October, although she will be going to stay with my uncle for a few months after Christmas.

In general, this has been working out. But every now and then, my mom has a tough day (like yesterday) or some issue comes up, and Londo and I end up re-evaluating whether or not we should move the Pumpkin into another situation. As you might have learned by now, my baby is rather high needs/intense, and she is going through this big 9-month fussy phase. My niece has been an easier child, but it's still hard juggling two (as many mothers know).

The other aspect is that (IMO) it is never easy to enter a financial agreement with family, and add to that the care of your child and it is even harder. I want my mom to be able to vent about tough times, because we all have them. But I know my mom, and she will not want to admit if it is just too much for her. She likes to believe she can do it all and never wants to admit when she can't (I get this from her!). Because of this, it's hard for me to know when she is just venting and when she really does need the situation to change. If I were just paying a person or daycare, I think we would have a different attitude, but it's my mother and my sister involved in this arrangement.

I talked to my mom about whether or not this is working for her, and she says that she is okay for now, especially because my in laws will be up soon and will take care of the Pumpkin for a while, and then my sister's MIL will be up doing the same with my niece, and then my mom will go out to her brothers and return without my grandma. So things will get easier for her soon.

So for now we aren't going to do anything. But we are looking into daycares and nannies. I don't know how we could possibly afford a nanny or even daycare in this area, but we are evaluating that. It's just that things keep coming up, and it is frustrating to deal with. So I guess we will look into other arrangements and try to evaluate if any other is feasible and would be good for my high-needs Pumpkin.

Any suggestions, advice or commiseration is welcome!

Comments

Becoming Mommy said…
My mother also takes care of Sasha, but when we knew he was coming we put together a list of people we knew who did childcare in their home. So, when we needed to find someone else to watch him, we had elsewhere to go.
So, should something happen to my Mom, we now have a place we'd just send him and he's already been there. A friend of my SIL, so not a complete stranger.
Just ask around. Someone will know somebody.
janet said…
Funny that your are in this situation now as well. I've been trying to work from home and take care of lil Monkey for about 4 months now. And it's getting harder and harder as he reaches more milestones (great that he's reaching them but no so great when you need to address a client's needs ASAP). A couple times now I have just broken down and cried because I couldn't handle all of the priorities I had on my back in one single moment. Baby's crying but I have a conference call. Baby's crying but the client is demanding this be finished by 3:00. You get the picture.

So we're thinking of getting a nanny or someone that can come to the house and watch/play/feed lil Monkey whilest I work. But it's the same situation. Yes, I can work more hours then but will the extra money earned all be going towards daycare? Does the cost outweigh the benefit (i.e. retaining My Sanity)?

I'm researching nannies right now and it's not cheap. If you go with a straight-up agency, you're talking about 700-1500 alone for the "placement fee" plus 99-200 application fee. This is just for someone they've screened and "matched" to your needs. You can go with one of those online nanny services where it's a 90 day membership for about 100 and YOU do the background check and screening, they just provide the bodies essentially. Or do all of the leg work on your own via Craigslist or something. UGH. It's going to be a JOB just to find someone!

I'll keep you posted with my findings. May end up doing daycare facility or the like. We'll see.

Hang in there!
ImpostorMom said…
Finding good childcare that is somewhat affordable is a total nightmare if you ask me.

We had Boog in a center at three months. We moved him to an in-home day care provider when he was about 9 months. The center was expensive and I wasn't all that happy with his care.

When I found our in-home provider I actually waited for a spot for about 2 months. It was a difficult decision to make because at least with a center I felt like there was some checks and balances. With Boog being in someone's home and only having one person I felt I had to be even more trusting.

I feel very lucky to have found our current provider. She is wonderful and I am so thankful that I feel secure in leaving him there every morning. I should have known that it would work out when he seemed so comfortable with her right from the start even during that 9 month fussy period.

It was awful when I would drop him at the center and just feel this terrible weight in my gut all day. I always felt like something was going to happen everyday.

Anyway, what I'm saying is that it is hard but you have to find something that you can be comfortable with, whether it is your mom or someone else.

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