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We are expecting in April (<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy">) and DH and I have been discussing options for keeping DS (who just turned 15 months) engaged and entertained while also meeting the needs of our newborn.<br><br>
Quick background on DS: He's extreeeeemely energetic and social. He loves other kids and adults. I have no idea how he got to be so talkative and outgoing - DH and I are both shy types. He's a bright little guy (he <i>could</i> be gifted - knows letters, numbers, few colors etc.) Right now he gets all my attention all day... and he loves it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><br><br>
I'm nervous and worried about keeping him happy (which, for him, means keeping him busy with new and exciting stuff all the time) when our newborn arrives. I want to have time to bond (um... and nap<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent">) with our newborn.<br><br>
DH has offered a couple possible solutions. One was to hire a nanny to be home with me and help. The problem -- not a lot of great nanny options where we live. We need someone who won't just put him in front a TV all day (of course, I'd be here so I could monitor that too). The other option is a local Montessori school. This school has an outstanding reputation and is willing to take children as young as 18 months (which DS will be early next year). We could do a morning-only program. It's a bit of a drive - but again, in our area, there aren't a ton of high quality options.<br><br>
I see so many advantages and disadvantages of both options. He'd <b>love</b> to be around other kids, and I suspect the Montessori school would do a great job of keeping him stimulated and happy. BUT I don't want to "push" him by having him start a school-like program so very young AND I know such a setting would be a germ factory. Does such an early start to Montessori seem hothousey?? (My goal isn't to get him to learn learn learn - although he seems to do that anyway - but it's to keep him happy and engaged with fun stuff.) Also, 18 months seems WAY too young to be separated from mama, even if it is only for three hours. He is just the center of my universe and I'll admit the thought of not having him by my side hurts my heart a bit. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"><br><br>
The nanny could be a good option, but they are so freakin' expensive. And, plus, we'd have to deal with all the complications of hiring an employee (taxes and other payroll complications). I know an accountant could help with such details... but the service we are looking at estimates the nanny will cost $650-$750 per week. That's just crazy. The school is a much cheaper option - plus he'd get to be around other kids. BUT the school would only give me three hours a day of alone time with the newborn... yet, I think that may be just enough to catch my breath and enjoy some quiet bonding time.<br><br>
I know I am all over the place - sorry if this post is hard to follow!<br><br>
I feel like so many emotions and extraneous concerns are clouding my judgment. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> I need to focus on what is best for DS - not what is best for <b>my</b> selfish wants and needs. So I want to hear your opinion. What do you imagine you would do in my shoes? It's ok to be totally frank - if you think both our possible "solutions" for keeping DS busy and happy are way off base, please say that too! I'm totally open to the idea that we aren't thinking straight about this.<br><br>
Thanks for your opinions. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br><br><br><span style="font-size:xx-small;"><br>
Mod--- If you don't think this is the best forum for this discussion, please feel free to move it anywhere else. I almost posted in the toddlers forum, but came here because I thought the mamas here could relate to such a high-needs toddler and also may have Montessori school experience. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"></span>
 

