I'm Leah, and in a lucky twist of fate, I've landed my three dream jobs:
book editor, writer, and mother. Since having my son in December 2008, my
work-life has been in constant flux - full-time? part-time? freelance?
working at home or in the office? It depends on the day and which way the
wind is blowing - and figuring out how to keep it all going is a constant
challenge. Heck, I'm still getting used to the idea of being someone's
Check out my profile on Work It, Mom! and my personal blog, A Girl and a Boy.
A year and a half ago, as we were preparing to leave our three-month-old son with babysitters for the first time, I asked for your advice about how to handle a situation in which your sitters were not hired hands but friends who had volunteered for the job. Although I didn’t get to put your advice to work right away (the baby would not take the bottle, so we had to give away our theater tickets after all), we did eventually steal away for some date nights, and our friends/sitters have been delighted with the small tokens of appreciation we’ve given them in thanks.
Flash foward to today, when my twenty-month-old son is a pro at being under someone else’s care and we have no trouble calculating how to reimburse for those services because the numbers are right there in the childcare contract we signed. He’s been in daycare for almost three months now and he’s absolutely thriving. He loves the activities and the food and the other kids, and he loves his teacher. I love his teacher too; with her boundless energy and bottomless bag of tricks, she is in many ways the mother I wish I were.
A few weeks ago, I dropped him off on a Monday morning, and during the usual what-did-you-do-over-the-weekend chitchat with his teacher, I mentioned we’d gone to see Daddy’s band play an afternoon concert in San Francisco. Her face lit up and she asked about the band’s name, what kind of music they played, and when their next gig was. Because she wanted to come see. Well, when you’re in a band playing for tips, it’s always good to fill the room with people you know, so of course I invited her along to the next show, but then I got to thinking: could/should we be including her in other things we do too?
When my son turns two we’ll almost certainly invite her to his birthday party, but what about inviting her to our grown-up parties as well? Should we add her to the list of friends we’d call to meet us at the farmer’s market on Saturday morning, or at the zoo or the playground (she has a seven-year-old daughter)?
What do you do? Is your childcare provider also your friend, or is she strictly an employee? Does it make a difference if she’s working out of a center versus running the daycare from her own home? Do you feel the same or differently about school teachers? Is it confusing for kids to spend time with their teachers outside of the school environment?
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