25 February 2010

Not Having a Mom Group Disconnect

One of cons of having a nanny is that you sort of end up lacking a mom group. This is especially noticeable when you’re home with your kid for a prolonged period, like 3 weeks for example.

I went back to work 2 months after K was born, part time at first, and with flexible hours, but never flexible enough to accommodate the usual mid-week, mid-morning mom group activities. I have a few friends with kids, but my closest friends are either TTC or they’re just not there yet. As a result, I have to admit, I’m missing something.

This was very apparent yesterday, when I lost my “Moms - we’re all in this together” perspective. While running errands with K, I encountered a mom with a 4 or 5 year old, who parked her huge SUV too close to my car for me to get K out of his car seat. When I asked her to move her car over to any of the 3 empty spots next to us, she replied, "I'll just be a minute".  I wanted to slap her. Or run her over, since K was still safe in this car seat.

Instead, as we tend to do these days, I turned to the Internet to share my rage. This is what I posted:

24 February 2010

Hump Day Distraction - Etsy.com

Consider this fair warning, this site is extremely addictive. I started with unique Christmas presents, moved quickly on to personalized baby gifts and most recently commissioned custom coat hooks.
What is this site of wonders you ask?

Etsy.com – Your place to buy and sell all things handmade™.

The site is a collective of crafters selling everything and anything you can imagine.  Its really easy to search for items, plus they have fun features where you can see what was recently purchased (Pounce) or shop by colour (?!) You have to sign up to purchase, but not to browse, and can use Paypal. The coolest part – Alchemy - where you can solicit a custom item.

A few of my favorite, go-to etsy shops for special gifts:

babypop designs - custom super hero capes
primpedpaperie - anti-disney illustrations, can read more about her work on her website.
missprettypretty - custom playhouses
and the shop that delivered on my custom coat hooks katiepoterala

Don't blame me if you waste all your time on Etsy today, like I said, fair warning.

23 February 2010

Poll - Paying Fines

I’m annoyed. And I’m annoyed that I’m annoyed. And I’m annoyed because if my mom reads this post, she’ll probably pee herself laughing at further proof that the whole “I hope your kids do this when you grow up, and then you’ll learn…” thing has panned out for her.

Took K to the library today, an activity usually reserved for him and Dear A, and discovered a large amount in unpaid fines. The amount was significant enough that I couldn’t borrow anything else without paying it off. Seems that K and Dear A have returned a bunch of books late and even misplaced a few.

I’m debating how to deal with this. Do I just pay the fines and get over it? After all, K is my responsibility, and I should have noticed extra books around the house. Or, do I ask Dear A to pay, since I explained Due Dates and Late Fees when we got the card? I’m leaning towards the former, partly because Dear A’s away for 3 weeks and by the time she returns it will be old news etc.

Give me your opinion? I’ve set up a poll in the sidebar today. Vote, and if you have more to say, add it in the comments below.

22 February 2010

Careful what you wish for....

Posting will be light for the next bit. K’s still very sick, seems to have passed it on to me and Dear A departed for her holidays yesterday. I’ve got my hands full.

Am wondering how Dear A's vacation will go for us. K’s not quite old enough to get the concept, but has, as of late, had grandparents leave on a 5-month vacation, and now Dear A. When she said goodbye yesterday, poor K was in bed with a 40-degree fever. I’m not even sure it registered with him.

I’m wondering if the poor kid is a bit “Forrest Gump”ed right now, and thinks vacation is “when you leave and never come back.” Getting him ready for our next vacation will definitely be telling.

20 February 2010

The Day I Hate Having A Nanny

Yesterday was the kind of day I hate having a nanny.

K was sick. He’d had a wet, in his chest, cough for 2 days. He has also inherited my cough-to-gag-to-puke-guts-out reflex. This makes for a pretty sad little man who needs a lot of cuddles. Thing is, he wasn’t cuddling with me. He was with Dear A while I managed back-to-back meetings, co-workers from out of town and wrote a project plan.

Dear A does a great job of taking care of K, but its not the way I would take care of him. Even though he’s sick, they’ve been pretty much doing the usual day-to-day stuff: library, park, play dates - none of which allows for the extra napping I think he needs. But what I think is based on what? Mommy-gut-instinct?

18 February 2010

Friday FAQ - Is it Overtime or Over the Table?