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Congratulations! My first was high needs and I was nervous when my second came 20 months later. I work part time so I already had a regular sitter. I would take my dd there for a few hours a day on each day that I normally worked. I would get some bonding time with my new baby and she got outside stimulation. Later on when my littlest was 9 months old I enrolled her in a mommy and me preschool and took ds to the sitter that morning each week.<br>
Instead of a "nanny" how about considering hiring a "sitter." Maybe another mother with children who would watch your oldest for a few hours each week giving you some bonding/down time. The stimulation of other children (especially if they were a bit older!) would likely be enough to keep your little one engaged. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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{{{Hugs}}}<br><br>
The prospect of adding a second child to your DS's days can be overwhelming, can't it?<br><br>
I was in this situation with my first. I'd suggest postponing Montessori for now. A fixed schedule and a daily drive is not something you need with a newborn en tow.<br><br>
If it will help you, have someone come in to help you a few times a week. But don't have her come in to help with your toddler. Let her concentrate either on taking care of cleaning, cooking, laundry, etc. or caring for your newborn when you're not nursing. Or both. Use that time for you to focus on one-on-one quality time with your first born.<br><br>
When you don't have help at home, make the most of books and creative play/expression. These are both easy to do with your older child while nursing a baby.<br><br>
I'd also suggest joinging a group like MOMS Club, MOPS or an API playgroup. Find a way for your little guy to get his social needs met, without him being separated from you or his sibiling. Add in some regular outings (library story time, regular trips to a zoo or Children's Museum) and your little guy will be A-OK.<br><br>
You will not "dim" your child's brightness or slow his development with the addition of a sibiling. If anything, his little sib will get a boost spending her/his first year observing an active, imaginative older brother.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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Montessori primary programs focus on practical life skills and sensory skills for the little ones. They learn to pour water and stack things and carry things and clean things. It's a sort of focused play without much academic work.<br><br>
It's really not very hot-house-y.<br><br>
Both my kids are in Montessori right now.
 

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I had a routine that my DD went for one day a week to her grandma's house - we started it a couple of months before DS was born. DH would take her when he went to work and they'd come home after MIL had fed them supper. It was GREAT. Gave me time to sleep, gave DD bonding time with her grandma. Is there anyone you know that you could do something like that with (well, if it's not family you probably won't get the supper, but otherwise)? A friend with a kid or two you could hire for that one day?<br><br>
Another idea - a neighborhood kid. A "tween" who loves kids would be GREAT to play with your DS for a couple of hours afterschool a couple of times a week, and would likely be very cheap. A kid is good at listening to you and doing what you want - they don't have the opinions that an adult does. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I think Montessori could be fun for him, but it would be a lot of work for you. And even if the program is 3 hours, you have to get there on time with a newborn, and be there early/on time for pickup, and if it isn't right by your house, will you really get any time in between?<br><br>
I personally think a nanny sounds terribly expensive, but I suppose if you have the money and want to do it, it should be pretty easy to say "no TV" for that much pay. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Another possible resource for a "mother's helper" would be local community college early childhood education programs. You might find a nice college student who is really interested in child development who wouldn't be too expensive. Have them come and take care of whichever child you want on a given day, or help you just do stuff around the house too.<br><br>
Just some ideas to make your decision more difficult. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Tjej
 

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I thought about putting dd in a Montessori when she was around 18 months as well. I just needed a few mornings a week to write. Dd was very curious about other children, highly verbal, and loved fine motor activities. I thought a neighborhood school would fit the bill. DD visited the school several times and really wanted to attend. We tried it out for a few days, but dd was not happy.<br><br>
Getting ready in the morning was really difficult. At that age dd was used to all of my attention in the morning and a quiet routine while we got our days started. With dd attending Montessori, dh and I were scrambling in the mornings trying to get everything ready. For example, making sure dd ate enough of her breakfast before leaving, making sure she had her teeth brushed, making sure dd had her clothes on, and making sure dd had a good snack for snacktime. It really added stress to our mornings.<br><br>
Dd wasn't used to anyone other than dh as caregivers. Transitioning to a classroom with lots of kids and 3 caregivers was tough on her. The caregivers were warm and friendly in a montessori sort of way, but it wasn't the demonstrative affection or close attention dd was used to.<br><br>
And, at 18 months she hit another separation anxiety phase.<br><br>
Luckily, I knew of a mom with another toddler from a mom's group. We had her come over in the mornings a few days a week. It really worked out well. Dd could stay in pajamas or not eat breakfast until late if she felt like it. It was just the right amount of separation for her (she was in the safety of her own home, but without mama in the same room). The two toddlers enjoyed playing together most of the time, and they had plenty of space to be by themselves. The mom took the girls to the neighborhood park, library and other things as they choose. Dd was also able to come in for a quick nurse if she really needed. I guess what I am trying to say is at that age it really helped having a fluid routine. Hiring a mom & her child was less than hiring a professional nanny. The other mom was happy to make some extra money and still be with her daughter. And, my dd was happy to have the extra company.<br><br>
Another possibility is a nanny share. We toyed with this idea too, but the family we wanted to "share" with was too far away to make it practical. A nanny-share is where you and another family combine kids into 1 house and split the nanny salary. You could advertise on craigslist for this sort of arrangement. If the nanny is watching your child at the other family;s house, you can hire her as an independent contractor. That way you aren't responsible for a payroll and taking out taxes - she is responsible (but you still have to file a W2).<br><br>
Dd is 3 now and attending Montessori. She loves it.
 

