Let our nanny go today and feeling sick - could do with some support. - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 20 Old 03-23-2011, 09:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I could really use some support. I let our nanny go today – and handled it in the worst way – and now I just feel sick. Almost to the point of calling her tomorrow and telling her (asking her?) that I’ve changed my mind.

I wrote at length about our issues with her in a thread entitled “Thinking of Letting Our Nanny Go” so I won’t repeat them here. But to cut a long story short, we have been having some problems with reliability for some time. As a nanny she is very good and my daughter adores her, but as an employee – not so much.

 

Anyway, today was my 3hour glucose test at 9am. I awake to a phone call at 7am – my nanny telling me that she’s just found out that she’s been exposed to chickenpox and have we been vaccinated? (Evidently the nanny hadn’t been.)  I said that I wasn’t sure and not to come in until I knew.  At 7:20 I called her and said yes, and that she should come in as planned for 8:30. She messages me back – with the snow and traffic she’s going to be late and cannot tell me when she’ll be in. So I need to reschedule my appointment (as I explained in the first thread, this is by no means the first time this has happened.)

 

She then called me and I wish I had let it go to voicemail. I just lost my temper, reiterating that I couldn’t rely on her. And then I said the thing I most regret – that if I hadn’t been so overwhelmed by the prospect of looking for a new nanny we’d have fired her by now, and that if DH was willing to look for someone else, we were done.  I know – how dreadful. I could cut my tongue out now that I think about it. When she said she was still only a couple of miles from her home,  I just told her not to come in today, and that I would call her later about tomorrow.

 

DH called me a couple of hours later – nanny had called him and told him that she thought she’d been fired. He of course knew nothing about it and told nanny he would speak to me about it and call her back.  When he came home we discussed it at length. Although we both agreed that my conversation with her had been dreadful, things had been coming to a head for a while, and we didn’t need someone full-time (we’ve been paying her FT while she works PT – see other thread for details.)  So he called nanny and said that we would pay her 4 weeks’ severance and that she didn’t have to come to work again.

 

I know – completely handled the wrong way.  I sent her a text that evening apologizing for the way things had ended, and letting her know that we would give her a good reference. When she replied saying that she was very upset and would miss DD tremendously, and could she still see her from time to time, I cried for about an hour. As I am now.  We texted and arranged to meet for coffee on Friday, and I said that if she would want to babysit occasionally we would love her to (she does this for all of her former charges, and she said she would like to.) I also called her a little later, and we spoke very briefly, just so I could apologize for losing my temper on the phone.

 

So now I feel sick about four things: I have no childcare at all and suppose we never find someone as good with our DD as our nanny was? What if when the baby’s born I realize that we do need someone fulltime and we let her go for nothing? How will my daughter adapt to the transition? We’ve had nanny for over 2 years now. And how could I have ended the nanny relationship in such an awful way? I didn’t know I had it in me. I just feel sick. Please, don’t tell me how awful it was – you couldn’t possibly beat me up as much as I am beating myself up. I’m even thinking about calling her first thing and saying “I’m sorry, I lost my rag, I need you to be more diligent but we want you to stay.”  And yet I know deep down that we really had some issues here.

 

What have I done?

 


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#2 of 20 Old 03-24-2011, 12:20 AM
 
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You did the right thing in letting her go.  Who cares how you did it?  You had every right to be angry at her behaviour, what's wrong with letting her know it?  You're likely not the first person to chew her out for being so useless, and you won't be the last.  Please do NOT hire her back!  I wouldn't even bother keeping her on for babysitting as she would be just as unreliable.  People with time/priority management problems do NOT change.  Also you have apologized to her plenty!  Did she ever apologize to you any of the times she flaked out on you, while still taking your money?  Stop beating yourself up, you do NOT owe her any further apologies.  4 weeks severence pay is very generous considering you've already been overpaying her for months.  Remind her of that little detail, should she whine for more money from you guys.

 

You and your husband will find other childcare!  There are many, many caregivers out there who are eager to work.  Please relax and take care of yourself and your babies. 

