Thursday, March 27, 2008

20 tabs and counting, debate still ensuing

I have been unusually bizarrely tired this week. Okay, not so bizarrely, I am still recovering from having the kids home for March Break. Which is why there are 20 tabs of blogs open on firefox waiting for comments from me.

The person who invented March Break really was an asshole, by the way. Almost as big an asshole as the person who invented summers off. Kids need structure and routine, and these endless fucking holidays in which very few camps and sitters are available are the nightmare of every working parent in existence. It was one thing years ago when all the mommies were home and everyone let their kids just run wild all over the neighbourhood, but then we learned about creepy people and figured keeping kids supervised might be slightly safer and then women decided they might actually have the nerve to get jobs outside the house....and then some retro dip shit bozo in the 1970's invented March Break.

Right when all our mothers were trying to get free, they decided to make it more expensive to get a job. Sexist titheads.

I keep having this fantasy that someday every school will be open every day of the year except--maybe a few stat holidays and maybe a rotated few weeks for maintenance. And the schools would be all open like 6 am-9 pm, and they would all have meal and snack programs, and any kid ages 6 months to 18 years old would be able to be dropped off or picked up anytime, and every school would function like a giant community centre/daycare/camp, with mandatory weeks and optional weeks. There would extra teachers and daycare workers and older students would help take care of younger ones.

And nobody would have to send their kids there, but for the poor, the retail worker, the factory worker, the single parent, the person who works contract, the parent who works from home and has weird would be fucking heaven on earth. Nobody would leave there kid there all the time, but what are the people who work at the grocery store 11 to 8 supposed to do? Or the nurses who work 3 days a week, 12 hours at a time, then have 4 days off?

And for me, a woman who is nervous about some nanny being alone with her kids? Yeah, I prefer daycare. I really do. I mean, if I can't do 10 hours alone with a toddler without losing my mind, how can I expect someone else to? What if they flip out? What if they let them play with french knives? What if they are bored with my darling babies and ignore them?!?!? I admit it, I really suck as a stay at a home mommy. I'm constantly shocked that anyone on earth can do it. I get paranoid wondering if anyone will be any good at it. I mean, a moron would be better than me, but still, I was hoping for better quality caregiving than "slightly improved than me the moronic mother".

So, I'd love to find a good daycare locally---but it really won't solve the issues I've got around what I do with the older boys when they are off school. And daycare for all three would be more money than the mortgage. And my house would still be a mess. And no daycare is ever open longer than 5 pm. So if I go back to university, or get a real executive type job, I'll never be able to work late or take a class that goes to 5:30, never mind a late evening one.

And someday, I'd like to be gainfully employed again, and not just in some dead end 9 to 5 joke job. I've done those, they suck. No challenge, no interesting stuff to delve into. And as much as I adore my kids, like I said, I'm not very good at the stay at home mom thing. I have waayy more patience if I get out and get a little intellectual stimulation every day, not to mention sunshine and fresh air and adult company.

If I get a nanny now, it will make sense because someone can help me put away the groceries and make meals and pick up the kids when I'm desperate for a nap. I can watch them with my kids now and get some idea of what they'll be like later. I'll already have someone here when the baby arrives, and I'm in round the clock confusion....but damn I feel like a rich dilettante being a SAHM with a nanny. You all do it, I should be able to handle it!

Someone is going to mention my husband pitching in...and for many reasons, including the new company and how many hours he works, plus he has some medical issues that mean he needs extra rest....I can't ask him to do any more. And since he isn't the writer of this blog, it would be unfair of me to reveal anything more about his medical condition here. It's not that big of a deal, it's just that he is already doing a lot to help and frankly, I think this pregnancy and the thought of a new baby, is pretty hard on him, stress-wise. Yes, another thing to feel guilty about.

This debate is killing me....endlessly turning it around in my head. Which is why it looks like I'm stalking you on your statcounters.


Any ideas?


  1. Clearly you were meant to live on a kibbutz :-)

  2. You know what? Don't worry in the least about being a SAHM with a Nanny. Woman, if the rest of us could afford it, you're damn straight we'd have them too. My Grandmother had seven kids and cleaned her laundry on a washboard... she did it but I'll tell you right now that there's no way in hells bells I'd do it. No way. No how.

    I completely understand needing to get out of the house and do something intellectually stimulating. Ironically, this is why I work retail. Okay, so there's not mucy intellectual stimulation, but I get to talk to adults and, at the end of a shift, I know I've accomplished something that is actually complete...unlike the mounds of neverending laundry and perpetual housekeeping required.

    Do what you can to enjoy yourself and your family. To hell with what anyone else thinks.

  3. Ahhhhhhh, you are so brilliant. Now if only I could play well with others. I'm so afraid of rejection, I'd likely never apply to live on one!

  4. Wow, that post made almost no sense. Hope the gist got across.

    Insomnia does not make the fingers agile on the keyboard, you know?

  5. I'm not convinced I'm SAHM material either. Get a nanny, stop feeling guilty, be happy with your kids and enjoy your leisure time. It goes by too quickly.
    And yes, we all need a village to help us raise our kids but that doesn't mean they do it FOR us.

