Anybody here have a nanny? (m) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 29 Old 09-27-2005, 04:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DH and I are discussing whether we want to hire a live-out nanny for after the twins come in December. Anybody here have any experience with a live-out nanny (or any nanny) especially while mama is still SAH?

If anyone cares to share what they pay their nanny, what they offer for benefits, and/or a list of interview questions or tips, I'd be grateful!

Apologies if this has been covered before!

Vicky
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#2 of 29 Old 09-27-2005, 08:46 PM
 
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I don't have a professional nanny (though I do have a very sweet and capable 16 year old come over 2 days after school to help out), but I *was* a nanny professionally.

I didn't mind SAHP while I was nannying, but I was more picky with them because I didn't want to be around someone who was going to rub me the wrong way all day (and I assume they felt the same way!). So I asked for a greater no harm/no foul trial period than I did with my WOH parents.

I never took a job for under $24K a year (not counting benefits and overtime pay, which also was a must), but that was just me. Part time is a little different, but you should expect (for a good, professional person) to pay in the $15-20/hr range for part time. If you want to go with someone with less experience and credentials then you can pay less, and I actually think it's MORE important to find someone who clicks than someone who has a 4 year degree and all their other pieces of paper lined up. Also, I nannied in the 90s, when jobs were plentiful and it was a nanny's market. Now with the economy in the toilet I don't think people can demand as much or be as picky as I was in most areas of the country.

Before you start your search, you need to define boundaries and determine what you want. Do you want more of a mothers' helper (just an extra pair of hands, you make the executive decisions and do the planning), or do you want a full on nanny so you're more willing to take a backseat and let her do her thing while you rest/recuperate/nurse? Something inbetween? It's my experience that many baby nurses/nannies have very set in stone way of doing things--so you need to figure out what you want first, so that you won't waste your time (or theirs) interviewing people who aren't cut out for it or who aren't looking for what you're offering. I don't think that there are any magic questions (but you DO want to get an idea of her discipline policy and what she expects!), it's more finding someone who's 'nannying' matches up well with your 'parenting' and who you get along with well and don't mind hanging out in stressful situations with.

Another option you might consider is a short term contract, something to get you through the first 6 months. Then you can decide whether to renew based on $$ and if you're comfortable flying solo by then or not.
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#3 of 29 Old 09-27-2005, 11:42 PM
 
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I was my own nanny.

Oh how I wish I had help during that time. If you can get help so that you can bond with and be with your children that is good and wise. But I have also seen women use nannies to avoid the bond with their children and to pass off their mothering fears and trials onto a hired worker. I believe nannies should assist not replace.

I DO believe that mamas need help, especially with twins. And if you have the resources for a nanny and you find one that you trust, I say go for it. Find out the local going rate. Try contacting your local TWINS groups and ask other moms with nannies for their twins. I think childcare workers should be paid WELL.

HOw are you feeling, btw? I remember beginning to get slow at this point in my twin pregnancy?
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#4 of 29 Old 09-28-2005, 01:11 AM
 
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Rather than a nanny I would hire a part time housekeeper and cook. Same hours but they can do the other stuff so you can focus on you and the babies.
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#5 of 29 Old 09-28-2005, 01:12 AM
 
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What does the (m) mean in your title, btw?
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#6 of 29 Old 09-28-2005, 06:28 AM
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Tigerchild - thanks for these guidelines. That helps me a lot.

I wonder if it's ok for me to ask a related question in this thread.
We have some household help - basically someone who cleans up the floors and the kitchen every day (This is common by indian standards...i know it sounds insane to have all this in the US....i've kinda gotten used to it...). Now, i can ask this woman to do more stuff -- hang all our diapers out to dry, do some food preparation, etc.

Do you think that, once i have these twins in december, i'll need MORE help?? The housework will be taken care of, and the basic issue will be my being alone most of the day with two babies.

If you do think i'll need more help, can you tell me exactly what i should be looking for? (i.e. someone to change diapers, someone to hold a baby in case i need to do something, someone to watch babies if i need to go out) I need to be as specific as possible when looking for help!

Thanks, and i hope it's ok to ask this question in this thread....

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#7 of 29 Old 09-28-2005, 11:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I find I'm a little ambivalent about hiring a nanny, frankly. I'm not sure I want someone in charge of my kids, especially when I'm going to be home. Maybe just a mother's helper and a more frequent housekeeper would be better for us.

Hotmamacita, I totally agree that some women use nannies to avoid bonding with their children. I see that all the time in the rather wealthy resort community where I live, unfortunately. Oh and the (m) in the header is a reflex from some of the threaded boards where I post... it's considered good etiquette to indicate whether there's "more" to your post than just the header or "no text" (nt) and I forget that I don't need to do that here!

