13 December 2010

Trust vs Control: What's the Right Way to Let Go?

As part of my NannyEnabledWorkingMom (NEWMom) effort to let go of my mom guilt and reduce some of my burden during this pregnancy, I was trying to be less controlling. My basic theory: You can’t let go of the “I’ve abandoned my child” thoughts if you don’t trust your caregiver. And, since you’ve chosen your caregiver, you should be able to give up control with no worries, right?

Well, it backfired on me recently, this mantra. I discovered that Dear A took K, on the bus, to the far south west of the city (we live centrally) on an unplanned, and worse still, personal errand.

Once the “if something had happened, I wouldn’t have known where he was…” panic subsided, I realized that while I have to give up micro-managing. I can’t give up managing.

The only way this whole guilt-free NEWMom manifesto is going to work is if we’ve made our expectations, rules, and intentions clear before handing over our children.

When K was a baby, we had a daily journal for Dear A and me to compare notes on how many ounces of milk he consumed, how many dirty diapers etc. I don’t know that this approach is practical for an older child. Instead, I’ve decided to come up with an updated weekly sheet where I can jot down my few notes for each day and open up the dialogue again on K’s day to day.

Email me if you'd like a copy of my test sheet. I’d love your feedback, comments etc.

We'll see how this goes. In the meantime, I'm going to keep repeating my mantra....

11 December 2010

Baby on Board or Let the Nanny Poaching Begin

About 5 months ago, I started telling people I was pregnant with Baby #2.

I got a lot of the expected responses: "Yay!" "Congrats!" "Figured!" (that one coming from any one of my friends who saw me turn down a drink) and one that I hadn't really expected,

"What are you doing with your nanny?"

I had expected people to ask about maternity leave, since I hadn't been eligible last time. But, the nanny question wasn't a segue into mat leave. It was most often asked with a eye-gleam that automatically made me want to hide Dear A in the basement...

Not that I should be surprised, right? I mean, I even wrote an article a few months back about the effect of changes to the Live In Caregiver program and how I thought it could result in this type of scenario. But I didn't think it would happen that fast.

So far I've been asked out to lunch or coffee 3 times for nanny-related conversation, plus another 3 email messages. In all of the situations people were looking for advice or info, but were also wondering if I'd be willing to share (lend out?) my nanny during my mat leave. I thought about it, but the paperwork and logistics just seemed too complicated and risky... so, here I am, about to give birth again and looking at a short mat leave (just 4 months before I start working part time) so that we can keep Dear A.

Its the right decision for us, because I enjoy my work, and really think K will adjust to his new sibling better if we don't rip his best friend out of his life at the same time, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit we were influenced by the changes to the Live in Caregiver program and the shortage of good affordable childcare in the city. At least, I hope its the right decision. Ask me in April?
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