Posts tagged ‘motherhood’
I’m a “How To” Mother!
(Extraverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging)
Organized and comfortable being in charge, I know how to get things done, make things happen, and accomplish much on behalf of my children.
What’s your mothering personality type? Take the MotherStyles quiz at FamilyEducation.com!
You know the only people who are always sure about the proper way to raise children? Those who’ve never had any. ~Bill Cosby
How can you love so much someone who drives you so crazy and makes such constant demands? How can you devote yourself to a vocation in which you are certain to be made peripheral, if not redundant? How can we joyfully embrace the notion that we have ceased to be the center of our own universe? ~Anna Quindlen
Ma-ma does everything for the baby, who responds by saying Da-da first. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic’s Notebook, 1966
Give me the life of the boy whose mother is nurse, seamstress, washerwoman, cook, teacher, angel, and saint, all in one, and whose father is guide, exemplar, and friend. No servants to come between. These are the boys who are born to the best fortune. ~Andrew Carnegie
Kids spell love T-I-M-E. ~John Crudele
â€œNo matter how calmly you try to referee, parenting will eventually produce bizarre behavior, and I’m not talking about the kids. Their behavior is always normal.â€ ~Bill Cosby
â€œWhat good mothers and fathers instinctively feel like doing for their babies is usually best after all.â€ ~Benjamin Spock
â€œEverybody knows how to raise children, except the people who have them.â€ ~P. J. O’Rourke
â€œWrinkles are hereditary. Parents get them from their children.â€ ~Doris Day
“If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do well matters very much.” ~ Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
In my previous post, I wrote about nanny search sites. When I first went back to work, I put my son in a home daycare. However, he started to show signs of not being happy there after 6 months. Instead of trying another daycare, I decided he needed one-on-one care. After much ado, I finally found a nanny. I have learned a lot from this experience. Within the last 11 months, I have gained experience in both nanny and day care.
Looking for childcare is one of the most stressful things a mother can go through, and certainly one of the most stressful experience I have ever gone through. It was stressful when I was searching for daycare and it was also stressful when I was searching for a nanny. However, daycare and nanny are different animals. I feel like I now have some perspective on this so I can compare the two.
|Infant Care||Nanny||Day Care|
|Location||Your Home||Provider’s Home|
|Ratio||1-to-1||1-to4, as required by State|
|Likelihood to get sick||Less||More kids, more chances|
|Level of control you have||High||Low|
|Reliability||One person||Depends on size|
While there is licensed and unlicensed daycare, in general daycare providers (home or larger centers) are regulated. Each state has licensing requirements for daycare centers and regulates them. Looking at daycares involves you going out to them. You can go to a local child care referral organization to get a list of daycares that are near your work or home. The information you get may not be up to date or complete though. The daycare might not have vacancy by the time you call them, or you might not get much more information than a name and phone number. It is up to you to do your leg work, call as many as possible and then go visit them. You will need to talk to the daycare provider and go check out the environment. The bigger the daycare, the more likely your child will get sick, and if your child is sick you will need to keep him/her home. On the other hand, the bigger daycare also gives you more reliability — if one of the staff is sick, someone else will be there to fill in.
Looking for a good nanny is to look for a good relationship — someone you can trust with your most valued treasure in the world and in your home. Ultimately, though, the relationship is an employer-employee relationship, and you will have to do your homework not only in scoping out the nanny, but also nailing down the administrative stuff like contracts, payroll, and taxes. Not all nannies will work when the child is sick, and you will need to have backup when the nanny is sick. Spelling out what you want and being very detailed about it is very important. The funny thing about this industry is that it is a popular “payment under the table” industry and you may find yourself working harder to do things legally. You are the boss, and being the boss is also not easy. You will have to manage your nanny, communicate well, and fire your nanny if things don’t work out for any reason.
Finding good child care is by far the most stressful thing that a mother, especially a working mother, will need to do. There is no easy choice.
I recently found myself in the position of looking for a nanny for my son. While I reached out to my local mother’s club, I wasn’t really able to get a good recommendation for a nanny so I turned to the web to search for a nanny. I visited several sites for my search.
|Free||Refined Search, Limited Profiles, Limited Job Posts||7-Days Trial
View profiles, Limited profiles, Limited Job Posts
|Search by zip code, Limited profiles. Ability refine is for paid membership only.||7-Days Trial
View profiles, Limited profiles, No Job Posts
|Search by zip code with some ability to refine. Limited access to caregiver profiles.|
|Subscriptions||$35 for 1-month, $70 for 3-months, $140 for 12-months||$9.99 per month with $39.99 sign up fee;
$9.99 per month (one time payment of $119.88) annual subscription
60-days $109, with state criminal history check;
99-days $199 with multi-state criminal history, driving record, SSN trace, and sex offender background check
|30-Days $49 with no background check;
90-days $119.85 with background check.
|Includes unlimited access to caregivers plus free background checks .
Also has Pay-As-You-Go pricing with credits for contacting caregivers
|Background Check||Standard Background check is free:
SSN Verification, National Criminal Database Search, State Sex Offender Registry Search
Enhances background check $59 each:
SSN Verification, National Criminal Database Search, State Sex Offender Registry Search
In-person Federal Courthouse Search, In-person County Courthouse Search (takes 1-3 days)
|1. Identity Check
SSN Verification2. National Criminal Search
3. Traffic Violations
|Available only for 60-day and 99-day plan.
