Don't want to switch DD from daycare to nanny - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-25-2010, 05:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My DD's been in daycare for the last 4 months. She had a really tough transition for the first month or two, but now she loves going (she's 15 months now). I love the daycare.

DH wants his sister to come work for us as our nanny. She would be available at the beginning of June. His main arguments are that it would be less work for us - we wouldn't need to prepare DD's food for daycare and we wouldn't need to clean the house or prepare our own dinner most nights. He also apparently feels that it's more important for DD to be close to and cared for by a family member.

It breaks my heart to think about pulling DD from daycare. She is loved by the teachers (and she loves them - she knows the sign for "I love you" and does it to them sometimes!), and she's happy around the other kids and I think it's a great environment for her to be in (to be honest, I think it's better for her than when she was home with me).

Add to that the fact that I have never met DH's sister (she seems nice and responsibe from pictures of her and conversations we've had) and she is only working here as a nanny in order to become a permanent resident. She's a trained nurse, but doesn't have any specific training in childcare, not does she have a lot of experience being the sole care provider for a toddler (she's helped look after her other nieces and nephews, etc. but the mom was generally around during the day).

DH and I have been arguing about this for ages - neither one of us is willing to give in. Am I being unreasonable? Why would I want to pull DD from a situation that's so good for her and she seems to happy to be in, just to keep her home all day. I don't see a nanny as being less work for me - then I have to worry about paying her / submitting her taxes, etc. I have to worry more about child development stuff and finding activities for DD to do with the nanny during the day, I have to worry about being sure that the nanny is doing everything I want with her during the day (i.e. no tv and always getting outside for several hours). I have to worry about doing a lot more child-proofing around the house and making a more child-friendly environment for her (it's "decent" right now, but not as good as I would like it to be if she's going to be spending all of her time at home). And so on... There's so much that stresses me out about having a nanny. And the fact that she's a relative... maybe that should make me feel better, but it actually worries me more.

So... is it really that wonderful to have a nanny?? Way less work than daycare? (Honestly, I thought we were doing really well - the house was generally cleaner than before we had DD and we managed to cook dinner most nights and still got a break on the weekends...) Would you pull your kid from a great daycare situation to try out a really good nanny? If things don't work out, I can't just put DD back into daycare... she was on the waiting list for a year and a half...

I'm in agony over this decision, it's causing huge problems from me and DH to the point where I just feel like leaving him. I feel like he doesn't really think hiring his sister is truly the best thing for DD, but he won't admit that. I feel like he just wants to hire her because that's what his parents, sisters, aunts, and culture all expect him to do. While those things are important, they're not as important as DD's happines, in my opinion. Then from his point of view - DD will probably be perfectly happy with his sister, so why not give it a try? It is what we had committed to doing before DD was born, but then his sister wasn't available when I needed to go back to work, so we put DD in daycare. Maybe I'm being unfair, but when my instincts are telling me to keep DD in daycare, it's hard to do anything else.

Sorry this got so long... thanks for reading.
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Old 04-25-2010, 05:55 PM
 
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I can understand why he feels the way he does.

But...we had a GREAT nanny and I still prefer daycare. It's cleaner, emotionally. When you have a nanny, you're a boss. When you're at daycare, you're a client. It's different. With family I think it would be even more complicated. I agree with you there.

With daycare I know the staff have breaks. I'm grateful my son gets the social stuff although your tot is younger. I don't mind the extra work (although our daycare supplies food).

It does sound nice for your DH's sister and she does sound like a good match - but I would at the very least need to meet her in your shoes. Is there any way to hedge your bets by doing half and half?

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Old 04-25-2010, 06:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I wish we could do half and half, but the daycare she's at doesn't do part time, and the program that my SIL is coming to Canada under requires them to do full-time work. So... unfortunately not. I suggested to DH that his sister try to find work for another family but come stay with us on the weekends (or stay with us full time if she wants) so that she can interact with DD and help us out a bit around the house (if she wanted to), etc.
He didn't like that idea.

I know exactly what you're saying about being cleaner emotionally. I am so concerned that this situation is going to result in HUGE problems with me and DH (if I have a problem with our NANNY, he's going to see it as me having a problem with his SISTER and it's just not going to work out well in the end... I am way to picky and controlling about stuff, particularly involving my daughter).

