I know you have heard this phrase before but I never really gave it much thought until a couple of years ago. When Max left his first daycare and I had to switch to babysitters and nannies, this thought basically slapped me in the face. Now that I have seen both sides of the situation, I can tell you that Daycares are amazing. They cost a fortune but you can drop your child off each morning and never think about them again until you pick them up. You know they are happy, busy and well cared for. Nannies are the complete opposite of that.
As a single mother, but really for any mother out there, you know that it takes a village or a team to raise a child. There are family members like grandparents and aunts & uncles. There are teachers. There are babysitters, nannies, coaches, etc. All of these people are part of your team or your village.
If there is a weak link on your team, it makes it impossible for you to get things done. That is where I have been for the last couple of years. I have a couple of weak links and I can't seem to make them stronger.
I in no way mean to generalize but I have found that most nannies/babysitters are highly unreliable. I know there are some really amazing nannies out there but I have yet to find one for myself. They cancel when they feel like it. They quit without notice. They go on vacation and never tell you. It boggles the mind how they can be so unreliable.
My parents are retired now and spend most of the winter in Florida. So unfortunately I can't beg/force/make them watch Max. Because of that I have to rely very heavily on babysitters. I would give any amount of money to have my parents live nearby. I have actually even considered moving to Florida to be near them!
The first nanny seemed ok. She had almost no spark but she showed up every day and my house was clean when I got home. Then one day she never came back. No email, text or phone call explaining. So I hired another babysitter for the summer. She was great. Showed up every day and was lots of fun. Max absolutely loved her. Then August came and she needed two weeks to get ready for school....with one day's notice. Now I have our third nanny. As I write this, she has canceled for today, tomorrow, Friday and next Thursday. She has a lot of really good qualities but I can never count on her. I don't know of any job where you can cancel at the last minute like that but here I am.
With this weak link in my "team" it is almost impossible for me to work every day. I have to constantly go to work late or leave early. I work from home when I can but it is really hard to swing that more than once a week. I hate being that person, constantly using my child as an excuse but I have no other choice most days.
I have spent a lot of time looking for new nannies but they all seem to be like this. So how do you continue to get your job done, when you can't count on someone to watch your child? I have seriously considered requesting to work at home again. But I know there will still be days when I need someone to care for Max.
I have years of babysitters ahead of me, so what is the solution?