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I wanted to add, you might want to post something on the Tribes forum. You might find a like-minded mother to watch your lo, or they might be able to help you find someone who is a good fit.
 

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Thank you! These posts are so helpful and supportive, they make me want to cry. (OK, maybe that is just the pregnancy hormones - but all the input here is truly appreciated!!!)<br><br>
DH and I have so much to think about. You all bring up really good points about the school being a lot more work than it may be worth at this stage. How much extra alone time would this afford me and the newborn? Probably not much...<br><br>
I wish I new more mothers in the area, but I don't. Our neighborhood has very few children - and none nearby. Seeking out other moms is a good idea, even if I don't arrange childcare support through them. Mothering.com is really my main source of mama fellowship! I should probably start actively reaching out for some real-life relationships with other moms.<br><br>
I keep going back and forth on things... maybe we could do a part-time nanny. It wouldn't cost as much, and DS could stay here. The fact is... just because there is a newborn coming doesn't mean his needs for being near mama are any less. (In fact, they may increase!) I'm really struggling with the concept of sending him out of the house, even for a short time.<br><br>
OK... gotta run. DS is completely bored with this. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> Keep the suggestions and opinions coming. Every idea and perspective really helps us in sorting through our own thinking on this!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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DS is the same age as yours, so I thought I'd throw in my 2 cents.<br><br>
I was home with him for his first 12 months, then returned to work. I put him in a local Montessori infant program. We LOVE it.... DS is just exploding with all of the new things he is learning and doing. And he loves loves loves being with the other children.<br><br>
It took about 3 weeks for him to become fully comfortable with the routine, but now when DH drops him off he waves goodbye and goes off to his little classroom with a big smile. He could not be happier, and the Montessori emphasis on independence is a nice counterbalance to my natural tendency to think I need to do everything for him all the time. (After all he is my baby, KWIM? It was only yesterday that I was pregnant and miserable! And so on....) DS just transitioned to the young toddler program, so it's even another step up.<br><br>
The Montessori approach at this age is very gentle, at least at my school. No flash cards, no alphabet, etc. Just experiencing the world and figuring it out. They go outside every day, rain or shine, they did something with green glitter glue <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug">, they eat meals and snacks together at a little table, then clear their dishes. DS picked up a napkin at the dinner table the other day, dabbed at the corner of his mouth, then set his napkin down again. It was freakin' ADORABLE. They're a little family of sorts.<br><br>
I agree with the PPs that the distance and routine may not give you as much time as you think. Also, no matter how clean they are, these places are all GERM FACTORIES!!! DS has been going to school for 3 months, and he and I have been sick for 2 1/2 months. It's CRAZY. By far the worst part of the whole experience.<br><br>
But from how you described DS, I think he would LOVE a Montessori classroom once he got over any separation issues from you.<br><br>
Sorry... totally rambling.... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">
 

