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Our New Childcare Situation

As I mentioned before, we are changing our childcare situation. My mom has been watching my daughter and my sister's daughter in the mornings (a babysitter comes in the afternoon), but Mom needs a break and requested that we find something else. My sister's daughter will start at a great-sounding daycare in mid-June. Londo and I, however, have not had time to find the right daycare* for the Pumpkin, so we needed to figure out what to do for now.

I'm happy to say, we've figure it out. We asked our babysitter to be a full-time nanny through the summer. We offered what we thought we might possibly be able to afford as a salaried rate. She countered with another amount, and we agreed. We can't exactly afford this, but Londo and I decided that it is worth dipping into our savings to have her for the summer.

We are going ahead for a few reasons. First, the babysitter is so great with our daughter, and we think that the Pumpkin would really benefit from some one-on-one care from the babysitter. Also, this gives Londo and I time to look into daycares that we could start in the fall. In addition, my mom needs a change as soon as possible, and this was the quickest solution we could come up with. It also will be such a relief to be able to just leave from the house without juggling baby and bags, and for Londo to just come home to baby already here, and this convenience is especially great after the rough nights and mornings we've been having around these parts and how late that has been making me to work and therefore back home.

So, that's the plan. The nanny will start 8:00 AM on Monday at our house, since my mom asked for a change as soon as possible. My sister was able to get the babysitter/nanny's mother (who has also watched both our girls and my brother's twins and is also fantastic) to take over the afternoons at my mom's until my niece starts at daycare. We will continue to look into daycares. My mom has offered to fill in if the nanny can't make it, as in if she is sick or something. So it seems to have all worked out.

But it's been tricky for two main reasons. It's not easy to be in a business agreement with family. We all get along really well, and everyone wants to do things amiably, but that is sometimes tricky to work out. Fortunately, we all worked together and figured out how to make this change happen without putting anyone out. The second reason it's been tricky is because trying to afford the full-time nanny means huge lifestyle changes for Londo and me. We are cutting out any and all extras, rearranging schedules and plans, clipping coupons and doing many other small to large changes that I'm sure I'll be writing about as time goes on. We really liked the financial planner, and I'm excited that we will be working with her. I'm sure she'll help us figure out other ways to find the money.

We believe making these changes will be worth it for the Pumpkin, and for my mom who has been watching two kids under two for almost a year and my niece for the year prior to that! Most of all, we are so thankful to my mom for her wonderful (and free) care of our daughter during this time in her life.

*While I loved the Montessori school, they cannot take her until she's is 2. She is 13.5 months now.


Cloud said…
I'm so glad to hear you have a plan you like!

I'm sure you and Londo will figure out the money thing. Hubby and I did a similar lifestyle change for a few months when we were saving for our big trip, and we got used to it fairly quickly. It is amazing how much you can cut out once you decide to do it. Good luck!
ImpostorMom said…
any of those childcare changes are always rough but it seems like you've minimized most of the transition except the expense. On the bright side most daycares that you go to are going to end up being cheaper than a nanny so you have that to look forward to. Of course then you'll have to go back to juggling that toddler on the way out the door. Somehow we all make it work. There are certainly days when I get in bed and think, geez how did I even get through this day. :P
Jezer said…

You are very fortunate, and about the money? Eh, we all spend what we have, so I'm betting that it will be easier than you expect. Congratulations on a fantastic solution.
Becoming Mommy said…
Glad you found a situation so lovely! Pumpkin should be very happy since she already knows her sitter so well. I wish we had something like that.
As for the money, there are always ways around that. Something can be given up, or sold, or made...
Jan said…
We made a decision like that last fall; to put our kids in a daycare that we could only sort of afford. We just decided that care for them was a higher priority than virtually everything, at least for the short term. For us it meant giving up some of our retirement savings for awhile.

I still think you might think about finding another family who wants to share your nanny. I've seen that work out really really well.
Anonymous said…
I'm so glad to hear that you found something that will work for now. And so many people wouldn't even take the step of meeting with a financial planner, so I think you are one step ahead there too.
La folle maman said…
Good to hear you've found a suitable option so quickly. I'm sure it's a relief for both of you. I think I've already said this but financial planners are great, not miracle workers but they can give you a good roadmap to follow. For us, until we saw one, we had so many questions about whether we were doing the right thing with our money. You can either spend hours reading and researching and still have questions, or pay someone a fee and it's DONE. I like that.
Karen said…
It will be nice to have a reliable one-on-one sitter for Pumpkin. She'll love it, too. Hopefully you'll find a great daycare by fall.
Colleen said…
That's wonderful that you were able to get something worked out so promptly. And like you said, this will give you time to find a good daycare to bring your daughter (and give time in case you're stuck on a waiting we were). I'm not sure where you're located, but this is the company that takes care of our boys: They have reasonable tuition rates and you get a lot out of it. Each classroom has one dedicated Spanish teacher (so the kids pick it up naturally), Gavin's day includes Martial Arts (no extra charge), and all of the teachers and directors know each and every one of these kids by name (and voice! least my noisy kids). We like their discipline policies, too. No bad kids, just "behaviors that don't work". They also offer free "Parent University" classes, which are very informative.
Ok...sorry for the hijack...but we totally love our daycare...Gavin's been there since he was 7 weeks old; Cooper since he was 8 weeks old.
Not like I live in DC or anything *ahem* but I have it on good authority that there are lots of nanny shares out there. I do a nanny share with another family with one kid similar in age to mine. The easiest thing to do is find somebody who already has the nanny and who is looking to share.

We go to the other kid's house because it's right by my law school. But it's so great - all the benefits of the nanny with half the cost (plus my kiddo gets a playmate).

Anyway, nice to "meet" you?!
Oh, I guess I should have edited that last post to add "since you already have a nanny, you could totally just put an ad out there on DCUrbanMoms or one of those other websites and just find somebody else to bring their kid to your house.

I screwed up my very first comment on your blog! *hangs head in shame*

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