Dear Care.com Readers: As many of you know,
I’ve been the main Care.com blogger for the past six years. But new years bring
new changes. And as this company grows, there are so many diverse and
interesting employees within Care.com who have unique stories and care
challenges themselves. They are moms and dads to kids of all ages, adults
handling senior challenges with loved ones, pet parents, military
families….sound familiar? I get to hear their stories – and challenges –
all the time and as a working mom, have always found great comfort in knowing
so many others wrestle with the same questions. I’m guessing you feel the
same way so I thought it was about time I introduced them to you.
Today, I want you to meet Danielle. Danielle and I used to work together at Upromise. And she joined us at Care.com last year in the Technology department. Shortly after that, Danielle surprised herself (and her husband!) with their third child, though she and I can both tell you that’s the best type of surprise you can ever get! She's got a pretty full plate and could use some advice from other parents out there.
First of all, if my mother ever read this, she would
probably throw me through a window.
See, my 61-year old mother is the nanny for my 3 boys. When I was pregnant with my first child, I thought I would stay at home. However, I was extremely lucky as my mom volunteered to watch my oldest so I could help support my family. Since then, we have added two other kids to the mix and I’m starting to wonder if she’s losing steam. My oldest, is 6 and my youngest is 10-months. And 2013 brings challenges I didn’t realize it would.
Here’s what’s changed: My grandfather is now in his 90s and is a great distance away. I don’t want my mom to have regrets about not being able to be there for him. And then last summer my Dad started having some health issues. And suddenly all of us need my mom’s attention. I realized two things:
1. She was spreading herself way too thin – even for my "Super Mom."
And secondly, my kids are spending their days with a burned-out nanny! Oh no, something needs to change. So, I’m thinking about adding a new nanny to our lives. And use Mom as our back-up and "special attention nanny." One of the downfalls about her being their nanny is that she hasn’t been able to be a typical grandmother – spoil them rotten. She has had to provide discipline and structure to ensure her grandchildren would be raised properly. But now I think it is time to let her enjoy them more and spoil them as much as she wants.
Now, how do I let Mom know?
Here’s how I imagine the conversation:
Me: "Mom, Poppa and Dad could use more of your
attention and I have some more money now [note: this is a lie] and I’m thinking
of hiring someone to help you out, but still ask you to do things with the boys
Her: "Are you joking? Save your money. I’m their Grandma, it’s my pleasure. End of discussion."
And that’s my mom in a nutshell. But the thing is, I feel like my little guy needs more of a challenge these days. He is getting more and more active and starting to climb into, over and under things. Soon he’ll be walking and running and jumping off the furniture with his crazy brothers. And with three boys, having two care givers around all day wouldn’t be such a bad idea.
The new "energetic" nanny could be in charge of all activities and play dates. And Mom could take charge of 1st grade homework and putting the baby down for naps. She could also take my middle guy out for a little bonding time. It’s tough being the middle.
Any ideas on how that conversation could go a little differently? Have you ever switched caregivers – what made you decide enough was enough? And if your caregiver was a parent, how did you tell "granny" she’s no longer prime "nanny"?