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Wow, your whole first paragraph is me, totally!<br><br>
My ds1 was 17 months when ds2 came along. ds1 was exactly as you described yours, energetic, enthusiastic, constantly on the go. When ds2 arrived things changed. Ds2 had colic BAD. Screaming 9 hours per day. I highly doubt you will be in that situation, but I tell you this because I did not have a nanny or any other type of help and we turned out ok <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I made sure to plan ahead to have many new and interesting toys/activities that ds1 had never seen before baby was born. This helped. Also, we don't do a ton of TV, but with a baby screaming 9 hours per day, we had some tv going on! But what I did was get some dvds like baby einstein or classical baby (don't flame please!) But I knew that these dvds that were just pictures set to music would give me the chance to interact with ds1 while he watched and I nursed my newborn. DS1 would sit on my bed, I and baby in the chair and we would watch together and I would name things and talk about the colors or whatever...but it was interactive and we all enjoyed it! It kept ds1 still at a time when I needed a peaceful nursing session. You may object, I understand. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> Another thing, if your child is bright and motivated, he might relish in a new role as "helper" to you. You might be surprised at how well he will take on the role as big brother and you can keep him busy just being with you and babe fetching a diaper or throwing away some trash. My ds1 really liked being a "big boy" in this way.<br><br>
That said, we had a rough time of it for a few months, and if I had it to do all over again, I would have sold my posessions to get a mothers helper or a housekeeper. Honestly, with the screamer, I would have had the mothers helper just hold and rock my newborn so that I could have some quiet time with ds1. The housekeeper would have saved some tension between me and hubby. Though my dh understood what I was up against, he didn't really want to do all the housework himself!<br><br>
I would not recommend school for the reasons mentioned above. And the nanny I would have appreciated so I could have more evenly distributed my time between the kiddos. But the housekeeper, I'm thinking that is the way to go! Plus with a housekeeper, they're only there once a week...or however often, but not all day every day.<br><br>
Best of luck. You can do this! And btw, my ds1 turned out just fine even under all the stress and tv watching, he is still brilliant and sweet!
 

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I second all PPs who think that with the newborn, the school will be more stress than it's worth, and I think that the separation anxiety phase at 18 mths might be pretty common (ours was 19 mths, and sick when it hit, but I think I've read it isn't a good phase to introduce institutional care). I'd definitely put down your son's name for when he's two, though! By September, or maybe January if they do continuous enrolment, you might all be ready for it, including the newborn (driving with my little one was so hard at first, because he'd wake up and scream at every stop. Really makes you want to run red lights, which isn't healthy...)<br>
I don't know where you live, but as you're expecting in April, it should be easier than at any other time to fit a mother's helper into your lives right after the birth, rather than an expensive nanny. A teenager, a retired "granny" or a mom with a mobile kid might just pack up your newborn into a stroller or sling and go for a walk between nursing. That would give you time for activities with just the older kid, and you could make a noise, too! If there is a park nearby, that person could take your older kid along for the walk, too, and you could have a nap. If you have a backyard, they could remain nearby. I imagine that to be less stressful for a toddler, who has already a big change in his life to cope with - sharing his mommy. I would make sure that it is a daily plan though, or at least twice weekly or so, not something you'll have to keep setting up but something you can regularly look forward to to give you breathing space.<br>
A cleaner who comes in just for two hours, or maybe three so they can get a load of laundry done, too, is also a sanity saver. (So is a husband who can take time off work, but that's beween the two of you...)<br>
Good luck and enjoy, whatever you decide on!
 

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I agree with many of the PP's that it sounds like the Montessori program won't actually give you that much time, with the long drive and everything, but I did want to speak up for the value and possibility of a group-care situation for your older child.<br><br>
Both DH and I WOHM FT, so DS has been in a group daycare situation since he was several months old. My hours are flexible, so he was in about 6 hours a day, 4x/week as an infant.<br><br>
In spite of the separation anxiety issues (which are common at that age), about 18 mos. was when DS really started to get excited about going to daycare. He started to identify particular children as his friends, to do more interesting activities, to talk about his day. Prior to that age, I wished I could be home with him. But about that time, I was glad for his exposure to the group and social activities, and he started to really love it.<br>
It helped that he was able to be with older children at that point. (Prior to that age, they group them by physical ability, where DS had always been behind--once he could walk at 17 mos, he jumped right up to the next room because of his verbal skills.)<br><br>
So, you might think about something like a Mother's Day Out or part-time child-care situation, if there is something like that in your area. Those programs are usually less academic, and more about group play.<br><br>
I also second the teenage helper suggestion. DH works an academic calendar, so in the summer of DS's first year (he was 6-9 mos), we hired a teen babysitter 3x/week for 4-5 hours, and DH handled the rest of the care. It was great!
 

