Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The good and bad of nannies...

Inspired by reading this article, I've been thinking about nannies. Since both D and I work full-time we need child care. We applied to daycares as early as possible but in Los Angeles the wait lists are long. So, when I needed to go back to work we had to find a nanny. Luckily, our good friend was looking for work so we decided to give it a try and it's worked out so well, though it has it's downsides.

Having a nanny is more expensive by the hour than daycare. So our daycare budget gets us a part-time nanny. Right now our schedule is that Tuesday - Friday, our nanny comes 4 hours each day (my mom comes on Mondays). This means that D has to watch the Pepper during the hours the nanny isn't there but I need to work. Because D works for himself he is able to accommodate this, but it means that his work hours are unconventional and often has to work late at night which cuts into time we could spend connecting as a couple. And while our nanny does accommodate schedule requests we make, because we have a budget for how many hours we can spend on child care a month there is an inflexibility to the situation.

But the great part is that we have our little one at home so we know the food she is eating and the toys she is playing with. And our nanny is great about following our requests or asking us how we want to handle things when we haven't given instructions. And the Pepper loves her Auntie (what we call our nanny). They have developed a wonderful relationship. Along with the anxieties about loosing control when she does finally get into daycare, I will feel sad that that relationship will change. But hopefully our nanny will always be in the Pepper's life.

But it can be a tricky relationship. I'm lucky that our nanny is also our friend and therefore we are very comfortable with her and trust her 100%. And she's great about deferring to what we want for our little one. But as a working mom I of course have guilt about how much time I spend with my baby. I worry that my work means I don't spend enough time with her. And when I see how much she loves her "Auntie" I have moments of jealously and anxiety. The nanny plays with her all day and they have such a fun time together. At the end of my work day I'm exhausted and while I carve out play time with the Pepper I also take time to do laundry or make food. So I worry that my baby doesn't enjoy her time with me like she does with her Auntie. But I work to quell those because I also know that having another strong relationship in her life is only good for the Pepper. And I'm glad that the Pepper has so much fun everyday. And I remind myself that no matter what, I'll always be her mommy and of course she loves me.

A photo of the Pepper with her "Auntie" from Christmas:

Top image by Ellen Jacob via.

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