Please help me decide - full time day care or part-time with nanny - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 08-20-2010, 08:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all, I'm currently home on maternity leave with my 5 week old DS2. DS1 goes back to his Montessori toddler program starting next week. The classroom runs from 8:30 - 11:30. They have an optional "encore" program that is optional that runs until 6 pm. Last year he stayed until 4:30 when I would pick him up from work.

I'll be returning to work when DS2 is 12 weeks old. He will be at home with a nanny or an au pair. My question is whether I should have DS1 stay in his Montessori school all day, or have the nanny pick him up and watch him and the baby in the afternoon.

If money were no object, I'd probably have DS1 stay in school all day. It is a WONDERFUL place, he and I both L-O-V-E his caregivers and he thrives in that environment. Also, then the baby wouldn't have to be driven back and forth to his school with the nanny to pick him up (~20 minutes roundtrip).

However, there are also some tangible advantages to having him be at home with the baby...right? This is where I'm struggling. I really can't think of any, other than the fact that we'd save a lot of money. Any thoughts?

Kelly, wife to my wonderful DH , and mom to DS1 born 1/20/2008 and DS2 born 7/14/2010 by VBAC.
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#2 of 12 Old 08-24-2010, 12:18 AM
 
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does he need down time? that would be one reason your house might be neater w/o a toddler there all day?
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#3 of 12 Old 08-24-2010, 08:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by bettyjones View Post
does he need down time? that would be one reason your house might be neater w/o a toddler there all day?
Hmmm, I don't think ds1 really needs downtime. His dc is very home-like, not overstimulating at all. And yes, my house will certainly be neater without a toddler in it all say. This is where I am struggling...

I am having a very hard time keeping up with ds1 and ds2, and am kind of freaking out about having 2 kids...I can handle them one on one just fine but with both I'm overwhelmed...won't a nanny be, too? How in the world can she juggle both sets of naps, feedings, playtime, etc?

I'm extremely fortunate in that I have had a lot of help since ds1 was born and haven't had to watch them both myself very often...when I have it has been very very difficult. I guess a good nanny will find a groove, right? I just can't see how it will all work out, but part of this is certainly me projecting my own fears/frustrations. DH says that we would be crazy to pay fir both a nanny AND full time dc for ds2.

Right now ds2's sleep is very erratic, but hopefully he will settle into some sort of schedule by 12 weeks and things will get easier..right?

Kelly, wife to my wonderful DH , and mom to DS1 born 1/20/2008 and DS2 born 7/14/2010 by VBAC.
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#4 of 12 Old 08-24-2010, 08:57 PM
 
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Does your nanny have much experience with two children at once? Have you discussed this with her?
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#5 of 12 Old 08-25-2010, 08:45 PM
 
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I kind of agree with your DH. And yeah a good nanny would find a groove but you have to make sure you have a good nanny. I will tell you this--lots of moms, grandmothers and nannies take care of multiple children every day--so even though it drives me (and maybe you) nuts, it doesn't mean other people can't do it and even do it well. I watch my cousin do it and I think she's amazing. My nanny could have done it in her sleep. I guess some people have a gift and others find a way.

Also... advantages to having DS1 at home... more individual attention, more time with his sibling (which would come into play more as DS2 gets older), and really the closest thing to being at home with a parent, while still getting the preschool learning and group interaction. I actually think it's a nice balance, but I guess I'm biased towards the being-at-home side since my kids have always been at home with either me or a nanny, and we introduced preschool as a several mornings a week thing.

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#6 of 12 Old 08-25-2010, 09:49 PM
 
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Remember saving money is to your older child's advantage, too.
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#7 of 12 Old 08-25-2010, 10:25 PM
 
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Unless you are very wealthy, I don't really see doubling up on childcare as a good use of money. A good nanny will have no problem with 2 kids. Having been a nanny myself and now being a mother, I can say that it is just easier being a nanny in some ways-- not having all the big questions to worry about, not having to do all the deep cleaning all day, etc. Spend that extra money on something more useful to your family life-- maybe some housekeeping or healthy homemade freezer meals from a chef?
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#8 of 12 Old 08-26-2010, 09:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all, thanks so much for your responses! I think that I have just been worrying myself insane over childcare. By way of background, we started with an au pair program in May. We had to let our first au pair go due to numerous lapses in her judgement that led us to feel DS1 would not be safe with her. Our second au pair was wonderful, but her mother had a cardiac incident and she quit the program to return home after only 3 weeks with us. I guess I'm a bit jaded right now as all of this has been very disrupting to our household, DS1's routines, etc.

