Parental cross to bear: childcare.
I have had my kids in childcare since I was a single mom, out of necessity. I wish I could be financially capable of staying home, but it’s not an option for us right now. My first childcare provider was a friend who watched St. Adelaide the Righteous for $5 an hour. She was doing me a favor.
Number 2 was referred by a friend, but her house smelled like dog and old food, and the kiddos were sick at least once every two weeks.
Number 3 is my current provider, an older lady with Pomeranians. She charges us whether we take the kids or not, gets paid 52 weeks a year even though she works 48, and requires payment a week in advance. She provides the food and diapers, but I’ve arrived at many different times and seen the kids parked in front of the TV, with her on the computer or phone.
So this weekend I had to look for a new place. I have some general criteria: flexibility, cleanliness, and lack of TV watching. You would think these would be givens. Yeah, not so much…
Number 4: middle aged lady with 25-year-old assistant, with an old house that she’s fixing up. She’s only been in business 3 months, but the house on the inside is clean, neat, and obviously well-planned for having kids around. No yard, though, and the neighborhood is questionable.
Number 5: nice lady, great space, but husband is a smoker and smokes inside the house. I’m not sure how someone can run a successful daycare with a smoker in the house (he apparently doesn’t work). This is a dealbreaker for me.
Is it so rare to find a stay-at-home mom, who’d like to take in a couple of extra kids 3 days a week, who doesn’t smoke and is favorable to cleanliness, has a back yard to play in, and is flexible about days off?
OOH OOH. I am SO going to use the poll feature for this one. Tell me what you think.