No word from Adriana,…

No word from Adriana, and now it seems Jarmila may not be able to make it in today as scheduled. More finals. Argh. I feel bad for her; I know she's having a rough time right now, trying to get school finished. And she's been having trouble sleeping, which sucks. But when everyone has a rough time at the same time, our lives just fall apart.

Kevin just got slammed with a huge deadline, so he's essentially out of commission on childcare/packing for the rest of the week. I'm sending e-mails to some folks off the mom mail sitter list because we really have to have help today so I can pack, but this is not a great week to be introducing new people into Kavi's life -- she's got enough change and chaos to deal with, given the move. Argh. Poor munchkin.

Our childcare situation may be changing fairly radically soon -- we're going to try a pre-school for Kavi on Wednesday, see what she thinks of it. We'll still have some help for Anand, but possibly much less, to save money. (Maybe just mornings?) We may start him in the pre-school/daycare too, but probably not until he's at least 1. (About 3 months from now.)

I've realized one thing this past year -- I really HATE it when people are late, especially people who work for me. Or when they cancel at the last minute. It's fine arranging time off in advance, and sure, occasional lateness happens. Car trouble, slept through alarm, whatever. But when it's more than 5% of the time (or in our case, lately, more than 95% of the time), it drives me crazy. This is going to be a major priority with the next childcare person we hire, and I'm going to try to make that clear up front, because I think a big part of the problem is me.

I've been too easy-going, and I don't yell at people. I suck at yelling. Or even speaking sternly. I do okay with Kavya on making boundaries clear, but I'm not nearly so good when managing adults. Also, since I work from home so much, I'm sure it's harder for people to understand that when I say 9, I really mean 9. They probably don't realize that every minute I'm sitting there waiting for them to show, I'm getting angrier and angrier.

I want our next childcare provider to be:

  • cheerful
  • energetic
  • prompt (!)
  • reliable (!!)
  • conscientious
  • actively engaged with kids while at work (i.e., not chatting on phone with friends, etc.)
  • willing to do other household work on occasion (a load of dishes, kids' laundry, help me pack, etc.)
Hmm...I feel like there should be more, but that covers most of it, I think. And I should note that our current providers have been excellent on all of the above except the promptness issue.

If you were hiring new childcare, what would you prioritize, and why?

2 thoughts on “No word from Adriana,…”

  1. You have my sympathies! It’s been years since I’ve been in this spot but all the sleep I’ve lost over childcare issues still haunts me.

    For me, childcare providers need to be ALL of these things. If people who work as childcare providers think this is too much to ask, then they should move on to another profession. Children are not pets, and childcare provision is not the same as after-school babysitting. Small children are human beings who need enrichment.

    Sometimes I found that the best thing about the childcare provision arrangement was the fact my kids were being introduced to new faces, places and ideas.

    (Of course the hard-core stay-home mommies that live in my community all decided a long time ago that if I chose to work, then I must not care that much about my kids. That has always been and continues to be the flip side to wanting diversity and exposure for one’s children, despite the fact that working mothers are a reality in 2010, wherever they work.)

    Childcare providers and the parents who hire them *should* think of their arrangement as a *partnership* for the good of the child, for it is nothing less than that.

    I always looked for caregivers who actually looked forward to and wanted to take part in the shaping of their charges’ lives. Most of the time I was lucky in that regard, but there were times when I wanted to scream at:

    a/the “caregiver” who failed the arrangement, thereby throwing my whole day into a tailspin, and

    b/the extreme brutality of nonsupportive stay-home moms who passed brutal judgment on me when I couldn’t hold up my personal commitments (like baking for school sales, stuff like that) because of the failed childcare provider issue that forced me to reschedule my whole life at the last minute.

    So yes, you definitely have my sympathies and I wish you well in finding the right partner for your child’s care!

  2. I’d say have them be there 15 minutes before you need to leave/work, etc. so that the two of you have time to talk about what the day holds for all of you. Does Anand have the sniffles or cutting a tooth? You have a teleconference call at 10, can s/he try to extra quiet then? What plans does s/he have for the day? Walk to the park? Excellent! Helps everyone act as a team.

    No problem with the occasional chore as long as s/he doesn’t become a housekeeper. i would say, make it clear from the start that s/he, with the children, are responsible for picking up after themselves.

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