If I weren't doing what I do now (doula/student midwife, need to be able to run off last minute), I would be all over that opportunity.
Rent Free living with a catch....would you do this? - Page 2
If it's me I'd never do it. Of course I'm not much of a care giver anyway. It's not like he's an old friend or family, taking care of a stranger would totally stress me out. I'm also worried this old man might not be used to living with kids. What if it turned out you guys don't get along and you need to move again? Won't you be out of some money?
Of course I understand that most people are different from me and many love taking care of others. I agree with trying to get to know that man better before making decisions. :)
I think it sounds like a pretty great opportunity. My only initial concern was that you understood what it was like to care for an older person - I did a lot of caretaking for my own elderly grandparents and it can be tough. But it sounds like you know what you're getting into there, so I'd meet the man, maybe spend the day with him, and assuming you feel that the personalities would work out and that you can meet his needs, I'd go for it..
One caveat - what would the plan be for when your next LO is born? You may have to leave with little notice to go to the hospital, is there some kind of provision for that? You may not be able to care for him for a couple of weeks after the birth - would your DP be able to cover for you? In late pregnancy you may also struggle with all those stairs, can your DP take over some of the helping stuff during that time? I don't think these things make it undoable, just something to consider/discuss.
Well, it does seem like it could be a workable solution, and I would seriously consider it. The setup, the country living, the opportunities, the money savings, the chance to develop a close inter-generational relationship for your children, the chance to model caring for someone else to your children -- all of that sounds really, really wonderful! (And it sounds like there are reasonable options if you do want a day or evening off.)
The thing that gives me pause is the evening thing. It sounds like the older gentleman is going to require a fair amount of care in the evenings (dinner, meds, getting ready for bed, etc.), in addition to someone being on-call for him in the evenings. It wouldn't bother me, personally, to need to have someone around the house every evening, just in case, but the hands-on stuff that the gentleman needs in the evening would be harder, I think, especially with small children. At least for me (three, soon to be four, young children), there is a lot that needs to happen in the evenings -- dinner, tidying the house, baths, brushing teeth, bedtime stories, diapers/potty trips, tucking kids into bed/rocking/nursing to sleep, laying out schoolwork for the next day, getting bags ready to go for the next day if we're going out, checking on the next day's to-do list, cleaning up the kitchen, etc. It's also a time of day when my 2 and 6yo's are tired (but napping at all means later bedtimes), so they need more hands-on attention from us. And sometime in there it's nice for me to have a little time without all of the children around and/or to spend with my husband. My DH works a full day and does help with that stuff, but we're also about to add a newborn, which means even more for DH to do with the older children. You're in a similar position; I'd be concerned that there just aren't enough hours in the evening in which to add one more person who needs a lot of hands-on care. At the very least, it would probably put more on your DH after his own day at work, either helping with the children more while you attend to the gentleman (and you'd need to figure something out for your postpartum time -- even with an easy delivery, you need to take things easy for a few weeks), or attending to the gentleman himself. I know it is hard on all of us when I take DD to dance class in the evenings, or have homeschool meetings in the evenings -- and that's only occasionally. Day in and day out would be trickier, especially if your DH wasn't able to transfer and ended up with a larger commuting time (which would also reduce the amount you'd save).
Also, what sorts of things would be required for the on-all time? If we're talking things like "come in five minutes," that would be very different from "come immediately." You will need to prioritize your newborn, and while it's one thing to interrupt a feeding occasionally, you can't do that repeatedly.
I'm not voting for or against it, just pointing out some possible pitfalls that you'd really want to consider and discuss with your DH.
Today I had a rough morning in terms of feeling "off". I'm just now really feeling like being up and doing stuff, although I did a load of laundry and fed the kids, that was about it. I was talking to SO about it, and about my concern that I won't always be on my A-game. I'm prone to depression and right now I'm not taking anything for it. Although I'm overall ok without it, some days a re a struggle. He understands and always pitches in to pick up my slack, but he isn't keen on changing a 95 year old man's diapers, so realistically that will always be my responsibility no matter how I'm feeling.
In that respect, I think treating it like my job, just like I do the jobs I have now (serving, and babysitting), that I go to work even if I don't feel like it, because the bills have to get paid, will help. Whereas with the care of the kids I have no problem telling him "you go do it, I'm not up to it."
We plan to have a home birth but I haven't visited the property yet, so if it's not conducive to a home birth then I would need to make alternate plans for a hospital/birth center birth. I know this probably makes me sound bad, but I wasn't planning on pre-announcing the home birth, just presenting it after the fact as an "oops, we didn't make it to the hospital" thing. That was my plan for where we currently live, too, since I know for a fact the nieghbors/ maintenance are not home birth friendly. I'm not typically loud, and my labors seem to go fast once I hit transition, plus there is a 3rd floor where I could potentially labor in peace without disturbing anyone below. But maybe I'm not being realistic?
I was back to my normal life the day after I delivered both kids, so I hope for an equally easy time this time. With dd I was in the garden, grocery shopping, and cleaning the bathroom 2 days pp. As long as there is no heavy lifting I should be OK. And SO would certainly help in that circumstance.
