Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Best decision made

I was recently at a birthday party for one of my husband's colleages (who is a doctor). It was one of those events where I didn't know the majority of people there and I had Anesthesioboist's post in my head about female physicians and friendships as I entered into conversations with other women there. I never offered up that I was a physician off the bat, but as it came up naturally - someone asking me what I did - I told them.

I was talking with one woman who told me - out of the blue- that she was a doctor. Then, she was quick to add that she doesn't practice. She completed a residency, but then had two children and decided she couldn't go back to work. The main problem for her was not having a childcare situation that she was happy about and not feeling like she had any other choice. She asked me who watched our children and I told her about our amazing live-in nanny who has made our lives so much easier. I mean, it's a tremendous difference. She felt that she would actually have stayed in medicine if she had such a childcare situation.

I never thought I would ever be comfortable having someone, a stranger, live with us and help take care of our children. Yet, since last fall, we've had R here and let me tell you, it is incredible. She is wonderful with the kids, does our laundry during the day, does light housekeeping, and *whispers* she cooks dinner for us every night. It means that after a long day at work and a grating commute, I can come home, put down my bags, and play with my kids until dinner.

This is in stark contrast to the live-out nanny we had when my daughter was little. M was a constant source of stress. She was always late, emotionally unstable (I arrived home one day to find M sobbing on the stairs and my daughter, sitting on the stair below, playing.)-- we were always waiting for the other shoe to drop. This is not to say that there aren't wonderful live-out nannies, or that live-in nannies are necessarily better, but we've found a situation that works for us. My husband and I are constantly thanking our lucky stars to have found R - hands down, one of the best childcare decisions - no, life decisions- we've made.

R is like a part of our family now. Our children love her. She not only buys them gifts out of the blue, but has given me gifts too - just because. Sure, as her employer, I handle withholding, unemployment insurance, and health insurance, and it makes filing taxes every year a little more burdensome, but she is entirely worth it.

How did we find her? Would you believe it- Craigslist.


  1. I know a lot of resident mothers who went the live-in nanny route and were very happy. With our tiny 2-bdrm apartment, it was never an option.

    Although I have to say, reading your post reminded me of another worry I had when I was looking for our nanny years ago (on craigslist) -- having a young hot nanny around my husband all the time! I doubt anyone is going to write about *that*... maybe I should have done it, although how nuts would I have sounded?

  2. From all the interviews we've had with potential nannies- I can honestly say that's never been a fear! R is in her late-50s, a new grandmother. M was in her late-30s and had young children of her own: that created its own insanity.

  3. My dental hygenist gives me every 6month updates on her au pair who care for her 4 boys, and really likes her childcare situation. As a pediatrician, I get to professionally eavesdrop on lots of childcare scenarios. For an in-home caretaker, I would steer a new parent towards an older person with older or grown children or a younder person without children. Not meant to be a universal standard because my youngest son stayed with a friend with 3 children of her own and we both loved her & her kids.

    Your situation sounds really good!

  4. KC, we had one woman interview with us who was 25 years old and blonde. It would have driven me crazy if we had hired her...

  5. Utterly jealous about the cooking dinner part.

    Also - those women who quit medicine to stay at home with their kids full-time? I would love to hear their stories. We need to find some to guest post.

    Sounds like you have the perfect childcare arrangement. Good for you.


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