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Lots of great advice here already!<br><br>
My ds1 was VERY high needs and hated sharing me with an infant and is in general bad at transitions. He was much more difficult than my newborn.<br>
Another good thing to do when you don't have help is to have some bins of stuff set up for nursing time. I put a quilt over the whole couch and made that my nursing area. I put all the play-by-yourself toys on a shelf nearby, as well as two bins he couldn't open -- one of puzzles and one of drawing stuff. Then I had a crate of books next to the couch. Then I had a few non-messy snacks within his reach on the table. So when ds1 was needing mom time, he could bring over the puzzles for us to do together, or pick out a couple of books or bring over the colouring stuff or get a snack and sit on the couch with us and I could nurse with one hand and do puzzles or read with the other. This really helped me to be able to have mommy time with both boys at once. And of course, carrying the sleeping baby around while I went places with ds1 was a lifesaver, too.<br><br>
I also hired a teenager one day a week from after school until supper just so I could get a break. Initially she just played with my older one, and then she started caring for both when the baby was a bit older.<br><br>
And, as much as your pregnancy hormones are kicking you into a panic, remember that April is still a long ways away. Lots of time to find a mom's group, or a few activities you could take your ds1 to while your baby is in the sling sleeping or nursing. Lots of time to figure out what to do. Just breathe and research and consider and remind yourself that April is still 5 months away.<br><br>
And I have found that my boys love, love each other. Yes, there were days that were terrible, when I was trying to nurse one while the other was sitting on the potty, things like that, but ever since ds2 was a few weeks old he would always focus on his brother, and was endlessly amused by just watching what he was doing, and now they play together for hours a day when they are together (of course, some days they fight for hours a day, too . . . ). Ds1 still has days when he resents not being the center of attention all the time, but that is just life, and he has to learn that lesson sometime. So remember that your older one will adapt, and your younger one will enjoy having other kids around and you will survive, too.
 

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I thought I would comment on the Montessori option. He's 15 months now and would be closer to 21 months in April when the baby is due, if I understand correctly? So it sounds like you are thinking of starting him in the winter, maybe early in the New Year. If you choose to send him, that's sounds like a good plan. You will have a little time to help him adjust to a new routine before the baby arrives.<br><br>
My ds started Montessori in January when he was about 2 and half - so a little older than yours. His baby sister arrived in late April. Montessori was a really great setting for him. He soaked up all the new experiences, enjoyed being with other children and was very proud of his newly found independence with many tasks - putting on his coat himself, helping prepare snack and juice, serving it to the other children and cleaning up after. He spent many days polishing brass (working on fine motor skills) and building blocks (the pink tower - working on co-ordination, number awareness, spatial relations). It wasn't flash cards and alphabet drills - although admittedly, ds also spent a lot of time with the moveable alphabet and sandpaper letters by choice.<br><br>
I don't know if it's because he had his own new little world, or had more adults involved in his life to give him attention, or he saw himself as moving on from babyhood, but we didn't have any difficulties with sibling rivalry, regression to babyish behaviour or similar problems after his sister arrived.<br><br>
My situation differed from yours. At the time, I was in university full-time and would have had child care in any circumstance before I had the baby. She arrived just after my finals. It worked out well that ds was happy in a caring environment for a few hours every day, while I was with the new baby. Your ds is younger than mine was. He may or may not be happy to start a Montessori program. The driving and the daily schedule are also considerations. There are probably other factors to weigh - best wishes with the decision.<br><br>
Congratulations on the new little one too!<br><br>
Ed. to add - if you haven't visited the Montessori forum yet under Learning at School, there was a similar recent thread there.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>jilly</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14685038"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I also hired a teenager one day a week from after school until supper just so I could get a break. Initially she just played with my older one, and then she started caring for both when the baby was a bit older.<br></div>
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This is what I was going to suggest. Teenagers usually have so much energy, they can be so creative and they usually love children, and children love them.
 

