Posted by: Hannah | 01/04/2012

I deserve better

I think this is the longest the blog’s been quiet since NaBloPoMo started.

I just haven’t felt much like writing. It would go something like this:

CLEANING EVERYTHING BECAUSE NO BABY BUT SOMETHING LIKE TEN DAYS OF UNPRODUCTIVE EARLY BACK LABOUR HOLY SHITBALLS WTF BBQ.

I have tried everything and cleaned everything. In recent days I have:

  • walked the dog a million times (his eyes follow me from room to room now with even more slavish adoration than usual)
  • decluttered, reorganized, and sorted out the boys’ room, including their entire Lego collection
  • helped Hubs lay a new floor in the baby’s room, and then furnished, decorated, and organized it, too
  • fixed a panel in our fence that’s been broken for months
  • reorganized and cleaned the dayhome space
  • taken all the Christmas decorations down – even the outdoor ones – and packed them away for next year
  • eaten an entire can of pineapple chunks in one sitting because the internet said it would induce labour
  • gone out for curry
  • deliberately driven over speed bumps
  • watched LOTR: Return of the King the extended version on my hands & knees while rocking back and forth
  • had two membrane sweeps in four days

The cleaning / nesting / trying to take our minds off the fact that there is STILL NO BABY has truly gotten out of hand, because even Hubs is nesting now. Yesterday he improved some simple bookshelves he built ages ago, and purged his book collection. Last night he organized the remaining books by theme. Today he alphabetized his sci-fi collection. This baby had better come before we decide to take up a new hobby just to pass the time. Something like knitting or backyard chicken raising.

All of this activity! And walking around! And stuff! has moved me to 3cm, where I stay, apparently forever.

And yet today – I feel strangely good.

***

In the month of December I lost two full time clients – one entirely (bye Arthur, we’ll miss you!) and one in stages (VQB is three days a week right now, leaving altogether in mid-March when his mom has her baby). Then on New Year’s Day, I found out that Monkey is moving to a big daycare; my SIL’s employer will part-subsidize her childcare costs but only if they use a particular facility. Which I get, I do – but that one hurt. Plus I won’t get to see my niece as often, and that makes me sad.

On a practical level, this represents a total income loss of around $1200 / month… at a time when Hubs is on parental leave because I thought I would need help juggling a newborn and all those kids. And he can’t even start his employment insurance claim until the baby is actually born. And then it takes 28 days to process.

*breathes into paper bag, thanks Baby Jebus for investments & money markets & inheritances*

I’ve thus spent the last two days updating all of my marketing materials for the dayhome. I realized after several chats online with other dayhomers, not to mention a long email from the always-awesome NotMaryP, that I have been doing myself a disservice with advertising. The clients I want are professionals, people who have solid jobs and understand that reliable childcare has a cost – but also benefits that outweigh some of the other providers in the area.

I do everything by the book. Many don’t. There are limits to how many children you can have in your care at any one time, and I follow them. I keep records. I provide tax receipts. I charge a reasonable amount that actually reflects the time & energy this job takes.

I need to take myself more seriously so that others will, too.

This week I steeled myself and read through 300+ “child care wanted” ads on Kijiji. By the end of it I was so depressed I couldn’t shake my gloom for the rest of the day and ended up drowning my sorrows with a big bag of tortilla chips late that night. The ads came in three distinct flavours:

1. Young families or single mothers, working terrible shifts or multiple jobs to make ends meet, looking for child care at strange hours or on weekends. The one that sticks with me even now was a single mom working a job with 12 hour shifts who needs someone reliable to pick her child up from Big Licensed Daycare, take her home, give her dinner and get her ready for bed. These ones made me ashamed that I ever complain or worry about money.

2. People who want to pay less than $2 an hour, under the table, for live-in care of multiple children plus housekeeping, errand running, cooking, and dog care. These people make me stabby and they deserve whatever they get.

3. People who write ads that say “Mary Poppins” in any context. I saw three of them. The phrase “we are looking for the perfect Mary Poppins for our beautifully-behaved, cute-as-a-button children aged 31 months, 20 months, and 6 months” made me throw up in my mouth. Yeesh, you don’t want much. A magical singing bundle of gorgeous who walks on ceilings, flies, can clean rooms by blinking at them AND jumps into chalk paintings while on healthy walks? FUCK YOU CRAZY PEOPLE. (And I don’t believe your kids are beautifully-behaved, either).

Hubs is being incredibly supportive and kind through this whole process. “Remember,” he keeps saying “that’s what these people want in some kind of utopian fantasy land. I want a lot of things. Doesn’t mean I’m going to get them”.

Fair enough.

***

There are big changes coming, and not just the baby. Hubs is home until April, when Ron turns four, my goodness. I won’t have a business relationship with my brother anymore – I hope that doesn’t mean weeks go by without my seeing him, but I’ll bet it will. I need to find new clients, integrate new kids, learn how to parent three instead of two and eventually help dig us out of this debt-hole we’re putting ourselves in with all of this.

And yet today, I feel able to cope.

It’s a good feeling.

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Responses

  1. Care to save me a space for next April?! I’m due in May and won’t be hunting until then…!

    Unless, of course you’re not located in Halifax. In which case…nevermind. LOL heh.

    • But I am located in Halifax! In all seriousness, when the time comes for you to start looking, you let me know (via this blog is fine). And congrats on your new baby!

  2. waiting is hard, and having things in flux – esp financially – only doubles the agony. you have the steady in you, though…am impressed that you found your good feeling, and i hope it lasts. you deserve the stable clients that i hope make life and work easy for you these next few months especially. xo.

  3. Mary Poppins will give your child medication for no apparent reason, and dispenses sugar freely. WHO WANTS TO HIRE HER?, I must ask.

    Sorry you are having a hard time. Hope the baby comes soon, and you wind up with some great new clients who are ALWAYS punctual.

  4. i’m on the board of an excellent daycare, and we keep losing kids for similar reasons. people just don’t get it. good daycare is really important, and worth paying for. sigh.

    good luck with that baby!

  5. I love where the girls go. Even if I couldn’t get my subsidy, I’d find a way. Your people will find you. Worry not. 🙂

    And do I need to lecture that baby? OUT! Get out! :p

  6. Yikes. That’s a lot of changes. And that baby must be super comfy to not come out with all that activity! Holy crap. But at least, think of all you have accomplished!

  7. Ugh. That’s awful, three kids at once. I hope you find some replacements, soon!

    Those people asking for Mary Poppins have never read the books. Disney prettified her image in a big way. The real Mary Poppins was a snide, malicious, and sneering power-tripper. The fact that she had weird magical powers didn’t make her any nicer. Not someone I’d let loose near my kids, thanks so much.

    Where do the professional people hang out? Not Kijiji, it seems. I know of a few intranets here, networks just for one big organization, where you can post Childcare Available ads. (Usually you have to know someone who works there, who’ll post for you. Government offices often have them, Boards of Education, Police Services, that sort of thing.) Or posters in the lobby of office towers? (Office towers full of doctors and accountants, maybe?) Or ads in local papers, which specifically say you’re looking for professional people.

  8. And vain. Don’t forget how VAIN Mary Poppins is. Do you have a website for yourself, yet? Listed on daycare bear and godaycare? I never once touched kijiji when looking for daycare… didn’t occur to me. Feels like shopping on craigslist and similar for professionals seems wrong to me.


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