Now that Linnea is fully mobile, I’m working full time (except this week, because a cold is trying to ruin my life), Leah is full-on in her PhD program, we just don’t have enough time in the day anymore (as if we ever had, but now we’re at the point where work is suffering noticeably). Linnea has also aged/sized out of our lovely friend J’s care (she has cared for both girls in their early months, we are so full of gratitude to have her in our lives). We have been in a childcare swap for anywhere from 10 to 20 hours a week for the last year and a half, and it has been wonderful, but we’re at the point where we just don’t have enough time to trade. Leah is carrying the load of two remaining days a week, but we are short about 15 hours a week for care. Next fall, Darwin will be old enough to attend a preschool, and we’ll either have her at the Montessori down the street, or at another local place about 10 minutes from our house, and on our way to work. That doesn’t solve our issues entirely, but hopefully she’ll enjoy having some time in a preschool environment.
Initially, we were planning to do a nanny share with another family who have a child just three months younger than Darwin, but they live 20 minutes from us, and it would do nothing to relieve our time pressures when considering nearly two hours of driving every day (there, to work, then there and home again). Not to mention the full tank of gas we use just to get the childcare every week, and wear and tear on our only car. And part of the reason we are running into a wall with the 4 days of swap is that we spend 2 hours a day in the car, and no time at home. Our dog is lonely. Our house falls apart by Thursday. Having a nanny three half-days a week will mean our dog is not alone and we aren’t spending all our free time in the car so we have time to play with the kids outside before/after dinner, AND we (let’s be honest, I, the one who works during the day and not at night anymore!) will have time to keep the house in some kind of order.
So we have joined those of you who have searched for that illusive fit of the perfect nanny. My work provides free access to care.com and we may have found someone already. She fits all our basic criteria, such as having spent time caring for multiple children – including infants – and having her own transportation (the nanny situation we were trying in September fell apart in part because of a transportation issue, part because of a health issue, and part because of a phone-use issue) and sounded amenable to both the hours we need and the pay we are able to provide. Plus, she taught gymnastics for years where Darwin now is enthralled with gymnastics. I’m not expecting her to teach Darwin gymnastics at our house, but at least I know she’ll be up for hearing Darwin beg to go to class every week, all week long!
So please, please cross your fingers that tomorrow we’ll be able to hire someone we can feel good about adding to our girls’ list of safe grownups, and regain some of our sanity and quality of work.