Banana it is! Previously, I wrote about babysitting my niece, Lila, at six months, and at 15 months. Now 20 months old, babysitting has become a far less frightening proposition– Lila has become an actual person, with opinions, and, even better, the beginnings of an ability to express them. Read the rest of this entry →
Parenting is full of euphemisms. It all starts with the “baby bump,” then we get “nursing,” followed by “fussy” and “number two.”
I’ve now started using my own parenting euphemism: Sometimes I say my son has a “babysitter” instead of a “nanny.”
At a recent event for families with young children at our synagogue I was chatting with another mom who has a young son. I’m still in the dating-new-mommy-friends phase (you know, trying out new friendships, wondering if the other mom really likes you, hoping she will call or email you)–when you have to find someone who has the same work schedule, whose child naps and eats on a similar time table as your little one, etc. I didn’t want to further complicate matters by having this woman think I was a rich and spoiled diva. So instead of saying my son has a nanny during the week, I said he has a babysitter. Read the rest of this entry →
The night I realized that we had nobody to parent our children for a stretch of October, I cried.
My husband had a major conference in Reno, and I had a 10-day festival to run. That left us with no one.
For lots of folks, this kind of problem has an easy fix: Granny Nanny. But eight years ago my husband and I, childless and independent, moved to DC, leaving the closest grandparent five hours away. Read the rest of this entry →
Not too long ago, I had lunch with a college friend. When we hung out in our 20s, we’d talk about politics, office politics, and the romantic entanglements of our friends. Now that we’re new parents, we kvelled about parenthood.
He loves being a father, and I love being a mother. We love it all–-except the cost. At some point, we found ourselves agreeing how surprisingly expensive baby gear is. “I just don’t buy things for myself anymore,” he said. I nodded, because while I hadn’t really thought about it, the same is true for me. Read the rest of this entry →
We know parents need a lot of support, both moral and physical. Besides the support of great friends (and Jewish parenting websites), many parents need the support of nannies and babysitters, and that’s why we’re excited to announce our new partnership with Care.com, the premier internet caregiver service. Because hey, we need support, too.
On Care.com, you can find the perfect nanny, au pair, tutor, day care center, or whatever it is you need in your area. You can even find pet sitters, tutors, and housekeepers. All of their caregivers are vetted carefully to ensure that your family will be in good hands. .
If you sign up for a membership with Care.com, not only will Kveller receive a portion of the profit, but you’ll get a 20% discount to boot. Since we’re part of a non-profit organization and rely on donations, this is a huge help to us.
To browse Care.com and sign up for their services, click here.
Earlier this year, I babysat my 9-month-old niece for an hour and a half, alone. Six months later, due in part to my stunning success in keeping her alive for 90 minutes in Manhattan, I got another chance. Eight full hours–with a toddler who’s just about to hit the 15-month mark.
Before, Lila was almost entirely helpless. She could smile, she could cry, she could sleep–and that was about it. Now, she has wants, she has feelings, she has opinions–and she can even express at least a small percentage of them. The night before the big day, my most pressing concern was changing her diaper. I’d watched people change diapers, but I’d never done it myself. My wife and I practiced with a folded piece of paper towel, a small square of tape, and a stuffed hippopotamus. Somehow, my success wrapping a sheet of Bounty loosely around a lifeless object gave me the confidence that I would be able to handle the task on an actual person, with an actual diaper–including something called a “ruffle” that I was repeatedly warned I must be aware of. Read the rest of this entry →
My boyfriend’s 3-year-old was in town this weekend. She stayed with her aunt, but we got in a fair amount of quality time over two days. This has been our strategy over the past year.
I don’t spend lots of time with Ronia, mainly because we live in different cities, and most of the time that I’m with her dad she’s with her mom. But if, as seems likely, Jesse and I move in together sometime in the next couple of years, I will be spending lots of time with Ronia, and I want that to be a positive thing for both of us. So we try to practice, whenever we can, which isn’t that often.
