In my last post, I mentioned that I outsourced and by outsourced, I mean we hired help. As a devout, DIYer, hiring help was tough. We have been paying companies to mow our yard and battle the fire ants for years but when it came to making my life easier, I almost didn’t see the point. Why would I hand over money for something I could so easily do myself?
Naturally, it started with the nanny. My new schedule didn’t allow me to put the kids on the bus and there would be no one home for hours. Childcare was inevitable. The down side to living in a small town is a profound lack of options. There were 3 licensed day cares in town; 2 of which had bus service to the kids’ schools. 1 of the 2 placed me on a waiting list. I have yet to hear back from them and the other had space open for immediate enrollment.
Daycare, sadly was not for us. There were 2 freak instances where they lost my son. He had fallen asleep on the bus which would be understandable but we were not notified until hours after the incident. There were other nit-picky things I didn’t like but ultimately, it was the bill at the end of the week that did us in. For every minute we were late, we were charged $1. That added up to $60-$80 on top of the regular expense plus extended care. Daycare was not financially sound, the kids were miserable and frankly, I didn’t trust the provider.
Desperate to repair the situation, we hired the kids’ babysitter as a live in nanny. This gave us a work around for unpredictable DFW traffic and gave her free room and board. She did earn a paycheck and the kids responded well to the one on one attention. Better yet, she did crafts with them, They would go on outings to the park and the local libraries. Sadly, 4 months later, she gave her notice.
It was the first time I regretted being so far from family. There really weren’t many options we hadn’t already explored. Our small town had serious growing pains.
Finally, I gave in and paid for a subscription to SitterCity.com. Sites like SitterCity and Care.com are great in that the applicants could be background checked. I felt like I finally getting a clear cut picture of what daycare could be and should cost. There were 5 experienced nannies in my area. I privately messaged all 5. I also placed an ad on the site outlining the job and salary. I got 1 response. She was a non- live in nanny and her terms were slightly different but the kids love her.
When I pick the kids up in the evening, they have done their homework. They’ve eaten and she tells me what I should be looking for in their folders. The children cheerfully tell me about their days as I’m fixing dinner for Will and myself. Then around 8 p.m., they tell us it’s bedtime. They’re so tired, they want to go to bed. Can you imagine? [xt_divider]
I should tell you did not stop with the nanny. The house was taking quite a beating now that no one was home to look after it. Nothing and I do mean nothing, was getting done. I had thought we could use paper plates and disposable cutlery to get us by. On the weekends I thought I’d do a deep clean. By midweek, my house had gone to hell and there wasn’t a clean dish to be found. There were 5 people living here. Only 1 of which cleaned on sort of regular basis- Me. I was exhausted and angry. I worked so hard only to come home to a mess. I just wanted to scream!
So while people were asking me how I did it. I was wondering how in the hell my mother managed to pull it off. Our house was always spotless and we always had a home cooked meal. I ultimately came to the conclusion that she was never not working. My mother is one of the hardest working people I know and we didn’t really know her until much later in life.
I read somewhere that children will remember the time you spend with them; they won’t remember the dirty dishes or piles of laundry. I sincerely hoped that was true.
I found our house keeper on Facebook. She had posted a handful of ads on the local pages and was receiving rave reviews. I admit that I cleaned the whole house before her first few visits before getting heinously sick and showing her how bad it could be. She never judged me or gave any indication that I was somehow less of a person for it.
Every Monday, I come home to a clean kitchen, clean bathrooms, barefoot ready floors and it’s fantastic! I love this woman! Kylie’s allergies have subsided and I’m a lot kinder to my husband. That simple hire makes me feel like he values my time and truthfully, we’re not given much of that to begin with.
The reality is that you can’t do it all and I’m not. I would not be the mother I am nor the employee I’ve become without hiring help. If you’re still thinking why spend the money? Remember you’re worth it.