 

 

 

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#3 of 20 Old 03-24-2011, 12:55 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Petronella View Post

You did the right thing in letting her go.  Who cares how you did it?  You had every right to be angry at her behaviour, what's wrong with letting her know it?  You're likely not the first person to chew her out for being so useless, and you won't be the last.  Please do NOT hire her back!  I wouldn't even bother keeping her on for babysitting as she would be just as unreliable.  People with time/priority management problems do NOT change.  Also you have apologized to her plenty!  Did she ever apologize to you any of the times she flaked out on you, while still taking your money?  Stop beating yourself up, you do NOT owe her any further apologies.  4 weeks severence pay is very generous considering you've already been overpaying her for months.  Remind her of that little detail, should she whine for more money from you guys.

 

You and your husband will find other childcare!  There are many, many caregivers out there who are eager to work.  Please relax and take care of yourself and your babies. 

 

yeahthat.gif

 



 


K: high school teacher and mama to DS1 (7/07), loss (10/10) and DS2 (7/12). Married to my best friend and soon to be elementary school teacher!
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#4 of 20 Old 03-24-2011, 06:24 AM
 
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You were being taken advantage of. Imagine if you had your child in a day care center and encountered that kind of unreliability and flakiness -- you'd pull them out in a heartbeat. But with a single person as a nanny, you let yourself get emotionally involved and let that cloud your judgment.

Really, this reminds me of threads in Parents as Partners or Single Parents. The poster is dating a person who is obviously taking advantage of them and treating them poorly. All the responders tell the OP that it's a bad, bad relationship and they need to leave. The resentment simmered for so long that it all boiled over and as you were "breaking up", you said something you regretted. Now you're distraught about how the breakup went and thinking about saying, "maybe we can still see each other."

You're not dating the nanny. You're providing payment for professional services rendered. I don't know that I would have handled the situation much better -- I have the same kind of qualities where I have trouble clearly laying out expectations and taking people to task in a way that isn't emotionally engaged. That's one of the reasons, along with financial considerations, why I went for an in-home daycare rather than a nanny. With the daycare, it felt like a more equal distribution of power. I was going into her home -- it felt like her business rather than my employee. And I think it made it easier to address any little issues in a more professional and less emotional way.

If you do get another nanny, I think you would be doing yourself a  huge favor if you thought about how you can clearly lay out expectations and handle issues. The nanny needs to be a professional employee, and you need to be a professional employer. That means getting less emotionally involved.

I would seriously recommend making a written policy of expectations and penalties. It can be reasonable. Like, at least three days written notice for schedule conflicts, patterns of tardiness will result in termination, etc, etc. You can be human, but you have to be professional. If I was screwing up at work and running constantly late, I would NOT want my boss screaming and crying at me. I would want my boss to pull me into the office, inform me that I was out of line with company policy and needed to improve my behavior or I would face termination. Be that boss. 

Pregnancy can make all these things feel out of hand as well.

 


Jen, journalist, policy wonk, and formerly a proud single mama to my sweet little man Cyrus, born at home Dec. 2007 . Now married to my Incredibly Nice Guy and new mama to baby Arthur.
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#5 of 20 Old 03-24-2011, 06:37 AM
 
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I was a nanny for years before I had DD. I never called in sick or was late. Not once. Nannies must be reliable. It sounds like she doesn't understand how important it is for her to show up on time. This is a good lesson for her. I'm sorry that things ended that way, but I actually would rather that than have a big sit down talk. Really, you didn't do anything wrong. I know it's just an awful feeling to have to fire someone, especially when they are nice and likable. But it sounds like you did the right thing. Try not to beat yourself up! You will find a good, reliable nanny. Is there anyone who can watch DD in the mean time? A SAHM friend or something? Hugs.

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#6 of 20 Old 03-24-2011, 07:16 AM
 
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Oh, I'm so sorry this is making you feel so bad, but it sounds like you did the right thing. Even if you feel like your tone or conversation was not what you hoped it would be (and really, you had a totally normal human reaction to a very frustrating situation so don't beat yourself up -- it's over & you can use it as a learning experience) you & your husband were very generous in the severance you offered, so she has nothing to complain about. You needed reliability, she wasn't offering it, she knew your expectation & you tried really hard to make it work. Good for you! It's hard right now, but really you've freed yourself from a lot of unwanted stress!


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#7 of 20 Old 03-24-2011, 07:44 AM
 
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You did the right thing! and you WILL find someone else. hug2.gif

 

As a previous poster mentioned I would take the time now, before you start the hiring process, to develop an thorough job description that details all your expectations. I would also develop a "house rules" outline so that your parenting expectations (ie no spanking. No CIO. TV or TV? Junk food? etc) are upheld .