60-days plan has state criminal history check;
99-days has multi-state criminal history, driving record, SSN trace, and sex offender background check
|The background check is free with Platinum memberships (90-days) , and $49 per background check for other members . (Exception: Searches conducted in New York cost $55 for Platinum members, and $104 for Gold and Free members.)
$49 gets you:
$89 gets you the above mentioned searches plus:
|Background checks include:
|Language||Yes, has a long list in dropdown||Yes, has a long list in filter||Yes, can select multiple, non-inclusive||Yes, can select multiple||Lists only English and Spanish|
|Comfortable with pets||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Willing to care for sick children||Yes, under Other Care||No||No||No|
|Has own transportation||Yes||Yes||No||No||No|
|Nanny can swim||No||No||Yes||No||No|
|Years of Experience||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Number of Children||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Early School Age||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
Special Need Children
Asperger Syndrome / Autism
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
|Full or Part Time||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Live-in or Live Out||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Available on short notice||Yes, Care on call||No||No||No||No|
|Available for daytime summer care||Yes||No||No||No||No|
|Other services||No||Care for Sick Children
Drive the Kids
Care for Pets
Set Alarm Systems
|Nanny has children?||No||No||Yes||No||No|
|Can Nanny bring own children?||No||No||No||Yes||No|
I found that Care.com was the easiest to use and my job post garnered the most applicants, probably because it is highly trafficked and has more visitors than all the other sites by far (see stats above). I liked the My Care.com interface, and it is the only site that allowed me to refine my search based on a schedule. This is very important and useful feature because often a candidate ends up being eliminated based on the schedule not being a good fit. For a 1-month search, this was the more affordable option.
Care.com also has this nice feature where Care.com checks out the references and the post the recording for you to listen to. That was pretty neat and a nice feature for care providers’ profile.
Sittercity.com is also a good option and its search uses a filter method instead. You search by zip code first, and then select your filters. Each filter has a number next to it, showing you the number of candidates that choosing that filter will refine your results to. I think it is the most useful if you are looking for special care as it has an extensive list of special needs to select from. he one-month usage cost is higher because of the $39.99 set up fee.
The references, if the provided listed it, has contact info right on the profile, whereas Care.com does not show the reference contact info. My job posting did not get quite as many responses compared to Care.com, and while there are some overlaps in terms of the candidates on the sites, but there is enough new candidates that I thought it was worth a look.
Nannies4hire.com was easy to use, and it was also the most expensive. They got a lot of fodder from Dr. Phil so I took a look at it. The feature that sets it apart is the more detailed background check, but the detailed background check is really not available unless you pay for the 99-day plan, which was $199 (which I did not want to pay for) ! I wished that I was able to choose a plan that was 30 days with the detailed background check but that is not an option. They also did not have a free trial, which I did not like. I was able to get get a coupon from doing an internet search and chose their most basic 30-day plan.
I thought it was interesting that they are the only one of the 5 sites that has height and weight information in their care provider profiles. Their customer service people were nice and I had no trouble reaching a rep and didn’t have to wait at all. I called them to complain about their lack of candidates in my area and they tweaked my profile a bit to help me get some more responses and gave me a few pointers as well.
I heard about Enannysource.com from my local mother’s club but I didn’t even bother subscribing at all because my free trial search yielded only 20 candidates within 25 miles of where I live, and many of them have not logged in within the last month. That’s the thing about these sites, a lot of times you won’t find too many people who have logged in recently for it to even be worth your while to pay for a subscription.
Sitters.com looks a lot like a lesser featured Care.com. I also did not subscribe to this site beyond the 7-day trial because it did not seem to have enough recently logged in candidates for me. The reason that the recently logged in candidates is important is because it means that people who are not recently logged in are not likely to be actively looking and available. Sitters.com does feature an “All Mom Editorial Team” that vets all the profiles submitted on their site.
May has been very busy conference-wise. There was Word Camp, Web 2.0 Expo, and this week the Lithium Network Conference (LiNC), which I am attending for the first time.
I enjoy attending conferences — I love working in the web sector and going to web-related conferences is fun for me. It gives me a nice break from the day-to-day and gives me a chance to focus on learning new ideas and meeting like-minded people. This year however, has been a bit of a challenge because I am a working mom and a nursing mom. This means that I can’t really go more than 3 hours without pumping. If I don’t, then I feel very uncomfortable, like my breasts will burst (no fun) and then I risk getting sick with mastitis (no fun, plus misery). I refuse to wean my baby though — I am determined to give my baby the 1 year of breastfeeding as recommended by American Academy of Pediatrics; even longer if I can manage it.
Tech conferences are not known to be very nursing mother friendly. When I can, I take my car with me and I take my pump breaks in the parking lot. Carrying around the equipment can be cumbersome, so being able to leave it in the car helps. However, when the event is held in downtown SF, that proposition isn’t always practical or affordable. Other moms (and I once) have pumped in the bathroom. For those who are not pumping moms, the idea of pumping in the bathroom may not be a big deal, but there is a good deal of equipment and container maneuvering here that can be challenging. Plus, the idea of making your baby’s food in the public place for urinating and defecating is not on the top of my happy list.
I was truly impressed by Lithium Network Conference because they went out of their way to make me comfortable. The folks who put the event together were very vested in helping me out with my request. One of the women actually let me use her hotel room as a private pumping room, and then they worked with the hotel to find me a private room of my own where I could put my equipment and have privacy while I tended to my mammalian duties.
Everyone at the company I have met so far are all incredibly helpful and friendly. I am grateful to Lithium for being such awesome customer-centric group of people who treated me so well.