I wish he could just see that and not feel that I"m just trying to be argumentative and go against his family and not let him have his way.
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Old 04-26-2010, 12:18 AM
 
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I think your DH is being unreasonable, actually.

His sister wasn't available when you needed her so you put your DD in daycare. Now, after a tough transition, she loves daycare and he wants to pull her out again and keep her bored at home all day just to facilitate his sister's immigration status? Not cool.

Little kids need stability, and your DD has already gotten through the rough transition phase at daycare. Honestly I think it would be cruel to impose a new transition on her unnecessarily, so soon after the first. And it doesn't sound like it would be for the better either - you say she does better at daycare than she did home with you; why would she do better than that at home with your SIL??

And I think you are totally right to foresee problems with the nanny/SIL situation. I understand she seems nice, but really you don't even know her. What if she doesn't do a good job? You can't fire her. You'll be stuck with her bad care and a huge family fight to boot.

I think you should stick to your guns on this one. I think your suggestion about having your SIL look for other work and live with you guys is a much much better one. Why didn't your DH like the idea?

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Old 04-26-2010, 01:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for telling me I"m not being unreasonable!! I needed to hear that from someone.
Looks like I'm in for another long night with DH... *sigh*
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Old 04-26-2010, 04:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lian View Post
Thank you for telling me I"m not being unreasonable!! I needed to hear that from someone.
Looks like I'm in for another long night with DH... *sigh*
In case I wasn't clear (I was looking for a compromise) I think you're being totally reasonable too.

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Old 04-26-2010, 11:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mambera View Post
I think your DH is being unreasonable, actually.

His sister wasn't available when you needed her so you put your DD in daycare. Now, after a tough transition, she loves daycare and he wants to pull her out again and keep her bored at home all day just to facilitate his sister's immigration status? Not cool.

Little kids need stability, and your DD has already gotten through the rough transition phase at daycare. Honestly I think it would be cruel to impose a new transition on her unnecessarily, so soon after the first. And it doesn't sound like it would be for the better either - you say she does better at daycare than she did home with you; why would she do better than that at home with your SIL??

And I think you are totally right to foresee problems with the nanny/SIL situation. I understand she seems nice, but really you don't even know her. What if she doesn't do a good job? You can't fire her. You'll be stuck with her bad care and a huge family fight to boot.

I think you should stick to your guns on this one. I think your suggestion about having your SIL look for other work and live with you guys is a much much better one. Why didn't your DH like the idea?

I totally agree with this, great post. I think you are opening yourself up to a bad situation with the SIL as the nanny, if it doesn't work out you are stuck with her. I don't think its fair that your DH and his family are pressuring you the way they are. Stick to your guns, you are absolutely right.
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Old 04-27-2010, 12:59 AM
 
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Can she live with you and be your housekeeper and sometimes babysitter while you keep your DD in daycare? Or could you and your husband just sponsor his sister and have her live with you while she upgrades her nursing to work here?

I don't think you are being unreasonable. It is hard enough to have nanny in your house...but you could at least fire them if they gave your daughter bad care. I doubt it would be easy to fire your sister.

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Old 04-27-2010, 09:52 AM
 
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A few of things to think about.

First - what is the back up plan for when SIL/Nanny is sick, wants a day off, or possibly decides that she isn't happy with the arrangement? Back up care and finding new care are also major transition issues. And you have to make sure one/both of you know you may have to take a day off at a moment's notice.

Second - and this is mainly about your feelings on the issue. I don't know about you - but it was already hard enough for me to go back to work and leave my baby with another caregiver. How comfortable are YOU going to feel having you SIL caring for your child and your home?

Third - you mentioned transition issues for your LO - and also - that you've never met your SIL before. Is it going to be a major problem for you and your LO to transition to her care? As in - is it going to be as big of a transition for you as it is your LO? Since you don't know her at all.

Fourth - it is highly doubtful that your SIL is going to want to stay at home all day with your LO - she is probably going to want to leave and go places. Are you going to be ok with that?

I'd imagine your DH sees this as an ideal situation because you would have a family member caring for your child, you would have help around the house - and - I'm guessing on this one -you would be saving money on child care. All of those things are great if they work for your situation. But you guys have to decide if they do. And you have to weigh the pros and cons. It's possible that right now your DH doesn't see any cons at all. Maybe the two of you need to sit down and make a list.