Thanks everyone for your responses. If we do interview for a nanny, the suggestions here have been incredibly helpful.
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#8 of 29 Old 09-28-2005, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hotmamacita, I'm feeling, well, big. Yes, I'm definitely at the point where I'm slowing down, feeling lousy a large part of the afternoon/evening. Having a lot of trouble breathing, mostly, and just being uncomfortable in any position, standing, sitting, lying down doesn't matter. So it looks like from now to the end will be the hardest part of the PG.

But all in all, I have nothing to complain about. It's a perfectly healthy normal PG in all respects, which is lucky for us! Thanks for asking!
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#9 of 29 Old 09-28-2005, 11:51 AM
 
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I think you got a great response from Tigerchild. It's about deciding what you are really looking for.

I don't have a nanny, but am starting to look at childcare for my 3yo since I may have to go back to work/school. I just finished re-reading Protecting the Gift by Gavin Debecker. If you haven't read it, I strongly reccommend it. It gives some guidelines to go by but also advises to not only come up with the questions & check credentials but to have faith & believe in your intuition.

Good luck.
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#10 of 29 Old 09-28-2005, 01:27 PM
 
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If you have someone else to help with the housework and have no other children, I think you wont need any help with the babies unless you are ill or otherwise unable to care for them full time.
The biggest thing in my experience is trying to do it all. I think if I had just my twins to take care of and not my house, the cooking my older two children it would feel like a vacation.
Twins arent really that hard if you arent trying to accomplish a bunch of other stuff too.
joline
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#11 of 29 Old 09-28-2005, 01:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johub
Twins arent really that hard if you arent trying to accomplish a bunch of other stuff too.


Its mamas like you that make me burn with jealousy.

It was hard for me. I had an 18 mo and a 4 yo and my husband worked fulltime and was in school fulltime. I remember days just struggling to get everyone fed and clean, including myself.
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#12 of 29 Old 09-28-2005, 01:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotmamacita


Its mamas like you that make me burn with jealousy.

It was hard for me. I had an 18 mo and a 4 yo and my husband worked fulltime and was in school fulltime. I remember days just struggling to get everyone fed and clean, including myself.
Right, because you did have other responsibilities. Me too.
My ds was 16 months old when the twins were born and I had an 11 year old and a house and a dog and a husband and I had to do all the cooking cleaning and wash.
Sometimes I felt it was amazing everybody was alive and happy at the end of the day.
My biggest fantasy was to have somebody ELSE mop the floor, do the dishes and make the meals. It would have been like a vacation if my only responsibility was my twins.
(and my second biggest fantasy was and still is fluff and fold)
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#13 of 29 Old 09-28-2005, 02:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kir
The housework will be taken care of, and the basic issue will be my being alone most of the day with two babies.
Hi ya --

This is such a personal issue. Some women seemingly need/and take -- NO BREAK from their kids. I needed "regular" breaks to be the kind of patient and enthused mama I wanted to be. I think the reality is you will need some regular time to yourself -- in the beginning to sleep, later on maybe to do a few household errands (groceries, etc) or appointments where babies don't really work (haircut, dentist, etc.) -- and at some point you will likely want some time to yourself and/or with your husband. Give yourself some time to gauge what amount of "break" you need after the babes are here. I don't think you'll really know until then.

I think you original post was on info about hiring a nanny. I'm a working mama -- so have always had a nanny -- email me private if you want me 2 cents on that.

TripMom . . . . . loving mom : to DS (7) and BBG (4.5)
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#14 of 29 Old 09-28-2005, 04:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by TripMom
Some women seemingly need/and take -- NO BREAK from their kids. I needed "regular" breaks to be the kind of patient and enthused mama I wanted to be.
Me too but some women do not have the option at all. And there are creative ways to get breaks from your kids while they are in the house with you and safe.

Our situations are all different. But I just wanted to share that some women who you might think need no break actually DO and have no option other than creatively finding them while caring for their children.

TripMom--It would be a good asset for future moms to be able to read your 2 cents. DO you feel comfortable posting your advice for other and future twin moms who can learn from your experience?

Peace.
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#15 of 29 Old 09-28-2005, 04:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by johub
Sometimes I felt it was amazing everybody was alive and happy at the end of the day.
i know what you mean!

A DOG too. How did you do that. People would suggest animals to us for our children and I could not imagine how on earth I would care for an animal as well.