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At just 2 years when the baby is born he doesn't need much academic rigor , so I wouldn't worry about school. The most important thing is fun at that age and that you might find at the local Montessori as well as maybe a home based day care with pre-school elements. Also take his personality into account, some children do better in small groups. Personally I would prefer this over someone being in my home all the time, but as I said, just a personal preference.
 

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Our first and second child (both now pretty clearly gifted) are also about 20 months apart. To me, the Montessori toddler class sounds like a very good option, and I wish I'd tried harder to arrange something like that at the time. Even if a tight schedule dictated that my "free time" was just an hour spent reading in a nearby coffee shop, while baby napped in the sling or stroller, I still think it would have been worthwhile for all of us.<br><br>
The mother's helper sounds fine in principle, but in hindsight, I'm somewhat like the PP in that I'm not really comfortable with strangers helping out in my house, especially in the postpartum stage when we don't really have a clear routine. We also don't tend to get very far with moms' groups and so forth, as we still have to get up/get dressed/pack a snack/get out the door, AND I have to make conversation and be involved in the activities once we got there. In reality, we've mostly just stayed home, with the result that we all end up getting a bit stir crazy.<br><br>
I'm also starting to think that with asynchronous children, it might be better to get into a regular habit of "group socialization" very early on, while their self-consciousness is less acutely developed, and their interests and abilities aren't too noticeably different from the norm. As they get a bit older (and with mine, this was already evident by 3), they can start to get stuck in social habits such as shyness or goofiness.<br><br>
BTW, with regard to having to drive places -- back when I just had a newborn and toddler, on the really bad days (no help, DH out of town, baby up all night, etc.), I would deliberately choose to do our errands in a distant town, way out on the opposite end of our metro area. And I took surface streets, so the trip would be as slow and leisurely as possible. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> Put some relaxing music on the CD player, enjoy the change of scenery, and it's all good. Not that I'm recommending this as a usual thing -- but when you have a baby and a toddler, the time when they're securely strapped into car seats is about as easy as it gets.
 

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P.S. in my experience of mother's helpers & teenage babysitters, they've been lots of fun, but not always so great at the discipline end of things. By 20 months, my children were very fond of testing the limits, and they were quick to take advantage of grown-ups that they saw as pushovers. Since the other caregivers let them get away with a lot of stuff, I ended up spending much of my precious time with them dealing with behavior issues (whining, refusing to go to bed, etc.). By contrast, when it was just me and them, this wasn't nearly so much of a problem, and we could actually have a lot of fun together -- rather than getting into a situation of "mean mom" vs. "fun babysitter." <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
I'm not sure what the solution to this is, other than for us mothers to clone ourselves. Just that the discipline perspective is something to look out for. I think, in general, a well-run Montessori will be better in this regard -- although there are always exceptions.
 

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This may sound crazy, but what is the school's policy toward potty training and diapers? I am not sure how to predict toilet "readiness," especially in a gifted child. In our area the diaper thing is a preschool regulation issue that also applies to the montessori and private schools with preschool programs.<br><br>
Would a "home health aide" provide you with more flexibility? I used one after hip surgery because I wasn't allowed to walk for about 8 weeks. She came 3-4 hours a day. It was wierd having someone else in the house, but I found it really flexible. Some days she would help with cleaning, some days childcare, and she kept me sane and fed. She played endless hours of board games with my daughter. We paid directly to the healthcare agency so we didn't have to worry about taxes, background check, or liabilty.<br><br>
I bet your son gains a lot by becoming a big brother!
 

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Moving this over to Toddlers for you, as I think it's a pretty wide-spread question and you'll get even more advice there! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 
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