After 7 months of struggling with the idea having someone else watching Raphael I finally did the step of bringing a nanny home. And let me just say it was the best decision! Not only did we find our perfect fit we also consider her as a friend, after not even 6 months. And me having that few hours for myself is such a luxury. But let me start from the beginning.
Before we looked into getting a nanny we tried a daycare for about 4 days. By that time Raphael was a little bit over a year, maybe 14 months old. Mark found a decent one close to our home. I had a weird feeling about it before we even got started.
But I was willing to give it a try since Mark was so convinced that it’ll be really good for me not being a mom 24/7 – and just having a few hours to myself. And I know he was right. I just couldn’t feel comfortable with leaving him at “some place” I didn’t really know. I know it sounds more dramatic than it actually is. Long story short. We tried for 4 days. The first day we stayed there together for 2 hours and it wasn’t a big of a deal. The second again for 2 hours and I left for about 20 minutes. Raphael was freaking out. The third day he would even start crying when we were just in front of the daycare – and again I left for a little while. I felt super overwhelmed and uncomfortable, standing in the bathroom – crying. The forth day was similar. I decided to backed out and try again when he is a little bit older..
I probably could have just pushed through it, maybe just leaving him there without doing the “transition time” with me being there (which seems to be normal here in the US). He might have been okay with it after a few days. I don’t know BUT I just couldn’t do it. And I didn’t want to, not like this. I was NOT ready – at all. And maybe he wasn’t too. Those 4 days were really hard on me and I’ve cried a lot – I just felt like it wasn’t right!
When we found out (July 2019) that we are expecting another child we started “this” conversation again which was a really sensitive topic for me, obviously. And even though I wanted to have a little bit free time I just couldn’t get used to the idea “leaving” Raphael with someone else – even just for a few hours a week! I think, getting over this “blockade” in my mind was the biggest step for me. I joined care.com and a few nanny groups on Facebook and looked for potential candidates. I had about 3-4 interviews but to be honest I wasn’t super convinced. It’s really hard to tell when you see someone for the first time. Then I finally met someone (who I’ve considered before but somehow after my nightmare-daycare-experience I just forgot about her and the idea of having someone come to OUR place). She is a good friend of someone I know from FIT4MOM, a stroller workout group I used to go to. So she knows people I know and I know a few she knows etc. And the moment she stepped into our house her focus was on Raphael. She immediately says hi to Raphael and sat on the floor chatting and playing with him – and also a little with me 😉
I really had a good feeling and felt like we were on the same page immediately. And since I was always someone who’d listen to the heart and guts I decided pretty quickly to go with her. We started a few trial days. The first day I stayed the entire 2 hours. The second day I went downstairs for about 20 minutes and I think on the third day I even left for 1 hour – he did great with her! We started to do 2 hours for 3 days a week and eventually we got to 3 hours. After about 3 weeks he started to be really dramatic about me leaving which made it really hard for me to go – I did it anyway because I know he’d be fine and that she’ll be able to calm him down! And he cried for max. 3-5 minutes. After 1 week he didn’t make a big scene anymore. He was even waving and laughing at me when I left the house. And now, it’s not a big deal AT ALL when I leave for that 3 hours – I feel like he even looks forward to have that special play time.
They both always have a good time with each other and I am really really glad and grateful to have found such a responsible, lovely and empathetic nanny. The best thing is returning to my baby boy. Driving into the garage seeing him sitting at the window laughing and waving at me still makes me cry! And the feeling when he runs towards me with that huge smile on his face, saying MAAAMAAAA – THE BEST!
For the ones who are desperately seeking for a break but also don’t want to miss a moment: I was there, right there:
Feeling guilty about “leaving” my child and disappoint him. Feeling guilty about not being able to do “just that one thing” – being a mom. Feeling guilty about wanting some alone and quiet time, some time just for myself. Some time away from him. Believe me, I was there and I struggled so badly. Fighting with myself and trying to justify my feelings. I love him so so much and yet needed this time so desperately. Over 1.5 years I was home all day, I was there 24/7, and yes I LOVE being his mom, but also I felt like losing a bit of myself, a bit of being an individual. Feeling that I was failing and that I should do better. Feeling alone and feeling overwhelmed. Questioning my ability of being a good mother. Feeling tired and exhausted. Crying so many times, alone in the bathroom because I didn’t want anyone to see that I am struggling – again.
NOW I know that I am not alone. Quite the contrary. All the moms out there, they are all with me. Sharing the same experiences. Feeling guilty, feeling overwhelmed and exhausted and alone – sometimes. And it’s okay. It’s also okay to get some help and not feeling guilty about it. It takes a village to raise children and I am so lucky to have found my people. I am so glad that I did the step so that I can take care of myself and I am so so glad that I took that time that I needed to go through that process. It’s a journey and whenever you decide to do it, or even to back out again, and try at a different time – it’s your choice, it’s your child, only you know what’s good for you and for them.
And feeling confident about being able to make the right choices and the right decision will change everything!
Having found THE ONE definitely have helped me going faster and easier through that transition. I can’t imagine having someone else here, watching Raphael.
you have been such a blessing to our lives. I can not put into words how grateful I am to have found you. I feel confident leaving my flesh and blood, my baby boy with you, knowing that you will take good care of him, knowing that he is in best hands. I love the passion you bring here anytime you step into our home, I love that you embrace every moment to really interact and play with Raphael. He had learned and developed SO MUCH since you have joined our family. He loves all the things you do together, especially the crafting things, but also just dumping all the stuff in your backpack which you bring every time you come. He even asks for you when you are not around, showing me all the cool things you did together. I love that you are so creative and always find new activities to keep him entertained. Thank you for being so patient and compassionate with me – and also so flexible. I won’t ever take that for granted. I know I can be annoying, sensitive and way to overprotective. So thank you for being here for us, for supporting us, and loving us.
We love you!