Well, I Tried

So I completely fucked up my childcare situation — okay, not completely, but allow me my dramatic language for a minute — and I’m kinda cranky about it.

I don’t think the two halves of that sentence go together.

I have complained before about my situation in the evening, e.g. the endless driving. I thought I had found a cost-effective, win-win situation (no, not a new job), and was all set to implement it this week.

And it all went to shit.

I should probably back up a little bit.

++

I don’t know when I got the idea to ask Tiffany (not her real name) to babysit full-time for us in our home. Tiffany is one of our regular babysitters. She has known the girls since they started at the Day School (I think Kate was 3). Tiffany left the DS, but she offered her babysitting services to those parents, and a few of us have taken her up on that.

Tiffany is a sweet girl, likes my kids, and is responsible: doesn’t let them veg out on TV, cleans up after meals and playtime, gets the kids to bed on time. My kids like her, too.

We have *never* had a problem with her.

Recently, Tiffany lost her full-time job. And she’s pregnant. The two may be related, but I don’t know the particulars, and that is for Tiffany to work out with her former employer.

So, she became readily available. She was always willing to babysit, just about any day or time. We asked her to watch the children the week between Christmas and New Year’s — the kids could sleep in, I could leave early in the morning having only myself to get ready. During that week, Dan, Tiffany, and I talked about her watching the kids at our home until she delivered her baby in May. Maybe doing a little driving to pick them up. We worked out a plan that had her working for us part time — Flora in school full time, Michael and Kate at the DS three days a week, Tiffany picking up from the DS and watching Kate and Michael at home all day twice a week. If Flora had half days or days off because of holidays, Tiffany was available.

I was very enthusiastic about this idea. I saw a future where I could leave work, maybe make ONE stop instead of two or three, walk in the door by 5:15 at the latest. Occasionally, I could have her switch on the slow cooker or rice maker so meals would come together more quickly. She would empty the dishwasher so I wouldn’t have to do the nightly dance of empty dishwasher, fill dishwasher, clean kitchen, run dishwasher before bed.

It was going to be great.

Tiffany flaked out on us. She doesn’t want to drive in the snow. Her PCP said she needed to get more rest, and shouldn’t be babysitting so much — which REALLY? How does she think I did it, pregnant with Michael, with two kids AND A FULL-TIME FUCKING JOB? Since time immemorial, Tiffany, mothers (to-be) have been sleep deprived, physically overextended wrecks. So good luck with that.

Where was I?

Oh, yeah. Flaked out 21-year-old. About two days into our new arrangement.

Fuck.

In the meantime — and I will make this as short and non-ranty as I can — DCL simmered with resentment because she wasn’t watching our children any longer, hence is not making as much money as she was, and so won’t watch our children any more. Bridge, burned. (I was unaware of the simmering resentment/rage until I received a pissed off email. After my husband read it, he said, “Yeah, that’s how a nice Christian woman says, ‘Fuck you.'”)

Fuckity fuck.

This is where I start thinking I would’ve avoided all this angst (and eff-bomb dropping) if I were a SAHM.

Boat, sailed.

Sigh.

I worry about Tiffany, and I was hoping that babysitting for us would give her a little money in her pocket, a little stability. Dan and I do really like her, and she’s going to be struggling more once her child is born. This post is more about my frustration than any anger at anyone. As far as DCL, she is entitled to her anger at us; we did not give her enough notice about pulling the children out of her care. I wish she had *talked* to me instead of emailing me. That made me a little sore.

Changes need to happen in my life, and changing up my childcare arrangements to accommodate me better was supposed to be a little boost in the direction I want my life — and my time — to go. It’s fallen through, and my disappointment is keen.

At least we’ve eliminated one pickup (sorry, DCL). Kate and Michael are together, so drop-offs and pick-ups are shorter; I’m driving a little less.

Lining, silver.

What do you do when your best laid plans go to hell?

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8 thoughts on “Well, I Tried

  1. Do you think, with a little time and searching, that you can find another someone to take over what Tiffany agreed to do? I’m hoping that your new arrangement is just a stepping stone to a better situation.

    • with a little time and searching, yes, I could. I just would rather not right now. I’m tired. :/

      Michael and Kate are in great (if more expensive) hands for now. I’m hoping for more change on a bigger scale by summer time. And that’s all I should say about that.

      Thanks!

  2. I usually have a glass of wine.

    But I agree with Cari. Finding another Tiffany to do the same job sounds ideal. It’s her loss, really. She could use the money, and she clearly has no idea how much the baby is going to cost, and how much harder she just made things for herself.

    • I apparently have to swear a lot first. Then wine.

      Tiffany is definitely in the clueless camp. I’ve been (gently) trying to steer her toward educating herself (offering books or mentioning what I did when I was pg or stuff my midwives told me), but you know. She’s 21. I was dumb then too. 😉

  3. One thing I would suggest is, don’t rely on one person. Perhaps there’s one person who can do the short shifts – picking the kids up from school and taking them home. Then you could have a T/Th person to stay home with them all day. Hell, if you didn’t live so dang far away, I’d say drop them off here if you were in a jam and had a call off.

    Have you tried care.com? I’ve heard good things about it. Plus the people are background checked. Just a thought.

    • I have two go-to sitters (Tiffany and another), and they have been AWESOME. Well, until now. I usually have my ILs in a pinch.

      I have used sittercity.com (that’s where I got the sitter who is not-Tiffany), and I am considering going back for another reliable sitter. I liked the service a lot. For now, I’ll probably leave my daycare situation as is. I’m a little tired.
      And thanks! You’ll love my kids…when you meet them. I’m sure the feeling is mutual.

  4. That SUCKS! I feel very grateful that my daycare situation has been relatively stable….my sitter is walking distance from my house and Aidan’s school and after school program are literally a mile from work. I do feel like with all the drama you have had with DCL that you are better off moving on anyway. Besides, the extra expense you are paying may balance out with more time and fewer miles on your car. I have said over and over (as have you) with so many moms working full time these days you’d think daycare arrangements wouldn’t have to be so tough. It really does not seem to get any better. WTF!

    • Seriously. Sometimes people act like asking childcare to be less expensive or easier to obtain is being entitled.

      No, I just would like to work for my family’s well-being (and my sanity). If I could bring the kids along I would! 🙂

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