Quote:
Does your nanny have much experience with two children at once? Have you discussed this with her?
We have hired a new nanny, and she really is good. This is her first week with us, but in her last position she cared for 3 kids under 3 for 2 years (well, it was only 2 kids for the first year or so, then the third came along). Her references dating back 4 years are excellent, and she is pursuing her BA in Early Childhood Development.

I'm feeling more positive about the nanny situation ...yesterday the baby and I were out of the house, and it was her first afternoon alone with DS1. She managed to get him to take a nap without having to lie down in bed with him, or even stay in the room with him while he fell asleep (is this the same child??). When he woke up, she said that he wasn't whiney at all (who is this kid? DS1 is usually grumpy for an hour after a nap). They did crafts together, then went to the park. The au pairs had a terrible time getting DS1 to take naps, and complained that he didn't have the patience for crafts (totally not true).

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Remember saving money is to your older child's advantage, too.
Yes, absolutely. We are big into saving, and are actually frugal people. But when it comes to my kids' education/care, I'm very sensitive. However, I think that all of you are right and I appreciate your input so much.

I think that an experienced nanny like the one we have is going to be up to this task. The au pairs that we had just did not have the same level of experience, and I think this was causing me a lot of anxiety and crazy mom guilt.

Kelly, wife to my wonderful DH , and mom to DS1 born 1/20/2008 and DS2 born 7/14/2010 by VBAC.
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#9 of 12 Old 08-26-2010, 11:59 AM
 
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Ugh--so sorry about the au pairs. No wonder you are so gun shy about the nanny--having two people stay for a short time and then go will do that to you, especially if they couldn't handle the childcare. I nearly quit my job when we lost my GREAT nanny and then went through a series of cobbled together scheduling with cleaning lady's sister etc., and then 3 nannies in a row that didn't work out (including one who didn't bother to show up on the first day of work!). Just want to say I know exactly how you feel but it does all go away when you get a nanny who is good and works out. The poor new nanny had to earn my trust (after my bad experiences) but I was able to trust again (ha--sounds like a bad relationship!).

Poppan ~ twins born April 2007
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#10 of 12 Old 08-26-2010, 12:05 PM
 
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BTW -- in the middle of my nanny crisis I read this book and it really gave me so much perspective. It's a series of essays by mostly writer women about their relationships with their nannies. It really helped me to process a lot of my feelings and was nice to see I wasn't alone, also nice to read about some great nanny-mom relationships to give me hope and some bad ones to make me feel better (in the sense that at least my bad nanny didn't do X). Also made me think about stuff I hadn't even considered--like when you get too close to your nanny and what happens when they start being the third person in your marriage.

http://www.amazon.com/Searching-Mary...2835017&sr=8-1

Poppan ~ twins born April 2007
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#11 of 12 Old 08-26-2010, 12:29 PM
 
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Another vote for a half day at school.. DD will be in Kindergarten when the baby arrives and I go back to work, but she will spend her afternoon with the same caregiver as her new sibling because I want them together as much as possible.

wife of 8 years to DH geek.gif, mama to DD blahblah.gif (2006) & DS jog.gif (2011) angel1.gif (Dec. 2012) rainbow1284.gif due Nov. 2013 

 vbac.gifh20homebirth.gif cd.gif homeschool.gif

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#12 of 12 Old 08-26-2010, 02:01 PM
 
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and another thought about whether the nanny can handle it- what we are capable of at work is much different than what we do in our personal lives. i mean, when i worked in restaurants i cleaned everything all the time, getting everything spotless, and i was fast and efficient and their top employee. in real life, my house is always a mess and i am rather the lollygagging type. in academia, my papers were close to perfect. here as you can see, i don't employ even proper punctuation.
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