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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Choosing the Type of Caregiver

On September 8th I go back to work. Until the holidays I'll be working 32 hours a week and then I'll be back to full time. On Monday, Tuesday and Thursday my three children will be at "school" from about 8 am to 5 pm. My mom will take care of them on Wednesday and I will have them on Friday. Lizzie started day care when she was 7 months old and the twins will be 10 days away from 5 months old when they start.

For me there has never been a question that my children would go to group day care. People have tried to convince me of using other types of care but none of them were right for me and here is why:

Nanny - I've always been afraid that if I hired a nanny I would feel like someone else was raising my children and they would get more attached to the nanny then they would to me. Plus, a nanny just for Lizzie would have been too expensive. It's more understandable though for the three of them however I want where they are to be educational and also give them social skills which I don't think a nanny would be good at providing, especially if it is one person taking care of three kids.

Au Pair - I see an au pair as being similar to a nanny except they are cheaper and they live in your house. I am VERY territorial and have a hard time when people other than my close family are in my space for more than a day. Believe me, my husband can attest to this. He is an amazing man to have stuck with me in the early days as I adjusted to having him in my space. I was definitely a bitch for awhile and I honestly don't know why he didn't leave me. I really couldn't deal with someone living in my house, it would drive me nuts!

Home Day Care - While home day care provides the socialization benefit that group day care has, I don't have a lot of faith that it will provide the educational benefit. I like knowing that there are certified teachers creating agendas for the week/month on what the children will learn about. I know that this doesn't really apply to infants but the twins will at least benefit from the socialization and being in the same place as their sister.

Stay At Home Mom - My husband and I both make about the same amount of money so if I were to stop working it would be a big chunk of money gone. However, this isn't the only reason I choose to go back to work and not stay at home. I enjoy what I do and my career is finally going in the direction I want it to. I'm afraid that if I stopped working it would be really hard to get back to where I am now. I also like the break. This sounds horrible but after a long maternity leave I have A LOT of respect for women who choose to stay at home and take care of three children. In the long run I think it would drive me a little nuts. I am looking forward to the adult interaction and using my brain. I will always have days where I wish I were home with my children though. It is a constant struggle to not be overwhelmed by the guilt no matter which path you choose.

So, you've probably guess why I like group day care but I'll reiterate. I chose it because it allows my children to gain social and educational skills in a professional environment without making me feel like someone else is raising my children (thereby alleviating some of the guilt I feel by choosing to go back to work).

1 comment:

Jamie said...

We're doing the nanny in the short-term -- mostly because I am going to at least try to breastfeed and I work from home so I don't need full-time care.

Eventually, I do want my kids in group care as well. I think the educational and social aspects are important.

And I totally agree with you about work. Staying at home is really difficult.