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.

5 comments:

  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?

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  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.

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  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!

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  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...

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  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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