But I do want a chocolate lab one day. Perhaps when the twins are 5 or so.
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#16 of 29 Old 09-28-2005, 05:02 PM
 
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a couple of days before finding out I was to have twins we were looking for a 2nd dog at the humane society.
Thank goodness the one we wanted was gone before we went back!
DH still brings up that we need another dog. But I'd like to see him help take care of the one we have! LOL (same goes for the kids for that matter LOL)

About needing a break. I wholeheartedly agree. But I dont think even a part time nanny is necessary.
Perhaps an "on call" nanny or sitter for appointment days or days when you need extra rest.
No point in having somebody else underfoot all the time (or even half the time) when you really only need help a couple of hours a week.
joline
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#17 of 29 Old 09-28-2005, 11:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kir
I wonder if it's ok for me to ask a related question in this thread.
We have some household help - basically someone who cleans up the floors and the kitchen every day (This is common by indian standards...i know it sounds insane to have all this in the US....i've kinda gotten used to it...). Now, i can ask this woman to do more stuff -- hang all our diapers out to dry, do some food preparation, etc.

Do you think that, once i have these twins in december, i'll need MORE help?? The housework will be taken care of, and the basic issue will be my being alone most of the day with two babies.
Hi Kiran!

Will you have family/friends available to help you with baby care the first few weeks? The housework help you already have will do wonders for you (I think everyone ignores it, but it tends to get to you, so nice to not have to catch up!), but if you can afford it or you can get loving help from friends and family please take advantage of it! You will be exhausted, you will be recovering from birth, and you will have two newborns--I think that no one who's not lived through that can fathom how exhausting that can be (and exhilirating too, don't get me wrong, but...). My MIL (who I am closer to than my own mother) lived with us for 6 weeks after the boys were born and she was a wonderful blessing. My eyes are welling with tears just thinking about it. She lovingly cared for my 17 mo. old AND me during that time, so all I had to do was nurse, rest, and bond with my boys. She made sure I took my medication on time (I had a lot of pain issues, not from the birth, but from some complications from my pregnancy), made sure I was eating enough every few hours, wiped my tears as I started to come down off the hormone high, made sure I always had a pitcher of ice water by my side. And it was nice to have another pair of arms available as I got the hang of tandem nursing, and when I wanted to get a little mama-boy time with one baby. If you can at all possibly have a close friend or someone you trust do this for you, it is best. But finding someone who is willing to cuddle babies and baby/pamper mama, as a grandma or mentor figure, if you can possibly find that you will not regret it. Or even just someone to help you cuddle and hold your little ones.

Is it something you *need*, no, you will flex your mama muscles like never before and you will cope regardless. But if you CAN I certainly recommend it! I am so excited that one of my friends is due very soon and trusts me enough to allow me to be a frequent guest in her home so I can pour love into her like love was poured into me. (Even though I was a bottomless pit those first 6 weeks!)

Also, I wholeheartedly agree with hotmamacita--if you can find a multiples club in your area, please do! Many times they are a wonderful resource for other twin mamas. There you will find loving women (at least a few!) who will want to "pay back" the care they received and who understand and can offer advice and a shoulder to cry on if you need it (and meals! and companionship! and recommendations for helpers in your area!).

I think that it helps mama immensely if she has strong support during the neediest newborn time. After you get your bearings, then even though it is scary the first time you "fly solo" you can do it, but it would be wonderful to have some training wheels first, KWIM?
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#18 of 29 Old 09-29-2005, 12:03 AM
 
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Originally Posted by vickybu
Hotmamacita, I'm feeling, well, big. Yes, I'm definitely at the point where I'm slowing down, feeling lousy a large part of the afternoon/evening. Having a lot of trouble breathing, mostly, and just being uncomfortable in any position, standing, sitting, lying down doesn't matter. So it looks like from now to the end will be the hardest part of the PG.

But all in all, I have nothing to complain about. It's a perfectly healthy normal PG in all respects, which is lucky for us! Thanks for asking!
Vicky, do you have a big, cushy reclining chair (like a La-Z-boy)? I always hated those things, but after a certain point, I was so uncomfortable no matter what my doctor recommended one of those. We went to the store and I sat in every single model (and darned if the one that felt the best wasn't the fugliest thing I ever saw!), and I got the one that felt the best to me. Then I lived in it from my third trimester until the boys were 3 months old! I slept in it during the last few weeks, even! It's still in my living room and still fugly, and I am morose at the thought of having to give it up when we move. I think that was the best couple of hundred bucks I've ever spent! (I needed it right then and didn't want to wait so we just bought the model off the floor, so it wasn't THAT much and they humored the enormously pregnant woman)
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#19 of 29 Old 09-29-2005, 01:22 AM
 
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I second that big comfy chair suggestion. I never had it. I wish i had. It is a HUGE NEED in a twin pregnancy.
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#20 of 29 Old 09-29-2005, 11:27 AM
 
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A few other things I wanted to share...

