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It’s Not as Froufie as It Sounds

If you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time at all now, you’ve seen me mention my nanny. Every time I say that, I feel like I should be looking down my nose, clenching my teeth (Thurston Howell the Third style) and pronouncing it “mmnahnny.” Nothing could be further from the truth. (Thank goodness!)

Since I work full-time (which wasn’t an option…both sanity-wise and budget-wise), we needed to think about daycare when my maternity leave ended with the twins. I went back and forth about whether I wanted to send them somewhere or if I should hire someone to come in. My main factors were: money, trustworthiness, and ease of getting/picking up the kids. Another factor was that I’m able to work from home 2 days a week, and I wanted to be able to see the kids on those days – but knew I wouldn’t get any work done without help.

I was scared to death about leaving them with someone who was all alone with them all day. There wouldn’t be any accountability, and they were only 4 months old at that point – so they wouldn’t be able to speak for themselves. On the other hand, the cost of sending *2* kids to daycare nearly floored me. Sure, there were a few places that offered 10% off a sibling. But 10% off extremely expensive is STILL extremely expensive. As froufie as it sounds, the nanny was actually the best option for us. It was less expensive, the kids would be home on the days I worked from home, and I wouldn’t have to worry about having them completely dressed and fed in addition to ME dressed and fed by the time I needed to be out the door.

We have actually been through quite a few nannies by now. I fired our first one for randomly not showing up and giving me lamo excuses. (I was soooo lucky that work is so flexible with me, otherwise I probably would have been fired at that time as well!) We hired two highly recommeded high school seniors for the summer while we looked for a new nanny…and found a *gem* – she was awesome. Unfortunately, after some time went by, the commute was killing her, so she needed to leave us. But she found 2 other people (friends of hers) for us to interview. She even trained her replacement by overlapping a weeks worth of time – splitting the pay! The replacement was with us for a while, but ended up having to go to school full-time, so she knew of a friend looking for work. The friend was great, but knew it was temporary because we were moving. She stayed with us – even through the move – until yet another friend started working for us. This is Brenda. Brenda started with us about 2 weeks before Logan was born. (Ya, that wasn’t stressful at all! LOL)

Brenda is like family. She truly loves all 3 kids and even calls sometimes when she gets home to see how they’re doing if they’ve been sick during the day. She’ll bring them presents or treats – just because. (She brought cookies today – and even I got one! LOL) She keeps the kids in line, so they don’t walk all over her, but she also has a lot of fun with them. I hear *lots* of laughing when I’m upstairs working. Sure, I hear crying and screeching sometimes (usually Burke…never Brenda πŸ˜‰ ) It takes *everything* in me not to rush downstairs at these points to see what’s going on – but that would undermine Brenda and I’m not going to do that. She’ll fill me in later, or call me if she needs me (which is usually never). And if I’m downstairs and one of the kids asks for something to eat, or to watch TV, or to go outside, my answer is always “Ask Brenda – Brenda’s in charge right now.” because only she knows how much they’ve already had to eat (and how good it was for them), or how much TV they’ve already had, or if she feels like going outside. I know that she appreciates this – she’s told me as much – and I think it helps the kids to know that I’m not going to give in to something they want if/when Brenda’s already said no.

Do I sometimes wish that the kids had gone to daycare? Every once in a great while I wonder if they were stimulated enough at home…but because they had each other, the socialization was pretty much built in. And all of our nannies spoke Spanish with them, so there was that (which I think is AWESOME. Maggie can speak in sentences with Brenda right now. And all 3 kids totally understand everything Brenda says to them in Spanish.) And now that the twins are in preschool, I don’t worry about that part.

We did the right thing. πŸ™‚

5 Responses

  1. We went the Daycare route and we absolutely are happy w/that decision. Wouldn’t have done it any other way. But like you said, or did you say?…..every family’s situation is different. What’s good for mine might not be good for others.
    Then again, I did wait 3 years before going back to work….but as I said, every family’s situation is different.

  2. heh – no, I don’t think I did say that, but I meant to!! πŸ™‚

  3. We talked about it since Husband is working in our town now (so we aren’t both commuting to Boston) but the nanny route works for us too. In part because I hope to work from home when I’m not on an active deal and because it is hard to get 2 kids ready and out the door. I just put up our ad in Sitter City for someone. We also need someone who could maybe do more than 40 hours a week. The penalties at daycare are stiff!

  4. I think this sounds like a perfect situation for you, and Brenda sounds terrific! I totally understand your not wanting to put them in daycare…the cost really is OUTRAGEOUS! In my area, it costs over $1000 a month for a child who isn’t potty-trained. YIKES!

  5. I think your nanny is great. She seemed so nice they day my girls and I met her. Even my kids loved her and they don’t usually like strangers. If she’s looking for more hours, send her my way, ’cause I could use a few hours of someone else watching the kids. πŸ™‚

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