 

Remember that this is a professional relationship and must be treated as such. This is what my latest looked like.  Keep in mind my child is school aged, the additional duties were very different when he was an infant.

 

WORK AGREEMENT / JOB DESCRIPTION

Employer:  

Employee: 

Position: Childcare provider

 

Job Description: Provide childcare in our home Monday - Friday 8:00 am to 6:00 PM.  On occasions, some flexibility needed for start and end times.

 

CHILD CARE IS THE TOP PRIORITY!

Additional Duties:

1.     Initiating creative outings weekly such as trips to the library, local museums or playgrounds.

2.     Driving T to and from school, playdates, activities

3.     All laundry for T including clothes, sheets, towels, etc.

4.     Meal preparation for T, occasionally getting dinner started for family

5.     Homework assistance

6.     Keeping T's room and play areas neat, clean and organized

7.     Maintaining a journal of daily activities, meals, outings, etc.

8.     Keeping us informed, in advance, of items needed.  i.e. paper towels, milk, snacks etc.

9.     Occasional: grocery shopping, light housekeeping-family laundry, dishes, etc

 

Paid Holidays: New Years Day, Presidents Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Thanksgiving and day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Day

Paid Vacation: 2 weeks at full pay.  Schedule to coincide with ours

Paid Personal/Sick Days: 5- At least one week notice needed for personal days.

Salary: negotiable. We will withhold state and federal taxes for you.

 

The length of this employment is one year, renewable at end of 12-month period

Renewal Date:

Next Review and Compensation Date: 

.

A letter of resignation must be given a minimum of 14 days in advance.

 

Employee:_____________________________________________________Date ________________________________

Employer:_____________________________________________________Date ________________________________

Employer:_____________________________________________________Date ________________________________

 

 


 

 


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#8 of 20 Old 03-24-2011, 11:33 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *MamaJen* View Post

You were being taken advantage of. Imagine if you had your child in a day care center and encountered that kind of unreliability and flakiness -- you'd pull them out in a heartbeat. But with a single person as a nanny, you let yourself get emotionally involved and let that cloud your judgment.

Really, this reminds me of threads in Parents as Partners or Single Parents. The poster is dating a person who is obviously taking advantage of them and treating them poorly. All the responders tell the OP that it's a bad, bad relationship and they need to leave. The resentment simmered for so long that it all boiled over and as you were "breaking up", you said something you regretted. Now you're distraught about how the breakup went and thinking about saying, "maybe we can still see each other."

You're not dating the nanny. You're providing payment for professional services rendered.



All of this! 

 

I remember your other thread and all that stuff you went through.  Let the door closed.  That severance package is more then generous. 

 


Mom to DS, born fall 05 after ,,, wife/best friend to DH We have
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#9 of 20 Old 03-24-2011, 11:49 AM
 
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Don't beat yourself up! You lost your temper. It happens. Frankly she deserved to *know* how much of an inconvenience her constant flaking was. Maybe in the future, she will think twice about it. The part I don't understand is the calling to apologize, meeting her for coffee, etc. I would let go of any relationship with her and move on.


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#10 of 20 Old 03-24-2011, 01:03 PM
 
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You did the right thing. It's fine to apologize for flying off the handle, but asking her to work for you again would be a poor decision. In a month or two, you'll be so happy with your new, reliable nanny who is only being paid for hours worked instead of nearly double (!!!), showing up when she says she'll show up, etc., and you'll wonder how you ever let yourself be treated so badly by an employee. This could be an uncomfortable transition, but it will all work out and it'll be a million times better soon. 

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#11 of 20 Old 03-24-2011, 01:23 PM
 
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She was unreliable and you lost your temper for which you apologized. But no, I wouldn't hire her back if there are outstanding issues. But yes, I would use her as an occasional babysitter which LO will probably enjoy. IMHO four week severance is ridiculously generous, I think 2 weeks is fine. You will find childcare that work for you.

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#12 of 20 Old 03-24-2011, 08:12 PM
 
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I think firing her was the right thing and I don't think you should have her back nor do I think you should trust her for anything beyond occasional babysitting for a date once you hire a new nanny.  Paying her severance pay and giving her a good reference is very generous.  I do think that you should look at being a better employer by sticking to your boundaries and expectations with your next nanny so you get an employer/employee relationship going from the start rather than a close friendship that you are unwilling to dump when it turns bad, but I don't think you should re-hire her just because you botched the firing up.

