Letting your childcare go (in other words, firing them)...

Why is this so difficult and vexing? I mean, for the love of god, I’m talking about my kids here. A few days back, I sent a regular babysitter a pretty tough email about how she mostly seemed annoyed and dismissive around the boys lately and that I just didn’t think this dynamic was acceptable. She waited 2.5 days to write back. Are you serious??? Yet, I didn’t outright fire her, I just massively demoted her re: hours, like a slow-burn letting go I guess. I felt a palpable sense of relief upon realizing that she probably wouldn’t be working with us anymore and really, shouldn’t that tell me just to cut the cord now?!

But I think we have all been in this situation before or even are right now. It’s hard to find people who can simultaneously love and manage your kids AND get them to bed on time. How many interviews have we all been through? How many moments spent pondering the likelihood that any given person is/is not who she says she is? Am I the only one who has memorized license plates? Staked out the house to make sure she wasn’t stealing away with my treasured babies? How much time have we spent familiarizing newbies with our schedules, disciplinary tactics and perspectives on child-rearing overall? Do we want them to be fun? creative? patient? stimulating? All while being all of these things all the time is pretty much impossible for most people.

How much of what we look for in childcare is providing our children extensions of ourselves versus new experiences, i.e. people totally different from who we are? I think this is why after finally deciding on someone with whom you are entrusting your children (and in my situation, I’m only talking 9-10 hours a week; I imagine this could be much more complex for those seeking more time), letting her go is fraught with anxiety. Are my children attached to her in a way I’m not? Does continuity trump enthusiasm? What will I do without this time away?

At the end of the day, I think I need to know that my kids are with someone who truly enjoys their company, who doesn’t just tolerate them. And so, I believe I must bid this young lass adieu because while capable, I am holding out for a bit more verve!