  6. If you have more than one child, a nanny is going to be cheaper than daycare. Period. And just because you don't punch a timecard doesn't mean you don't have myriad things to do during the day.

  7. I don't have a nanny, but I do 3 mornings a week of daycare for my 2 year old, and my 6 year old is in school full days.

    I look it at it like this. By giving myself time off I am a much better Mum. I do things that need doing, but I also do things for me, like a monthly massage. It is wonderful. Give your whole family your nanny. Everyone will be happier.

  8. Remind me to tell you about my coworker's idea for "kid farm" one day...

  9. god you're a woman after my heart. What you're not spending your break making cookies daily, frequenting the zoo, and setting up playdates? (I've been to the zoo this week. Seemed like a good way to kill 3 hours.) I have not been to the gym, cooked a proper meal, cleaned my house, paid my bills. It's amazing what gets done in those few structured hours for MOM.

  10. My mum helped my dad run a business from home way back in the fifties and sixties and she had the amazing Mrs Martin for twelve years after my youngest sister was born. Not a nanny then, but a housekeeper. She kept my mother sane, did most of the housework and cooking and made sure that our clothes were clean and so were we. She'd arrive at 8am and leave at 5.30pm every week day and to us kids she was part of of the family.

    Rich family? So NOT! Through a great many of those years as my dad struggled to build the business, there was no money for extras. I know now that at one stage my mum didn't buy new clothing for her or my dad for over five years.

    Now, with the wisdom of hindsight, I can see what a smart decision that was. Mum was not great at housekeeping and she found someone who could help her cope. It was a bonus for us, having an extra adult who loved and cared for us.

    I loved being a SAHM but the truth of it is, like any paid job I've ever had, there were parts of it that really, really sucked and I wasn't that great at, and that I didn't particularly want to do. However, like any paid job, I did the best I could to paper over those bits and I don't regret putting the kids into daycare when I couldn't manage a single second more and had to escape for some ME time. Nor when I paid for someone to clean my house or do my ironing.

    Sorry about the essay but I just wanted you to know that there is no right or wrong in this...only what is best for you and family and anyone who thinks they have the right to judge you on that? Well, we know what they can do, right?

  11. Okay -- this isn't going to help you one little bit -- but I'm amazed at the lack of options. Where I live, the elementary schools all have afterschool care that runs until 6 pm and all-day programs during the school breaks. (though in the summer, you're on your own).

    I thought that Canada would have these things better organized since there seems to be less resistance to spending tax dollars for public good-type things. Obviously, I don't understand Canadian politics at all.

    But I like the nanny idea.

  12. I really have no advice for you, but I understand where you are coming from (except for the 2 older kids part.) I am self-employed and work at home and have to see my clients in the hours that they are not working. I am driving myself crazy thinking about "what will be" after the baby arrives (seeing as I won't have the luxury of a one year mat-leave.)

    Oh, and I love the use of the word "tithead".

  13. The nanny idea rocks. Totally. And you and I are on the same wavelength in many ways, friend...
    Glad to meet you!

  14. Before I had Kali I was a SAHWife. I spent easily 40 hours a week dealing with contractors, working on home improvement projects, procuring groceries and other stuff we actually needed, and generally being a part of the communities in which I live.

    Which is all a longwinded way of saying that there are lots of things moms do that don't involve direct childcare hours. Getting a nanny would free you up to do them.

  15. Get the nanny, sounds like you will be happier and calmer and so will the rest of your family.

  16. Um, I have nannied off and on for almost nine years. Many times this has been with families where one parent is at home. It's not a big deal, and maybe more common than you think.

    As a nanny, I've never judged the SAHMs that have hired me. Most nannies don't. If you are a loving and engaged parent, we see that and respect that. And most of us have spent enough time with kids that we know why parents sometimes need a extra set of hands.

    Look at it this way -- if hiring a nanny is going to allow you to be a better mother, then hire a nanny. Right now I work with a family twice a week. I take the kids to the drop-in centre or the library, and in warmer weather we will go to the park. This lets the SAHM do things like take a yoga class, read a book, answer emails, schedule appointments, or whatever she needs to do to re-energize so she can be the best parent she is able to be.

    If you think a nanny will help your family be a better family, then hire a nanny. And if anyone gets judgy? Tell them to eff off -- they don't live under your roof and it's none of their business to tell you if the measures you're taking to harmonize your life are right or wrong.

    And hey, if you want to try bringing an extra pair of hands in to your house to help out and I can make it work in my schedule, I'd be happy to come in to help out. You have my number and are welcome to call.

    Do what you need to do for your family, Aurelia. Don't let people's judgments stand in your way on this one.

  17. Nobody is going to give you a hero's medal for being all supermummy.


  18. There was in icredibly dull and boring interview with a Nanny agency on Breakf@st Television this morning. I don't know if you caught it or not. There may be some info on the BT website about it. The interview was awful, but who knows, maybe the agency is good!

  19. You know that I believe parental guilt is overrated. If you need help, and you can afford it, hire help. It's all good, especially if it makes for more sane people in the house at the end of the day.