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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Holding it all together

I've seen motherhood illustrated as an octopus--think February 2005, Newsweek cover when Judith Warner was about to release her book Perfect Madness--and that just isn't quite right. With an octopus, you have eight working parts all functioning independently. And presumably, if one of those limbs was severed, the other seven would still be operational. If I had to illustrate the idea of motherhood, it would be a spider web. Because if one thread is compromised, the whole thing collapses. Sure the spider would immediately start mending the damage, but it would take time.

That is a more realistic view of motherhood. Mothers are stretched in so many directions, so when mom hasn't figured out how to stabilize all the parts--child rearing, spousal relations, domestic duties, getting much-needed breaks, pursuing her own creative outlets, managing house projects, etc., etc.--the whole web suffers.

So if I don't find childcare soon, this whole thing is going to collapse. I'm a totally frustrated writer--I have so much to write and no time. Yes, you could argue that instead of writing this, I could be writing that. But at least it isn't the other way around with so much time, but nothing to write. So what is holding me back, you ask? Finding a reliable and normal person to watch Baby in Chief. Finding someone who meets my seemingly-simple criteria seems about as likely as finding a contact lens in a cornfield. With the bad luck I've had, I'm going to start taking it personally. Here are the sordid details:

  1. Successfully hired Childcare Person #1 (but then I changed my mind because she wanted to bring her two kids with her).
  2. Successfully hired Childcare Person #2 (and then she flaked and I never heard from her again).
  3. Was ready to hire Childcare Person #3 (and then she backed out because she accepted a full-time job elsewhere).
  4. Wanted to meet Childcare Person #4 (but then she hung up on me once she realized she was a 45-minute drive from my house. Who just hangs up on someone? What kind of person does that? How about a normal person's response: "Oh, wow. I didn't realize you lived so far away from me. I don't think it will work. Thanks anyway.")

Perhaps a better solution is sharing someone else's nanny. I responded to an ad and even went over to meet the mom, the boy, and the nanny (aka: interview for the privilege of sharing a nanny with them). And now I wait, and wait, and wait while they interview other prospective families. I even upped my offer to include more hours. Please, please, please pick me!! When did finding childcare become as competitive as buying a house in the Bay Area?


  1. are you near berkeley?
    Berkeley Parents Network has a good set of recommendations for childcare options...

  2. Anonymous3:10 PM

    I've taken measures into my own hands and posted on the Burlingame Newsletter hopefully the solution will present itself.

  3. That's a great idea! I hope it works out. If it doesn't maybe you could put the word out that you are looking for someone to share nanny hours with you. (Or is this what Jen did for you on the Burlingame newsletter? If so, try the other moms' clubs too!) It might spark someone's interest.

    For your own sanity, if none of this works in the very near future, it might even be worth paying a service to find someone?