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#13 of 20 Old 03-24-2011, 08:27 PM
 
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Oh, mama. ((())) I agree with the previous posters---you did the right thing in letting her go. Yes, you lost your temper but you composed yourself and apologized for the way you spoke to her (several times, it seems!) and that is commendable. Obviously things had been festering and the stress of your morning and the situation got the best of you. Nothing to do now but go forward.

Sounds like there are a lot of what-ifs on the table, but that's sort of the nature of life. If you had not let the nanny go, you would have just as many what-ifs going on, with the added bonus of not knowing whether your employee would show up each morning.

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#14 of 20 Old 03-24-2011, 09:15 PM
 
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When I read your first thread I thought you and your husband sounded like amazing employers. I have a feeling you will be able to find an amazing employee who will make you wonder why you put up with this for so long. (And I definitely second the recommendation to be very clear in outlining your expectations with the new person.)

 

I also have a feeling that with a little space from your nanny you will trade in your guilt for self-righteousness, as you should. I think it can be hard for exceptionally considerate people, such as yourself, to recognize when exceptionally inconsiderate people, such as your nanny, are completely and unequivocally in the wrong. The only way to regain your perspective is to end the relationship. Quit beating yourself up and take a hot bath or something! You''ll probably feel guilt-free soon enough.

 

(But after I let our nanny go for financial, not performance reasons, in a totally planned and civil conversation, I was absolutely sick to my stomach - so I can only imagine how overwhelming this must be. I'm so sorry!!!!!! It will get better. You need to find someone who can support you, not burden you!)


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#15 of 20 Old 03-26-2011, 06:03 PM
 
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Stop beating yourself up.  You apologized for losing your temper.  You absolutely did the right thing by letting your nanny go.  It was past time to do that.  And you and your DH are overly generous by giving her 4 weeks severance.  I would move on.  You need to put your energy into finding a reliable employee.  I almost guarantee that when you find one, you will wonder why it took you so long to fire the first. 


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#16 of 20 Old 04-08-2011, 05:19 PM
 
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I agree that you did the right thing, and I also agree that you need to just end this relationship! I think it's hard sometimes to end relationships with people who care for our children because we think it somehow isn't exactly a "professional" relationship. But you, ultimately, it IS! You were paying her to do a service and she did not do it well. She may be a lovely person and your dd may have adored her. But if she wasn't doing the job that you were paying (very generously!) to do, THAT'S ALL THAT MATTERS!

 

So I would wholeheartedly suggest that you a) STOP feeling guilty and STOP apologizing and b) do NOT meet her for coffee and frankly, c) don't give her good references! Or at least, be honest! I honestly think that the RIGHT thing to do would be to say that she was great with your dd but utterly unreliable as a nanny. Doesn't a potential family deserve to know that?

 

Again, I'm not saying that she is evil or a terrible person or that you shouldn't feel sympathy for her or anything like that. I just think that what you both had was, in the end, a professional relationship, one that you quite rightly ended, and that you need to cut off contact to get off this roller coaster of guilt and self-doubt.

 

PS-Had a similar situation with dd's former day care provider--a woman who ran an in-home day care. She was going through some personal stuff and dd's care was really suffering because of it and I tried to end things nicely initially but they turned ugly. Finally, I let her have it and let her know all the things that she'd done that I thought were unprofessional and inappropriate. I never talked to her again. It was hard but actually it felt really good to get stuff off my chest that I'd been kind of bottling up!


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#17 of 20 Old 04-08-2011, 06:01 PM
 
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I was a nanny for five years (same family) after I graduated college and before I had kids of my own.  Few of my opinions that may help in the next nanny relationship (whether it is your old nanny or a new one)...

*Although it is a professional relationship, it is someone in your home - loving/teaching/disciplining/caring for your child.  It is hard to not get attached in a more personal way.

*Someone with kids and medical issues is not going to be able to help asking for time off on a fairly regular basis - as much as she may try to put these things in the non-work hours it may not be possible from the other end.  A nanny without kids may work better for your family.

*When you went from needing her full time to only needing her part time, did you talk with her about reducing her hours (and therefore pay) and whether she was still willing to work for you?  I wouldn't assume I'd continue to get paid full time if I was only working part.  It is then up to her to accept part time work and pay or to look for another job.  If you are willing to pay her full time for part time, you can't really hold that against her.

