Small child

Nursery, nanny, grandmother, or what childcare looks like when mom returns to work


I knew well one day after the birth of my child that I would have to go back to work. That a stranger will have to watch over him - also. That the election would prove to be more difficult than I thought - I did not know until I had to face them.

The main problem for a mother who returns to work is that she must leave her little child in other hands. Parents who have grandmothers and grandparents to help are largely lucky, for two reasons: first - they entrust the baby to people they trust; the other - they save about a thousand zlotys a month. Because we do not belong with the partner to the lucky ones who have grandparents "on hand", we had to choose from other available options.

Babysitter? Nursery? Grandmother?

The popular opinion is that the child should be "with the mother" for as long as possible, but hardly anyone can afford to look after the child until they reach the age of 3 and start the pre-school stage. We couldn't either. We did not have the opportunity to involve families, and we associated nurseries with illnesses. So the choice fell immediately: guardian. But what to consider when choosing it?

If a nanny, what?

We sat down with a partner over tea and cakes trying to put together our chaotic thoughts and expectations of potential candidates. It became a preference for a young person who is available due to the nature of me and my work partner (I - standard working time, often in the evenings, sometimes on weekends; partner - a few months at home, a few outside), with specialized education and experience in childcare. So, full of enthusiasm, I set up an account on niania.pl, published an ad and ... after 2 days, howled with despair.

The candidates could not read, their statements were blowing desperately and I would not entrust even their own, though nice, though lazy cat to their protection. Maybe I'm exaggerating, maybe I'm tense, but if I write that I'm looking for a 35-year-old candidate, what the hell is my application doing to Mrs. Krysia, 55, Stasi, 50 and Gabrysi, what seven grandchildren have raised and even with the devil pact signed, it doesn't have strength for her to be 35? If I am looking as close to my housing estate as possible, why 10 people write to me that distance is not a problem because they are motorized? And the best: I am looking for availability, and finds 15 offers from mothers with children ... After all, they will want to spend time with their children just like any parent, so availability is rather poor, apart from the fact that he can infect his children from mine, or vice versa.

There is regression and unemployment in the country, everyone grabs what they can, but caring for a child is neither easy nor light or pleasant, let alone responsibility. From 42 applications I chose two candidates who - in my opinion - had a chance to meet our expectations.

How to conduct a job interview with a babysitter?

I thought for a long time about how to check the person to entrust a child to me? What to ask What to check In the flood of thoughts, I decided that it makes no sense to ask for references, because such can be issued by every friend. Question about experience will also be rather pro forma - the course of work is almost unverifiable. I came from the assumption that the main criterion for me would be whether the guardian would inspire the trust of my less than a year and a half daughter, whether she would be able to "buy in" her favors, as well as full availability and honesty, of course, in addition to the obvious expectations of experience and education in the field.

Both candidates liked my daughter, and me, too, but because I faced the necessity of choosing myself, I decided to give the chance to the one of whom I would not be the only source of income (it is easier to settle my hours than to give a fixed salary regardless of the duration of work, what one of them expected of me).

Nice bad beginnings - nanny O.

I invited Ms. O. to cooperate, and so began my first and last adventure with the babysitter. I will write briefly that Ms. O. was a psychologist by education without a diploma, she worked as a play animator for children and a caregiver - it sounded sensible. As a babysitter with my child, she worked flawlessly ... until. I have always said that with everything you can come to an agreement and get along, but I expect honesty. My work did not allow me to predict specific hours of return - I warned the candidates about it and they agreed that it was not a problem. Bah! Ms. O. even worked in my trade, so she knew the inside out.

Despite this, after some time, I began to feel small doubts. My daughter completely stopped enjoying her sight, there was no progress in making potty, and I was more and more often faced with appeased requests for the content of "Asia, if this is not a problem, could I finish at 15 today? I have to pick up the results in the hospital "or" Asia, what time do you finish today? Because the fiancé (his name is said here) ends his work today at 4pm and he can come for me, but if that's a problem, no problem "- such and many others began to appear several times a week.

So I expected a conversation in which the nanny would say that she was expecting something different - I don't know, maybe fewer hours (for all she was paid - always 8 zlotys per hour), maybe something else. Meanwhile, I didn't see anything like that. I accounted for Ms. O. once a week - on Fridays. I never cheated on her - I always noted meticulously in her notebook her hours to come and go and accounted for them with an accuracy of a quarter of an hour, usually in favor of a babysitter. And what? And I was cheated.

On the eve of Christmas Eve I was at work. Mrs. O. wanted to finish faster because she was traveling with her fiance to her hometown for Christmas. I think it's hard - let me give her a little ride to work and go faster.

I handed her a pay envelope and a bag of chocolates for Christmas. She asked if the break between the holidays was current (I had to appear at work, because seven out of ten employees were choosing mandatory leave), so I replied, truthfully, that yes and I'm sorry (reason: she will not be able to stay in her hometown any more).