But this isn’t how parenthood usually works. I didn’t bond with Ronia as an infant (though I have known her since she was born, and in a freaky coincidence, I have a picture of my mother, who died three years ago, holding a 5-month-old Ronia) and I don’t have tons of happy memories of carrying her around in a sling, watching her learn to walk and talk and sing. She has become an important part of my life as a 3-year-old, and as my own dad loves to remind me, my parents found that 3 was a much tougher age than 2.
Ronia has to deal with her parents’ marriage ending, and both of them finding new partners. It would be a lot for anyone, and I think overall she has been a trouper, but there is certainly a healthy dose of whining and inopportune peeing these days. Read the rest of this entry →
I’m supposed to have a baby in two weeks, give or take the vagaries of a uterus that on previous occasions has summarily refused to discharge its occupants. Or maybe I’m misreading the situation – maybe the former occupants of said uterus somehow knew that the most organized their mom would ever be would be when they were on the inside rather than out in the cold, harsh world where Mommy forgets to buy diapers.
Either way, the point is that while the baby nurse has been selected and will be here to help us out during the first week or so after the kid’s birth (thank God!), after that, it’s a mystery to me how I’m going to work the whole work-life-other kids-husband-balance schtick. I am thinking I’m going to need to bring in someone from the outside, i.e. some form of child care provider.
Weirdly for me, this decision is fraught with gratuitous angst and guilt. There are lots of reasons for this, though none of them have their roots in my own personal history, oddly enough. My mother got her PhD while raising four children (whoa), and doing so necessitated a babysitter a few days a week. Those days were when I got to color on the walls with impunity (at least until Mom came home again). When we were all very young, we had live-in helpers on occasion who varied dramatically in quality (I was particularly freaked out by Dorothy, the one who could turn her eyelids inside out).
So I’m not under any illusion that childcare other than one’s self is necessarily a bad thing. My mother’s example illustrates, in fact, that to realize one’s self as a person as well as a mother, one occasionally needs, if possible, to have some time without dealing with other people’s poop. Forget about realizing one’s self – sanity is also good.
But I’m not so great as “the boss.” I’m one of those people who feels, when approached by helpful salespeople in a store, that I wish they would go away and leave me on my own to not find my size in peace. I like my privacy, and I hate confrontation. This is why I was so torn when I found the person I’d hired to help me with kid 2, back in the day, with her hands in the proverbial cookie jar, i.e. busily extricating a few twenty dollar bills from my wallet. I genuinely wanted to believe that she had dropped her earring in there.
Trusting someone else with your kid is no joke. That is why I am relieved to have finally solved my childcare dilemma. I found a great person to take care of my baby. You may know him better as President Barack Obama.
Check out the video above.
Michelle is holding the random baby and the baby is crying its head off. Suddenly, when the President takes the baby, it is mysteriously silenced.
That is good enough credential for me. So since putting the baby down for a nap will be no effort for him at all, I’m counting on the President to teach my other two boys civics and to hold policy debates with them in his free time, so that I can go to do my work guilt-free.
Sometimes we camp out in the livingroom and have "threesomes."
Some people don’t believe in the tooth fairy–I don’t believe in babysitters. (And I don’t think there is anything wrong with people who do.)
But I do believe that dating doesn’t have to stop once you’re married (dating your spouse, that is). It just becomes more difficult, especially after children. So how do you date your spouse, if you don’t believe in babysitters?
My husband and I both agreed after our son was born five years ago that we did not want to leave him with babysitters, especially when he was an infant and unable to tell us how the experience was. (The decision was reinforced when my son was an infant and we left him with a family member who kept him in his car seat by an open patio door for the entire hour and another family member who took him out in his stroller and left him in the middle of the street while he picked flowers. Was a night watching an overrated film and eating overpriced greasy popcorn worth endangering my son? Probably not. Read the rest of this entry →