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Help me decide on nanny vs. "summer camp"

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi all, we are expecting our second baby boy mid-July. DS's montessori program ends in early June, with an optional summer camp program that we can enroll in on a weekly basis. I will be staying home for 12 weeks, which puts me back at work at the end of September. DS's montessori school starts back up at the end of August. Once I return to work, we plan to have a nanny to stay home with DS2. She will also be picking DS1 up from his school's at 11:30 AM each day and watching both children in the afternoon.

My question is this: should we hire a nanny in June? She would ideally keep DS1 until the new baby arrives in mid-July. Then, I suppose she would stay on and in general help out, mostly focusing on taking DS1 out for activities during the day.

We would save around $2000 by not hiring a nanny for the extra time (versus enrolling DS1 in "summer camps" with morning programs while I'm on maternity leave).

I just do not know if I am going to be comfortable having a nanny in the house while I'm on maternity leave. It kind of makes me feel like I'm incapable of taking care of both of my kids. DH thinks that I am crazy for feeling this way and that having a nanny around to help out with our very active DS1 will be awesome.

I guess the plusses of having the nanny are: extra help, having time to make sure that she is a good fit. The minuses are: the money, my general feelings of wierdness about having/needing a nanny while on maternity leave.

Any advice would be appreciated!
post #2 of 13
Morning camps are not really a lot of "bang for your buck" around here. If I put DD into morning camp, 9:30-12 in my area, it would cost about $900 per month. And still leave DD at loose ends all afternoon when I can't be with her.

I would get the nanny and use the time to get to know her, adjust your kids to her, and give her a thorough orientation to your household before you have to return to work.
post #3 of 13
I think it depends on the summer camp. I worked at a summer camp when I was in high school and college (ran by a boys and girls club) and it was an awesome thing for kids to do.

As far as a Nanny goes...if you hire the right person to fit your family, it shouldn't weird you out. Ya know? Maybe you could find someone who has had experience working with families in the postpartum period? Possibly with some doula experience? Someone who would understand what is going on with you, the newborn and your family in general? Possibly someone who is a mama herself, so she might understand you better? If you are starting now to look for someone, you should be able to find someone that you really click with.

Too bad you live in NC, I am looking to start providing postpartum doula services and have nanny experience...I would so work for you!
post #4 of 13
I say go for the nanny. Having a second pair of hand will be wonderful with DC#2 comes along.

Kim
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much everyone for your responses. Calebsmommy, I bet you would make a great nanny...let me know if you want to relocate :-).

I can't tell you how many times this forum has helped me to make parenting decisions, and I sincerely appreciate all of the input. If there is anyone out there who has had a nanny in the house immediately after the birth of a second or third child, I would love to hear your story!
post #6 of 13
What if you set up an "activity" schedule with the nanny for after the baby comes so she and your DS would be out of the house for a while every day, so you wouldn't feel that awkward feeling? Swimming, park, children's museum (if your area has one), library... if they're out of the house for a few hours every day, would it feel less awkward? Because then the nanny's job would primarily be... DOING stuff that your DS would probably have to skip out on with a newborn in the house. The nanny arrives, gets your DS dressed for whatever activity, takes him to aforementioned activity, comes back, feeds snack/lunch, gets him down for a nap.
post #7 of 13
Another vote for nanny to learn routine and DO STUFF with your older one.

This will get her in the pattern of being active in the ways you want her to be active with your children. You can also model other behaviors and gently shape others that are important to you. (Say, disciplinary things, or not praising, or serving types of food...) Also will allow you to "use" her to get things done - like children's laundry - that you can delegate to her in the summer, and she can keep on doing once you go back to work.
post #8 of 13
I haven't had a nanny in your situation, and agree that there are many good reasons to hire one early on. One thing I would worry about though, is that your ds1 might feel excluded, especially since arrival of nanny and ds2 will more or less coincide and he would be going out with nanny a lot.
Here's my experience (kids were 3 years apart tho). When I had ds2, ds1 just started pre-school in the mornings. I would do drop-off and pick-up with ds2 in the sling, and often bring sandwiches so we could have a picknick and play at the park before heading back home. After that we would usually hang out in the yard, or if I was lucky we would all take a nap together. Of course there were rough times where I couldn't wait for dh to get home, but my memories are mostly of a cozy laid back summer postpartum time.
post #9 of 13
How about summer camp for 4 weeks and a nanny with a schedule after that?
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
I haven't had a nanny in your situation, and agree that there are many good reasons to hire one early on. One thing I would worry about though, is that your ds1 might feel excluded, especially since arrival of nanny and ds2 will more or less coincide and he would be going out with nanny a lot.
This is one of my biggest concerns. I can just picture DS crying when the nanny is trying to get him out of the house to do a fun activity. I know that it wouldn't last, and that he would have a ball once he gets to the park/museum/wherever, but I do not want him to feel as though the nanny is taking him away from the house so that I can spend time with his brother without him (although that is sort of what is happening...).

Quote:
How about summer camp for 4 weeks and a nanny with a schedule after that?
This might be a good compromise. But, as mentioned before, DH really wants us to just hire a nanny and leave it at that. Meanwhile, I'm driving myself insane laboring over this decision. Why oh why do I have to be such a type A detail-oriented planner?

I'd still love to hear from anyone who has had a nanny in the house immediately after the birth of a second or third child, but any feedback is greatly appreciated!
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by madskye View Post
Morning camps are not really a lot of "bang for your buck" around here. If I put DD into morning camp, 9:30-12 in my area, it would cost about $900 per month. And still leave DD at loose ends all afternoon when I can't be with her.

I would get the nanny and use the time to get to know her, adjust your kids to her, and give her a thorough orientation to your household before you have to return to work.
I agree. I would hire the nanny now, and just tell her that for the summer you will need her to be doing different things. Let her cook when the baby comes, run errands for you, etc. That way, you will get to know her better, you will have time to really impart your parenting philosophy and the way you want things done with your child AND your baby. Think about it, that way she can watch how you interact, what you do, etc, you will have time to tell her how you want things done. And, if she is getting on your nerves, send her to the grocery store and the post office and let her address your thank you notes. Seriously, you will be so happy to have the extra help. Just make it clear to her that for the summer, her job is to help YOU, and sometimes take your older child so she understands that it will be different.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Think about it, that way she can watch how you interact, what you do, etc, you will have time to tell her how you want things done. And, if she is getting on your nerves, send her to the grocery store and the post office and let her address your thank you notes.
I love that!

Quote:
Seriously, you will be so happy to have the extra help. Just make it clear to her that for the summer, her job is to help YOU, and sometimes take your older child so she understands that it will be different.
This is very good advice. I guess I just have to wrap my head around having another woman in the house for a period of time, and just try to appreciate the extra help.
post #13 of 13
I definitely say hire the nanny in June. I got laid off from my previous job the same week our current nanny started. I was home for seven weeks with her before starting a new job. I spent most of this time in the office working on my job search or out interviewing, but we did some activities together as well. By the time I went back to work, I felt like I really knew her well and was confident that she was taking good care of my DD.
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