Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Decision not finished about day care, but I am at peace.

Thanks readers and responders to my last post. I have taken your comments seriously. Though the decision still rests on my husband, I have voiced my opinion and suddenly feel settled about the whole thing. I want to get an Au Pair.

We will have to take out a loan (the dreaded-but-somewhat-justifiable-of-course-there's-strings-attached In-Law Loan). If Hub disagrees strongly enough and wants to put the kids in a Kid Farm (large institutional daycare), then I will agree with him. See, Hub has very good instincts (took me YEARS to learn that lesson) and is very gentle. So If he guns strongly for something, that's it. That's what needs to be done. There's a strange peace in knowing that the coin only has two sides.

I'll keep you posted to any new developments. Keep commenting though!!!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Help! Au Pair or Day Care?

Getting ready for sabbatical. I worked my entire social network to try to find a live-in Nanny. We got two candidates, both of which withdrew their applications shortly after their graduation. One said she got a job in her field. The other didn't specify. I fell apart a little, but that's for another post.

A live-in Nanny or Au pair (foreign student worker) is really the only way we can afford childcare during my sabbatical in Very Expensive City, because we can deduct the "rent" from our basement apartment from their salary. Or else we can put the kids in an institutional day care like one of those big day care chains for half time (then who takes care of them for the rest of the time?).

A friend suggested an Au Pair because we have a room for one. They have a steep upfront cost for which we would have to take out a loan, but the monthly costs (at least the published ones) are within our budget. Au Pairs are also extremely flexible in scheduling.  I fantasize about this person speaking in their native language to our kids part time, and being a part of the family. I also fantasize about not having the fight to get them dressed and stuffed into a car seat every morning. In this same fantasy, the kids learn at breakneck speed with all the individual attention. And more realistically, if the kids weren't happy, we could "rematch" with a lot of support from the agency. Hub is worried that the kids won't be socialized well. I fantasize that we will make a social network of other kids relatively easily through churches or intentional organizations or Mommy groups.

In the institutional day care, there will be a curriculum, lots of supervision of the kids' caregivers and lots of socialization. However in this particular day care, they have been cited recently for a very stupid abusive treatment of a child. However, that caregiver is long gone, I'm sure. This is the only one that has openings in the area we will live and work.

I realize that on Sabbatical one is to rest but still get scholarship accomplished. The kids don't have to be in day care for 40 hours, but I can't imagine getting a great project accomplished in a year working half time. Besides, part of the ideas was to relieve the heavy burden of being the kids sole caregiver for major portions of the week.

Please? Suggestions? Experiences? Thoughts?