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26 Weeks: What I'm Doing About Childcare

Sarah Preston Gorenstein

At 26 weeks now, I’ve got childcare on the brain a lot. Still on the fence about whether or not I’m having a scheduled C-section or a VBAC, childcare is the next big question: Do I need to hire a night nurse AND a day nanny or sitter right after the baby’s born to help with the heavy lifting, if I have a C-section? I’m assuming a night nurse isn’t enough, since my husband won’t be home for more than week, and C-sections can take weeks or more to recover from.

Then there’s the dilemma of hiring another full-time nanny for when I go back to work full time, something I am kinda dreading. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, then you know I had some issues (read: drama) with our former nanny, who worked for us for more than two years, since Preston was three months old. She left pretty abruptly at the beginning of last year, and went to work for another family in our neighborhood, which was difficult for all of us.

We hired another part-time nanny last winter—she was very sweet and loyal and great with Preston—but when he was turning 3 last summer we realized he was ready for full-time preschool, and we’ve never looked back. I love not having a need for a nanny or any childcare. I love handling things on my own, without creating that dependency. I’m able to get Preston up every day and take him to school before work, since my office is so close by. And my husband’s usually on pick-up duty, but I’m able to do that too if he can't. I work mere blocks from home and his school so it works out great for us.

I know a nanny will be necessary with both of us working full time, and could be a great addition to our family if we find the right person--not to mention it will make our lives easier. Just yesterday, Preston’s school called to come pick him up because he threw up after eating a pear. Apparently a bug is going around so they wanted to be cautious. But when we got home, he was as happy and energetic as he normally is. I worked from home the rest of the day/took care of him but he was more than fine. An hour after we got home, he said, “Mommy, can we go back to school now?”

Bottom line: I like being in control of my kid’s schedule, despite the fact that I work full time. Sometimes I feel like I get the best of both worlds, to a degree. The first two years a nanny was necessary with our schedules, and it was great for Preston. But I’m so used to the way things are now, it makes me nervous to bring another person into our fold in such a personal way. And once I hire a nanny to take care of the new baby while I’m at work, I give up some of my control. Ultimately, I hope it’ll make our lives easier—so when we get calls like that from school, she can pick my son up and bring him home, rather than me having to miss a day of work for what was clearly not an illness.

So my dilemma is two-fold: Do I need to hire additional help for when the baby is first born (aka a night nurse and a day nurse), since I’ll likely be recovering from a C-section?

And when do I start looking for a full-time nanny again? I don’t want to spend my entire maternity leave stressing about this! Moms who live in major metropolitan cities: What do you pay a nanny for two kids these days, when one kid is in school all day?