Full disclosure - I hate math. Calculations scare me. Submitting calculations to others, whether for budgets, taxes, even splitting tip, makes my stomach churn. Despite this, and my best efforts to avoid everything number-related, I am in charge of all things nanny, including payroll. So, with tax time looming, and T4s due in a week, I'm a ball of anxiety. Submitting tax paperwork always feels like writing an exam - except instead of getting a mark, you just have to wait forever with the uncertainty of an audit looming. Its not that I pay my taxes in the 'grey scale' of permissible deductions or anything. I'm just always worried that I missed something, or made mistakes in the math. If you share my pain, this week's question is one for you:
Q: If my nanny is babysitting for me, outside of her regular work hours, does that count as overtime on her paycheque or should I pay it out as a bonus/other income like tips for servers?

Where Have All the Nannies Gone...

A recent trip to the mega-Asian mall near us surprised me.  Because it was just before Chinese New Year, I was expecting it to be busy. But busy with nannies? Not at all what I expected. Turns out, on weekends, this mall is Nanny Central.

I haven’t been in a while, but I got the sense this wasn’t a recent phenomenon. I asked Dear A about it after, and learned that it isn’t just the mall’s selection of Asian products that draws the crowd. There's a money-transfer business where nannies (and other foreign workers) can send money home, at, she said, rates more favourable than that offered at the larger institutions. There are even multiple food court locations where you can get a taste of Filipino cuisine, if you haven’t tried it yet.

All in all, a great surprise for me. I felt like I'd stumbled across a glimpse into a part of Dear A's life I didn't always understand. I suggest looking for something similar in your neck of the woods. It’s a great way to learn a little more about the person who spends 40 hours a week caring for your kid.

17 February 2010

Hump Day Distraction - Chalkboard Cheat

My love of stick-on, peel-off, re-positionable, chalkboards started with a set of green crocodiles K got as a Christmas gift. He was just over 1 year old, mostly interested in rolling the tube that housed them around on the floor, but I was instantly impressed. I'd been meaning to look into chalkboard paint for his room, but with my lack of home reno skills, this would likely have happened sometime around his 12th birthday.

These stick-on chalkboards address both my lack of skills and K's lack of interest marvelously. We started with crocodiles in the bedroom, but now have crocodiles and a full board in the downstairs playroom. You can buy the really nice, thicker chalkboard, in all kinds of shapes from Wall Candy Arts, but I had just as much success with a cheap sheet I found at a discount store similar to the ones sold here. Either way, I recommend them, especially if you're like me: 1) lacking painting skills, 2) lazy, or 3) completely undecided about where you want Junior to express their artistic talent.

16 February 2010

The Potty-Mouth Problem

During one of our recent 'end of day' hand-off conversations, Dear A, quietly mentioned that K had used some "bad words" while they were out. I was mortified. Horrified.

Not about K's potty-mouth - I’m well aware that we, Captain F-Bomb and Mrs Sh*tSh*tSh*t, have spawned a 2 year old with a pretty colourful vocabulary and the wherewithal to use it. Nope, I was mortified that Dear A, our polite, church going, never utters a harsh word, nanny, had been out in public with K, King of the Swears.

I guess they’d been at the library and after dropping a book off the shelf K had very clearly stated, “Oh Sh*t!” When reprimanded, he burst into tears, melted into a tantrum and generally caused a scene. Dear A comforted him, calmed him down, and moved him along to another activity. Later that same outing, when he slipped at the mall play park, K dropped the F-Bomb.

13 February 2010

Valentines Day - Grooveshark Dance Party Playlist

I’m not a big fan of Valentines Day. I want flowers and chocolate every day, so supporting Valentines Day seems counter to that cause. With a nanny though, every holiday is an excuse for crafts and learning something.

The plan for this year: colouring cards for the family, learning which shape is a heart, and a dance party at family dinner on Sunday. K’s a big dance party fan. Currently, he’s obsessed with Sugar Sugar by The Archies so its on repeat on both my and Dear A’s mp3 players.

I’m including the short Grooveshark playlist (for a 2 year olds attention span) for you after the jump:

12 February 2010

Friday FAQ - Where are you?