I have an only, but am an auntie to twins & a newborn. I just got back from staying with them for a week to help her out.

They are in VA & have a live-out nanny housekeeper that comes all 5 days, my sil works 4 days & is home 1 day. They found her through the church. They are pretty involved with their church & found this was the best way for them to find somebody. My sil is hispanic & wanted someone who spoke Spanish. She started out with a trial period & I know she started at $10/hr but I don't know how much she is making with them now (1.5 years later).

The days that my sil is at work, she mostly takes care of the children with my sil's mother, along with small chores..dishes, laundry, etc. On the day she's at home, she has the children & the nanny does housekeeping...mopping the floor, vaccuuming, whatever needs to be done.

When I went to help them I was expecting to help & my sil is not very good at saying what she wants so I didn't feel like she take advantage (not take advantage of me, well, ykwim) of my being there. It felt more like a regular visit. She got upset if I unloaded the dishwasher. Yes, my dd played with the twins but I could have done so much more.

I think it would be really helpful, especially if you have people wanting to help, have a list of all the things that need to be done. Yes it's nice to have someone cuddle the babes, but especially being pp, I think you have to be specific with what you want.

Good luck!
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#21 of 29 Old 09-29-2005, 11:58 AM
 
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Oh not a truer word was spoken!!
It is so hard to ask for help, even when it is offered.
WHen my mom woudl come over she might fold a load of laundry. I would have in my head things I would LOVE for her to have done, but I never asked.
I think making a list of things that need to be done and posting it in a very obvious place is much better than having to direct everybody.
(my mom came over every single day for a few weeks after my twins were born, and sometimes I got a shower or she folded a load of laundry. But I would have LOVED it if she had scrubbed the bathroom or mopped the floor or started dinner. But I didnt know how to ask for those things.

Joline
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#22 of 29 Old 09-29-2005, 02:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think this thread has really helped me clarify my thinking on what sort of "help" I want when these babies are born. Something about having a nanny just doesn't seem right to me (not that it doesn't work for some, just not right for our family).

Knowing that DH is willing (and we are able) to spend the money it would cost to hire a full-time live-out nanny has really freed up my thinking. For a lot less money, we could have a mother's helper every afternoon for a few hours, as well as some weekend and evening hours so DH and I could spend some alone time together (hasn't happened much since DD was born 17 months ago!). We can also have our current cleaning lady (or someone else) come much more often than the every other Friday she comes now.

So my current thinking is to have the cleaning lady come twice a week, or at least once a week, and to hire a mother's helper before the babies are even here to come play with DD in the afternoons (I'm thinking a middle-school neighbor of ours would be perfect after school) so I can (a) relax; (b) run errands (her mom is home two doors down for emergencies); and (c) get some things done around the house that are bugging me that I haven't been able to get to because DD is always underfoot.

With this plan in place, I think things will be doable for us. I'm just not ready to cede child-rearing to a nanny for big chunks of time and I'm not willing to have someone in my house with me 8 hours a day -- I need my space!

Thanks to everyone for the ideas... it was very helpful to be able to see this from so many perspectives and put words to my misgivings!

Vicky
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#23 of 29 Old 09-29-2005, 02:42 PM
 
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SInce you have the resources you could also start the routine with your help when you are about 8 months pregnant to see what works and what doesn't for you. Plus, you are going to be very, very slow at that point.



If you have your help in place prior to the twins arriving then once they do arrive everyone will already know how and where things go. You won't be trying to nurse the twins while you are explaining how you like the floor mopped.

Also, make a list of things you need and when people ask..How can I help? Look at your list and tell them.

Enjoy those babies and glad to have you here with us. Keep us posted with how YOU are doing, okay?
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#24 of 29 Old 10-04-2005, 12:01 AM
 
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Just wanted to chime in because I nannied for twins for 5 years (two different families) prior to having DD. The last family I was with from week 3 of the girls' life until they were 2.5. They had a SAHM and we hit it off wonderfully. I was basically a touchstone for her, an adult to talk to (and to cry to) during the day when she was so sleep deprived she could hardly stand. I would cuddle one babe while she nursed another. She stayed home every day for the first few months and as she became more comfortable with me, I would stay with the girls while she ran a few errands, and so on. I cared for these girls up until the night I had DD and miss them greatly. We no longer live in the same state.