Someone else suggested having SIL live with you and be an occasional babysitter. I agree - even if you decide you want her to work as your nanny - I wouldn't do it without a number of "test runs" to see how she interacts with your LO. And what her expectations are around everything.

Best of luck!
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Old 04-27-2010, 09:58 AM
 
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I wanted to add - I don't think you are being unreasonable at all!! If I were in your situation - I wouldn't do it. Too many problems can arise! And you are spot on - I think - in regards to your DDs happiness. If she is happy where she is - I think you are much better off having her stay there.
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Old 04-27-2010, 10:25 AM
 
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You are not being unreasonable at all! Your mission is the best situation for your child. You are not responsible for the best situation for your SIL!

Your in-law's desires are not your burden to bear! Regardless of how badly your SIL wants to come to your country, it is not your fault. Don't do the enabling/guilt behavior being asked of you. This situation has red flags written all over it.

Do what your mama instincts know is best for your child!

Good luck mama!
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Old 04-27-2010, 11:04 AM
 
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This thread just struck a chord with me, and I can't stop thinking about it. My DH's family also prioritizes other people's wants since we seem like we have it all together. My DH is finally on board with prioritizing me and our kids, and not the in-laws, nieces, druggies, etc.

Even under the BEST case scenario, where the SIL was the supreme nanny and housekeeper and cook and roommate ... your daughter would still have a rough transition of 2 months or more.

Now, honestly, could this woman be all that to perfection? Nobody could.

And if she is pressuring you to put her needs over yours now, what will happen once she moves in? There will be all kinds of family drama over her duties and what you pay her, how you treat her, how you want her to raise your child, what you feed yoru child, etc.

Bringing another person into the family dynamics is going to be very difficult. If you absolutely must let her move in as a compromise to your hubby, keep your daughter in daycare, and make sure you have a written agreement that all of you sign.

Specify that she will do X, and you will provide Y. Perhaps in exchange for room and board and sponsorship, she cooks dinner X times per week, cleans the kitchen daily, and babysits one evening a week while you and DH go out on a date!

You might have to include a "no boyfriends in the house" clause and no cussing around the baby. Include lots of things to cover all of your bases. Hey - maybe if you make this agreement sound too restrictive, she might decide to go somewhere else! Double bonus!
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Old 04-27-2010, 12:22 PM
 
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Ultimately, SIL is coming to Canada to be a nurse, right? She's not planning on just moving in with you and being your nanny. So this arrangement is good for, what, a year? And then you'll have to go through the search for a daycare *again*, possibly very fast (because job offers don't hang out for six months waiting for someone to get off a daycare wait list), and put your DD through another transition...

Maybe if DD was older and SIL was just going to cover the holes in the school schedule, this would make sense. But right now, it sounds to me like a bad idea.

My kids are in daycare, and it's not perfect, but I prefer coping with those imperfections to sharing my house with someone I don't know all that well, who might quit at any moment.
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Old 04-27-2010, 05:13 PM
 
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I don't think you're being unreasonable at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyMommy2 View Post
And if she is pressuring you to put her needs over yours now, what will happen once she moves in? There will be all kinds of family drama over her duties and what you pay her, how you treat her, how you want her to raise your child, what you feed yoru child, etc.
This would be my biggest concern. And since she is family she might feel like she has more say in how all these things are done, whereas with a regular employee you have much more authority and can fire them if needed.

Honestly, I'd ask DH to explore other ways to help her, through the live-in arrangement others suggested, or helping her locate a job in a field relevant to her that would also help her with future job prospects, or something like that.
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone very much for your responses!! I'm at work right now, so can't post much, I'll try to give more individual replies if I have time this weekend.

Just a quick update - DH agreed that it's a good idea to have SIL live with us and then work for another family. I suspect that he just agreed that in order to make me happy, and he's hoping that I'll change my mind once I meet his sister (hey, you never know, I guess). He's also not planning to tell SIL that this is the plan, so she's going to come here expecting to work for us... I don't like that, so I'm going to have to talk to him about that some more (or just email her directly, hehe).

Out of curiosity - is there anyone out there who agrees with DH and thinks we should just pull DD out of daycare to have SIL look after her??
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