You all are raising a lot of good points. I appreciate the many and varied responses! Please keep them coming as it helps me to think this through thoroughly before we go out there on Tuesday.
Honestly I don't think it's a good idea.... at first it sounds amazing, the "job description" doesn't sound all that heavy.... but the things that come to mind are.... if you and your son have a therapist you are happy with, it is a risk to leave him/her. Adding another person to the list of your caretaking responsibilities would probably end up being harder than it seems at first, and would take away from the time and energy you have for your little ones (plus with a newborn in December, it would be a looot of work). What if there is an emergency with one of your kids and you have to leave the gentleman by himself against your agreement? With your SO commuting so much to work and back, you will be spending a lot of time by yourself being completely responsible for the needs of three kids after Dec, a horse, a cow, an older gentleman, 3 stories worth of housecleaning and a huge yard to cut.
I have been in a sort of similar situation before, and personally, I had a lot of resentment build up because, at the end of the day, my life wasn't my own to serve my family to the best of my ability. I was tied to someone else as well, and I just wasn't capable of managing that.
However, it may be the right thing for you. Whatever you decide I wish you the best!
It looks like it could be a wonderful opportunity for the right family. And what a joy you could bring to this gentleman by having people around to interact with. However, for us and my family, this would not be a good opportunity for us. We like to do things without having to plan, and I know this sounds terrible, but I do not particularly like caring for the elderly. It definitely takes the right kind of person, and I know that I am not that kind of person. My mom and dad owned their own medical supply business for quite a few years growing up and when they sold that, my mom went into managing nursing homes and assisted living facilities, so it's not from lack of experience or knowledge. If anything, it's the exact opposite.
But it sounds like you do have good knowledge on how much work it would require. I tdoes sound like in a lot of ways it would become nearly a full time job, particularly if the needs of the gentleman change. I think you need to have everything in writing. How much work you are willing to do, what kinds of work you are and are not willing to do, what needs and health issues you aren't willing to take on should his health take a turn for the worse, etc. Horses and cows take quite a bit of work, probably more than at least I would think though there is a definite advantage in having access to riding the horse. I think you also need an 'escape' route. If the situation just isn't working, are you easily able to get out of the situation? If yes, then I think it's worth a shot.
I would say no.
Realistically, now matter how quickly you recovered from your previous births, are you really going to be able to provide night time care to an elderly man with physical disabilities, care for three kids and take care of the property/animals? All within days (max weeks, if your OH gets paternity leave) of the birth?
Live out job with set hours and maternity leave - I'd say take it. But being on call for this man is going to be incredibly difficult and to be honest, he deserves someone he can count on 100%.
AHA depression. i am familiar with that.
all that work will definitely be therapy for you. having to take care of one more person that is your job will be good for your mental health.
and having had my then 4-5 year old take care of dying gpa and gma and seeing the impact it left on her life i would encourage any child to get into helping with elderly people.
Wow, that sounds like my dream job, but then again I am a nurse's aide, unemployed right now but it is really rewarding work. The first few times you provide total care it might be a little uncomfortable but it gets easier. The most difficult thing however is using proper body mechanics when you transfer someone from bed to chair, if the gentleman is large make sure to have someone else there so you do not hurt yourself. Perhaps you could read a book or two on care for assisted living or long term care and decide if it's something you want to do. Or spend a day or two with the aide observing and asking questions so you will know how to do what you need to do if the need arises. Best of luck to you!
ETA: I didn't know you were expecting when I wrote that. I don't think it would be a good idea to do this type of work until at least a month pp. If your DH would be willing to take over for that period of time then go for it!
honestly it sounds like a lot of work for very little pay. If you have to buy cooking/heating fuel that can be really really expensive. Also extra gas money and you mentioned internet was considerably more and you are going to want that if you are house bound.
And yes you have cared for your grandma but you did not do it with two babies under foot.
What kind of overnight care does he require? Are you going to be up during the night as a rule?
If you are working 4 until 7 every day plus all day Sunday that is 15 hours a day for six days and 24 for one. That is 0ver 100 hours a week. even if your rent equivelent is $250 a week that is only about $2.50 an hour.
Good luck with your decision -
You have lots of good advice in both directions, so I'll just add my thoughts.
You are telling yourself to look at it as a job - cleaning, cooking, etc. But it's not, not really. It's your home - and you will be on call 24 hours a day. What happens when you are sick and you just feed your kids hotdogs and canned peas (or whatever other crappy meal you can throw together while you throw up?!)? You HAVE to get him something. And dealing with respite (while wonderful!) is not easy - you have to schedule in advance - what happens when you tell your husband to plan respite and it slips his mind (or yours) and suddenly you HAVE to go to something (school, get together, dance class - whatever).
And what happens to vacation? It's having to arrange a baby sitter for a grown person! It's hard. Taking care of our elders is an amazing thing, but it is hard for one person to do. As you say you deal with depression (I do also, to a very low extent - mainly just a lot of stress - and that's hard enough as it is) I would be thinking about the times when I'm unable to move after work or too tired to even do anything.
On the flip side - You can always batch cook ahead so you can have meals in the freezer to pull out (even in his freezer with paper taped to them with microwave instructions) so you don't HAVE to cook (this is what I do during the school year).