This Is How We Do It

It’s Friday, of course, but this post has little in common with the upbeat infectious anthem of the same name, sung (is that the right word?) by Montell Jordan. It’s also lacking the introspection of the NYT Motherlode’s How We Do It series. This is just my real life without a filter, an editor or even a Timbaland-esque producer. For those things I apologize.

Despite my soul-baring post at Outlaw Mama about going back to work full-time, my change-challenged son was NOT on board. First of all, he likes me to do everything for him. Brush his teeth, put on his shoes, cut his watermelon just right. And it’s just me. Daddy won’t do, aunts, uncles, no one, but Mommy. I know you are thinking I’m raising an incompetent mama’s boy, but until you volunteer to raise him, keep your judgment to yourself and allow me my major mother flaws. Second, it’s probably my fault I didn’t introduce him to babysitters earlier, but he does not take well to strangers. And by strangers I mean pretty much anyone but me. I was home for the first two years of his life and over the brief eighteen months that I went back to work when he was two, he never – for a single day – greeted his amazing nanny with anything but tears.

So I wasn’t looking forward to finding another one. Generally, I’m not crazy about the idea of a nanny (I grew up in a Puerto Rican and Italian family — we didn’t have sitters, we had extended family nearby) but we knew we would have to get one. It was just too late in the summer to switch my daughter into a full-time daycare. We found a wonderful woman with trusted friend references and hired her on the spot. Two days later she quit. My son is not an easy child. Let’s leave it at that.

Since I was scheduled to start the very next day, there was no time for blame or second guessing. Our family needed a solution. We decided against looking for a new nanny, the sting of that recent burn still smarting.

“I guess we’ll have to do it ourselves,” I said. Oddly, Ian thought this was a great idea. We must have both been out of our freaking minds. But that’s what we are doing. We have two full-time jobs and NO babysitter. This is what our day looks like:

5:30am – Ian goes into the office.

6-830am – I get myself ready for work, the kids ready for school (camp during the summer) and leave the house.

9am – drop off at school. Go to work.

12pm – Ian picks the kids up from school, gives them lunch and plays with them.

5pm – I get home to do dinner for the kids and hang out with them while Ian works some more.

730pm – kids disappear in their shared bedroom wearing their pajamas (as long as they don’t bother me I really don’t care what goes on in there). Ian and I eat dinner, watch Ray Donovan and work remotely.

10pm – we enter the disaster zone that is the kids’ room, pick them up off the floor where they passed out from exhaustion and put everything in its appropriate place. Go back to working.

11pm – bedtime.

That, my friends, is the chaos of our house for the foreseeable future. How long can this possibly last before we break down? I guess we’ll see.

In the meantime, please send patience and cupcakes our way. A little sleep and/or rational thinking wouldn’t hurt either, but beggars can’t be choosers and I’m a sucker for Sprinkles.

My happy camper

My happy camper

About Carinn Jade

Mother, lawyer, yogi, writer, non-sleeper. Published @NYTMotherlode. Contributor @Mommyish @Moonfrye @HuffPostLive. I like beer (not wine) & tea (not coffee) & being a contrarian.
This entry was posted in am I doing this right?, Gavin and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to This Is How We Do It

  1. I’m sure I’d be a pile of tears and snot if I went back to work. Good job not doing that, or at least not admitting to it. I, too, have a “spirited” son and the best advice I’ve gotten is that his strong personality will serve him well in his adult life. Hopefully he’ll be some kind of mogul and send me away to my own private island, which by then I’d have certainly earned in blood, sweat and more tears.

  2. No judgment at all over here. You guys are making it WORK. I’m exhausted just reading that. I hope it gets easier.

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