No, that's not the question I'm going to answer. Its a call to you, dear readers (and I know its mostly family and friends right now, but still.) Please send me your questions. Otherwise Fridays are going to be really, really boring! I've got a panel of experts lined up and waiting:
  • the owner of a full-service nanny agency
  • a payroll specialist
  • a family doctor
  • a financial planner
Post your questions in the comments below or email me at shortysho{at}hotmail.com

Since I don't have a question to answer, and I didn't blog yesterday, I thought I'd add a post-script to a topic I mentioned this week. I've been worried, ever since our Dear A won 20,000 Air Miles, about having to deal with additional vacation requests. (Click here for the background) Well, a request came, but not from Dear A.

10 February 2010

Hump Day Distraction - CAM Smarty Chair

Let me state, right off the bat – I am not getting paid to say this. I’m putting it out there because whenever we unpack the CAM Smarty, people ask about it.

Before a trip to Europe, and after an unfortunate incident where our Bumbo was launched off the roof of the car, I found this booster chair online.

The CAM Smarty is light, folds down really, really, flat and works on pretty much every chair you’ll encounter.

09 February 2010

Good News for the Nanny Guilt?

Survey results highlighted in a press release issued yesterday indicate that,
"children with a nanny are less plugged into computers, iPods and video games than the national trend." 
Yay! I'm all over these results, totally happy to accept this tidbit against my flood tide of nanny guilt. Then, the sceptic, communications professional in me has a few rebellious thoughts:
  • The "national trend"refers to the USA, so maybe it doesn't pertain to Canada? Nah, close enough, I can swallow that one.
  • The survey was conducted by Nannies4hire.com an online database services that match families with caregivers. The survey results kind of help sell their service.... Ok, well I can chalk that up to a "grain of salt."
In the end, I'm still a "Yay!" My personal experience supports their results. K watches more TV with me and his dad than with Dear A. Hmm...that thought has dropped me back into guilt. Great.

08 February 2010

Winning the Nanny Lottery

Our nanny, Dear A, has won 20,000 Air Miles.

It was one of those rare moments where you feel like something just went right in the world.  Well, if you’re me, after about 2 hours of Googling "Western Union contests" and phoning around, you’re incredulous that something actually went right in the world. Dear A was super cute and excited about it from the start. Once it checked out I was ecstatic. And panicked.

As you know, I love my nanny. Next month, she’s taking an extra week of holiday to go back home to the Phillipines. My husband and I are happily using holiday time to cover her vacation. But, 20,000 Air Miles? That’s a lot of vacation. My thoughts went into overdrive, “What will we do if she wants more time off?” "Can I really say No?" "I can say No, if its unreasonable." "Right?" "But, I wouldn't say No would I?" "Well, if the grandparents are back,  I can ask them." "Can I ask my brother to take time off? He likes the kid...."

06 February 2010

Ground Rules

If you’re reading this, I’ve likely finally sent out a note about my adventure into blogging. I thought I’d better set some ground rules so you (and I) know what we’re getting into.

I WANT MY NANNY!! is a cry for community. I’ve brought out my stories in a hope to find other like-minded, nanny-enabled parent’s out there. I want us to come together to share our stories and find solace in the fact that even with a nanny, life’s not perfect.

The plan is to attempt a post every other day. Note the use of the word ‘attempt’. If you’re reading this you probably get that life happens. Right? Good. I’m also going to share a few feature posts a week:
  • Hump Day Distractions – where I’ll share online shopping and “can’t live without it” tidbits.
  • Friday FAQ – where I’ll beg the experts I know to answer the questions we have. Guest bloggers will regularly include our Dear A, the nanny, Ms M, our nanny agency owner, plus, if I can convince them, my favorite family doctor, lawyer, financial planner and more.
Ok, that’s it. Feel free to request, criticize, comment and above all praise!

05 February 2010

Nanny Guilt 101

Here’s a lesson for anyone considering a nanny. You will have to resolve your Nanny Guilt. While this could be considered a side-bar of Working Mom Guilt*, I think it deserves a place of its own in the guilt universe. There are many aspects of Nanny Guilt that don’t involve work, ranging from the classic, “my child loves the nanny more than they love me,” to more modern concerns “my nanny has more family photos of my kid on her phone than I do on mine.” I think its pretty safe to say, though, that all of it stems from the insecurity that having a nanny makes you less of mommy.

So, how do you resolve Nanny Guilt?
Related Posts with Thumbnails