Certainly not every connection can be as great as this one, but if you find the right person it can be a blessing. She often says without my help those first years would have been a big blur. I didn't realize it at the time, but I now see all the great mother-isms I learned from her. We are still good friends.

BTW, I was a live-out with 2 years prior experience with twins and made $14/hour.
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#25 of 29 Old 10-04-2005, 12:12 AM
 
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had to jump on this topic. we hire a nanny for the first 4 months of our babies lives..they take care of the other children so i (we) can focus on bonding with the new babies..i also hire a housekeeper for that time period. we spend roughly 2K on those services but it is totally worth it for us...we have when the twins were babies hired a baby nurse but only during my first 2 weeks home...i take a cue from the tribal socities and plant my butt in bed and nurse babies for the first 2 weeks. i do nothing but cuddle and nurse and it is the most wonderful thing in the world.
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#26 of 29 Old 10-05-2005, 02:49 PM
 
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I would wait and see what kind of help you will need before finalizing any plans. But I really like the idea of the mother's helper!!! My older child is the hardest part of having twins!!

My boys are really laid back, but I could have really used help last month with growth spurts, teething, and colds messing with everyone's sleep!! Now I could use someone who could watch the kids a couple mornings a week (when the babies sleep best), so I could run errands, have lunch with dh, take a nap, etc.

My oldest was WAAAY more difficult because he just didn't sleep more than 1-2 hours in a row. I really could have used a regular sitter every after noon with him!! Even now, when I get help, they take him to the park and I deal with the house and babies.

You may need a regular helper if your kids have higher needs, or you may be just fine with a swing and an occasional sitter.

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#27 of 29 Old 10-05-2005, 03:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by cdahlgrd
My older child is the hardest part of having twins!!
:


Quote:
Originally Posted by cdahlgrd
Even now, when I get help, they take him to the park and I deal with the house and babies.
Me too. In the beginning -- I had a sitter take older DS to park to play 2 days a week from 11am to 2pm - return home and put him down for a nap. this let me spend that time focusing on the babies -- knowing he was having a blast at the park. On the other 3 week days - I took older DS out for fun activity during that time and sitter handled babes (this was tricky, but doable with pumping! - sometimes pumped "on the go" -- maybe we need a new acronym around here - "PAK")

Anway - that was our little routine to ensure that all kiddies got their share of exclusive mama time

TripMom . . . . . loving mom : to DS (7) and BBG (4.5)
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#28 of 29 Old 10-05-2005, 03:45 PM
 
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I hired a nanny (live out) when the twins were 3 months old (or 1 month corrected age). I was sinking and was nearly beside myself with exhaustion and worried about not being able to continue to BF, etc. But my twins were born early (31 weeks) and had major nursing problems which left me with low supply and a need to pump around the clock (in addition to nursing them) just to make enough (barely enough) milk.

Back then she came 4 days a week. I stayed home until the twins were 1 and then I went back to work for three 6-hour days/week, and then her schedule was cut back to just cover me while I was at work b/c 1 year old twins are a breeze compared to newborns and I no longer needed the help when I was by myself.

She still works for us - currently 2 days a week. Even though I am home full time with baby #3 because I am returning to work in a few weeks -- we couldn't let her go or else we'd have lost her.

We get along great. She is very AP, pro-breastfeeding, anti-CIO, etc. and just a gentle, wonderful spirit.

I was probably very odd (from a mainstream perspective) because I was (and am) home ALL day, and with the kids, not out getting my hair and nails done or whatever while our nanny was home with the kids. The point of me having a nanny was not to avoid my kids but was 100% to be AP. There is no way I could have done it without a nanny. Because of her, my babies were held nonstop, fed on demand, soothed to sleep as long as it took (no CIO), breastfed or breastmilk fed, and perhaps most importantly of all, experienced a stress-free, gentle, happy and nutruring environment.
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#29 of 29 Old 10-06-2005, 02:05 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommaJ
I was basically a touchstone for her, an adult to talk to (and to cry to) during the day when she was so sleep deprived she could hardly stand. I would cuddle one babe while she nursed another. She stayed home every day for the first few months and as she became more comfortable with me, I would stay with the girls while she ran a few errands, and so on.


When my babies were about 4 weeks old, we hired a wonderful grandmotherly woman to work about 12 hours a week - three 4 hour days - and that connection with her made me stay sane! She would hold babies while I showered (and cried) and while I spent time with my older boy. She would remind me to nap with my babies, tidy up the kitchen and fold some laundry. When they were older, I would run out on very fast errands and once or twice had lunch by myself in a diner! I will never forget her.
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