*I think the nanny-family relationship requires understanding on both sides - parents and nanny.  I worked for one family for five years.  I had gripes about them and I bet they had some about me.  But I LOVED their kids and would have taken a bullet for them in a heartbeat.  In order for us to continue through five years of all the little things that come up (on both sides), we all had to take a deep breath and either forget it or bring it up in a nice way.  There were times I was sick on a day she had an important meeting.  There were days she got stuck in traffic and got home late on days I had important plans after work.  We were annoyed at the time, but later chalked it up to the way the cookie crumbles.

*I knew a lot of families who used nannies and a lot of friends who nannied.  Almost no one had the long term employment that I had with that one family.  Many families went through nanny after nanny - changing every 6-18 months, over and over.  If your expectations are too high or your expectations are not clear then you likely won't be happy regardless.

 

I think your situation was made challenging by her medical issues and your pregnancy (I know I was very hormonal and things upset me more then).  Oh, and a childcare backup is crucial - as you just never know when she could get sick on a day you have something important that can't be moved. 

 

In an ideal world you'd get someone who was never late and loves your child.  But if I had to choose, I'd rather have someone who loves my kid and is occassionally late or asking for time off.  I think you lost your temper - which all of us do - and you apologized.  Maybe take a few days to calm down and sit with the situation and think about what you really want now.  I'm sorry you are stressed; I hope you stop beating yourself up about it.  It will all turn out ok in the end.

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#18 of 20 Old 04-09-2011, 10:41 AM
 
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In an ideal world you'd get someone who was never late and loves your child.  But if I had to choose, I'd rather have someone who loves my kid and is occassionally late or asking for time off.  I think you lost your temper - which all of us do - and you apologized.  Maybe take a few days to calm down and sit with the situation and think about what you really want now.  I'm sorry you are stressed; I hope you stop beating yourself up about it.  It will all turn out ok in the end.


While that sounds great, the reality is that some of have work that can't wait. If I have a client meeting set up, I can't show up consistently late because the nanny can't get to work on time. that's what the OP was dealing with on a regular basis (at least weekly and often for several days in a row). Clearly this woman just isn't at a place where consistent employment works for her. Backup childcare shouldn't need to be used frequently. Otherwise it becomes the regular childcare. The real truth is that people go to work on time and stay without calling in all of the time. My husband has missed maybe 2 days of work because of being sick in the last 5 years. It's not impossible to expect someone not to need to be late all of the time.

 


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#19 of 20 Old 06-28-2012, 02:44 PM
 
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Hi...I rarely ever post here, but find myself in a predicament. My hubby and I hired a nanny a little over a month ago to take care of our 22 month old son and 4 month old daughter. My son has been in daycare from 7 months to now, and we have found, over the last month, that being at home with a nanny is not good for him. He lacks the structure he received at his Montessori School and the nanny is so busy with the baby that she just lets our son sort of run wild with constant play time. We have talked to her and tried to implement more structure, but it isn't working. Also, she is pushy, doesn't listen to what we tell her (for example, repeatedly asking her to keep a log of the babies food intake, diapering, etc) and she does this maybe once a week. Also, she keeps putting our son down for naps at 10 am instead of the time we asked her to do it. Also, last week her car got towed from our house because she had $1000 of unpaid parking tickets. She called ME at work in a panic and me and my husband had to deal with it, help her, take her to get her car, and then she asked for our credit card!! Then the next day she still had not gotten her car so told me she would be in late or take our baby on a bus with her to get her car. Um, no. So I took the day off and told her to take the day off to get herself together. This was after another day she called in a panic because she hit a pipe outside with a hammer and it broke and the backyard flooded so I had to call a plumber. She needs direction constantly so I find myself having to be attentive and telling her what to do with my kids while I am at work. The day after all of this, she overslept and was late to work. Ordinarily, she is great; a sweet girl, very nice, but just totally scattered. She is wonderful with our children, but frankly just stresses us out more than she is helping us. We want to put our son back in daycare and they found a spot for our daughter there too. We want to give the nanny notice, but I feel SO bad. We just hired her. We had long term plans with her, and told her that as well. But it's just not working out. She told us yesterday she got an offer to be a nanny for another family who offered to pay her lots more to leave us. She told them no. I want to tell her to go ahead and take that job...What's the best way to do this? We care about this person, but it's just not gonna work for us.
 

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#20 of 20 Old 07-09-2012, 02:22 PM
 
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Let her go!  Sounds like you have the perfect out!

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