As an anesthesiologist, I need to be at work before 7am (or earlier depending on the surgery start time, time needed for preparation, etc.) to see the patient and set up our room. When it was time to decide on childcare, deciding on a nanny was the more obvious choice. There was a daycare center that was open at 6:30am but to get a first-time mom trying to nurse/pump before work in addition to prepare/transport a possibly-sleeping infant was too disruptive to our schedule. Frankly, I was too lazy and knew it would be overwhelming.
No option is the perfect situation. Daycare has its drawbacks, a nanny isn’t perfect either. We are very lucky to have had the wonderful nanny for Jacob for the last 2 years. She’s very good with Jacob, has a flexible schedule that accommodates our crazy work schedule.
We have had to change our start times with her because she used to come a few to ten minutes late each morning. It was to the point where we’d rush out the door with a quick report and rush rush rush. On Sunday, we text her the week estimates. The start times most mornings stay the same- 6:15am.
Before she left Tuesday afternoon, I vocally reconfirmed, See you tomorrow at 6:15. She said, Okay, see you tomorrow.
Wednesday morning, it’s 6:30am and I’m dressed for work, Jacob in tow. She is nowhere to be seen. I call her to find out how close she is and she says she’s in traffic and it’ll be another 20 minutes, she’s not sure because of the rain. As she’s talking, I’m getting increasingly nervous and panicked. I asked something along the lines of I didn’t know there was so much traffic to be here at 6:15. Then she said she thought I said 6:50, Five-O and is Jeff home? And I didn’t feel positive or respond positively after that- I thought, why would I say 50?? Why would I tell anyone 50? We’ve always done 15, 30, 45 or on the zero, Even if Jeff were home, he’d have to go to work too, and if I didn’t need her to be there, I wouldn’t be calling her. After some more conversation back-and-forth, I hung up the phone.
My mind is racing, I start to enter into fight/flight mode- I didn’t want to be late to work- the hospital clocks in when you interview the patient and likes the patient to be IN the room 15 minutes before the scheduled start time.
I called the charge nurse to see who was the overnight person (someone is always there overnight to handle epidurals and urgent/emergency surgeries) and spoke with him. He had to get to his daytime job as well and couldn’t help me… I called Jeff in a frantic – luckily he was not working (overnights at his hospital often has emergency surgeries going on early in the morning) and was able to meet me in the hospital parking lot so he could take Jacob.
It was 6:40am when I whisked Jacob up in his cute dog pajamas, loaded him into the car and raced to work. Thankfully he was in a good mood and wasn’t asking for TV or milk. Of course it was raining! It rarely rains in California so when it rains, no one knows how to drive here. Most drivers slow down (RAWR!) with a few who drive even faster than usual. After I made a few phone calls to reassure the hospital that I was going to be close to being on time, I calmed down. Seeing Jacob’s cutie face in his cutie pajamas made me smile. It was nice to drive to work with him. J
I got to the hospital parking lot where Jeff and I exchanged cars and I ran inside to work. Jeff reminded me that being late is okay, it happens… and it’s not like it’s an emergency trauma or AAA (abdominal aortic aneurysm) rupture where timing makes a significant impact on patients’ morbidity/mortality. So, I calmed down and everything went smooth.
SIGH. It took me a little time to calm down from that high stress level. I had to do some introspective analyses. Yes, I don’t want to ever be late to anything especially work. I don’t like to ask people to help me especially to have to unload the truth about baby/home/personal issues. I don’t want to be questioned for my dependability/character because I’m a MOM. But … you know what? It happens! People are late for some reason or another, people get over it! Being a doctor is a job, being a mom is a wonderful job as well. Everyone is/was alive and healthy. Woosah! Deep breath!
There’s always a few learning lessons to be learned. I need to maintain the bigger picture here. I need to work on calming myself in these situations. Take a deep breath and think logically. Making frantic phone calls while sounding stressed doesn’t help anyone. I need to be kind and patient with everyone in these situations. Woosah! I don’t want to say/do anything I’d regret. Double and triple check and get confirmation (usually writing is better) for all things important! If there’s something urgent/important that needs to be done, there should be vocal/written confirmation.
There is always a big component of unknowns in the world of nanny-dom. Will she show up on time, if at all? Will she quit suddenly? Our nanny may move east if her daughter is accepted into medical school- we won’t know for a few more months. Un/fortunately, she may not be able to help us with Dos if she’s not here. L What can we do? We will figure it out! Like Dory (Jacob loves Finding Nemo and Finding Dory) says, there is always another way! Stay tuned for more of Nanny Chronicles as we learn more!
What factors did you consider when deciding on nanny/daycare for your family? What stories do you have about nanny/daycare?
Some photos from this past week…