Thursday, February 04, 2010

good help is hard to find

One thing we've done a very bad job of doing since becoming parents is finding baby-sitters.  We have a few friends who're willing to come over on a night or weekend to watch D, often for free which is incredible and wonderful and very, very awesome.  But I've done a crap job of trying to set up a few people whom I could call to watch D during normal, daytime working hours.  So on the occasion I've needed to do something during the work week and can't/don't want D to come along, I've managed to get Zach to stay home for a few hours or dropped him off with a fellow stay-at-home mom for an hour or two, which work well occasionally, but are also still not that great of solutions.  I end up hardly ever making appointments for things I need to do (like, go to the dentist) b/c I cringe at the thought of having to try to juggle my schedule, the doctor's schedule, and Zach's work schedule (which could change quickly and often, too, depending on what new meetings have cropped up) and find a time that works for all of us.

So we're now trying to find a sitter who could come in one or maybe 2 days a week just for a few hours, to give me a chance to run errands, get a break from D, and specified free times each week during which I could schedule stuff when I need to (hmmm manicure?).  It also looks like Zach's getting scheduled on more and more business trips now (short ones, 2-3 days... at least for now) and so getting a chance for time away, for either relaxing or just to get things done, will be even more important.

But even that is proving to be a whole other headache.  I first tried finding some sort of part-time daycare program, like the Mothers Morning Out programs you see EVERYWHERE in Texas and that I assumed were common everywhere else.  Not so.  The one program I found that worked that way was one day a week from 9-2 and had no set naptime for kids over 1yo. That would *not* work.  There's the French immersion place that's basically everything I'd ever hoped for and more, but it's half an hour away or worse in morning traffic so that's a no-go.  And most other places aren't willing to give you less than a 2-full-days-per-week commitment.

So now I'm looking at sitters who'd come here to watch D.  Which isn't quite as nice since if I'm serious about wanting to get anything done or have those hours be any sort of a break for me, D and I cannot be in the same house.  But, hey, there's a lot i can get done outside the house, and there's always the park, etc.  Anyway, so I started checking out, but the few people I emailed back and forth with a few times seem to have disappeared off the face of the earth.  I now finally signed up for a paid find-a-sitter site, and am hoping to get better progress with that, but even still just thinking about finding the sitters, contacting them, doing an interview, seeing if D even likes them or feels at all comfortable... I want to go take a nap just thinking about it.

And I have to wonder why it's so damn hard to find someone to help watch your kids, and give a mama a break.

And yes, during all this, it is also painfully obvious to me that if we lived in Austin this wouldn't even be an issue, as we'd have several grandparents who'd be only too eager to spend a few hours each week watching the kiddo.  But, that is not the case.  And that's just the way things are.

So, anyway, pity-fest aside, hopefully within a few weeks we'll have someone who can help us out and who D will like being around.  *crossing my fingers*


  1. Have you looked at some in home daycares (licensed)? They tend to be a little more flexible in working with you on hours. Not all, as it'll depend on their situation, but at D's age there are fewer restrictions as to the # of kids. I know my DCP would take kids just 1 day a week or after school and others have as well.

  2. I think you probably know that I worked as a private nanny during my college years. Well, the way I found that job was through a bulletin board posting on campus. If there is a local college near you, you could check and see if the administration will let you post flyers on campus. Just a suggestion... may or may not work for you.

  3. I can ask Molly if she'd be willing to come down south for a regular stint like that...granted a couple hours is her traveling time, so it may not be worth it, but perhaps if she can work it in every once in a while before she goes to nanny for Jeremy in Mountain View?
    brainstorming here...

  4. So y'all don't have MMO programs??? Have you looked at churches (I think those are the ones who do those things around here)?

    I know I'm probably asking things you're already thought about/looked into, but it kind of boggles my mind that there aren't MMO/Children's Day Out programs... they're everywhere here!

    What happened to the Spanish playgroup? Could you all start a MMO program with them -- each of you takes the kids for a morning a week, or something?

  5. Are you near a college? You could post on their board at the student union or in their career center. I did this for work when I was in college - I had 3 families in 2 years, just 2 afternoons a week, or 2 mornings a week for the mom to do just what you're saying. Check it out - and good luck!



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