She said it wasn't a problem because her fiancé had to get back to work anyway. On the eve of work she started to write messages that she would like to come not at 10:00, as we agreed, but at 12:00, because there is a sale of wedding dresses and she has an amazing opportunity to buy a new dress at the old price (she got married in June). I was angry but I asked the manager for a dispensation for these two hours. He agreed. At 11:50 she was supposed to be at my place, meanwhile at 11:40 I got a text saying that she would not appear, she apologizes, but it was very important for her. I called 3 times - she did not answer, the fourth call was rejected.

Proposal? She wasn't even going to come for the break between the holidays, her fiance didn't have to go back to work. I couldn't go to work, so I had to bring my daughter with me. She was very brave, but terribly exhausted, and I was angry at my naivety and the person I entrusted the child to, who turned out to be extremely irresponsible. I didn't hear from her neither sorry nor anything more.

Help! I need a nanny now!

Smarter about experience, I had to find a babysitter as soon as possible - from day to day I remained without help to my child, because my partner went to work for several months.

Fortunately, my sister came back from abroad and she could move in while looking for a nanny. We analyzed all the pros and cons, we were looking for my mistakes, but I really just had bad luck. Smarter about bad experience, so I was editing my advertisement on niania.pl, I made it more precise and set my expectations very carefully so as not to waste my time and the candidates' time. It went into the ether. Answer: 15. Krys, 13 mothers with children, 10 commuters. My hands have fallen. This time I chose 3 potential candidates. One suffered from purulent angina and could not come. I rejected the second one, and the third came to the interview. Nice, tangible, she didn't beat around the bush. I wanted to choose her, but I decided to give myself a little more time not to make the same mistake as in the last case.

Nursery?

At that time, the owner of "Malczak's Corner" in my neighborhood spoke to me - a place was vacant and she wanted to offer me cooperation. I was happy - the private nursery, because I think it should be called it, was a solution that I considered before, but they were all located too far from my housing estate. Commutes and returns would take too much time. However, my enthusiasm subsided when I calculated my situation in the cold: the corner works on weekdays from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and I happen to work both longer and on Saturdays.

The owner of the corner has dispelled my fears. After 18:00 my daughter could stay in the corner for an additional fee, on Saturdays I could ask for help in looking after one of the two babysitters looking after children on weekdays (of course also for an extra charge). Conditions: the ground floor of the owner's single-family house, ten children, three babysitters, contact with other children whose rotation was negligible, PLN 600 per month + their own meals, drinks and snacks that the ladies heat in the microwave. I decided to try.

First cats for fences

The children's living room was a living room with a kitchenette. In addition, there was a bedroom with blankets and baby pillows on mattresses, and diapers in the corner, spare clothes, etc. My daughter's first contact with a group of loud children caused a catastrophic roar! I undressed her a little bit and entered the living room, she calmed down. She sat on my lap for about 5 minutes, then she began to watch the children closely, and after less than a quarter of an hour she sucked away from me and went to explore the area. After half an hour it was "sold". A friendly atmosphere, toys other than at home, a lot of news and ordinary children's curiosity have won. The next day I decided that my sister would take my daughter to the corner, sit with her for about half an hour and try to go out for about three hours. Effect? After 15 minutes, my sister went home because she had no reason to sit there. Lila, embarrassed by the new place, children and games, did not pay attention to her aunt at all.

After a few weeks I can safely say that it was a very good idea. The daughter stopped being afraid of other children, she learned to cooperate and play with the group, she has a normalized mode of the day, she doesn't get bored, she learns about games, songs and dances - in a word: she develops and it is probably better than with a boring mother. Minuses, of course, are, and the most obvious are diseases.

After the second day, the daughter returned sick, but we do not really know where the disease came from - from another child, from taking various foreign objects to the mouth, maybe from the floor (the daughter does not like to wear slippers - she runs in the socks only), or maybe that's why that in the evening we were on a long walk and she could catch a cold. Fortunately, it happened just before the weekend, during which I firmly showered her with vitamin C, lime (Sanosvit), syrup for the first symptoms of the disease (Sambucol) and a solution of sea salt for runny nose (hypertonic marimer). On Tuesday, a small man proudly walked to the nursery.

My observations: the child is joyful, willingly goes to the nursery, learns various games with his peers, undergoes his first love (half a year old Rysio necessarily wants to kiss), gets used to separation with his mother, but most importantly - I see that he feels safe.

Pros and cons

To sum up: from the solutions available to parents, we can consider the help of a family (sisters, aunts, grandparents), a babysitter, a public nursery (which registration is carried out at least once a year, therefore free space is rather rare) and - thanks to the amendment to the nursery law - toddler clubs becoming more and more popular.

If you consider the financial aspect, the cheapest is to help the family, although it is difficult to ask someone for help for several hours a day. Public nurseries are cheaper than toddler clubs; depending on the city, prices range from 200-500 PLN per month, while in public nurseries it is always possible to prepare meals (toddler clubs usually do not have this option for sanitary reasons). In private nurseries, the price range is huge. In Toruń alone, prices range from 500-800 PLN. In Poznań from 900-1400. The scope of services also varies: from basic care (fun, hygiene) to language learning, corrective gymnastics, meal preparation, etc.

Unless you know the case of a friend tiger, who - like in the "Jungle Book" - will raise our comfort for a good, brave man, it remains only to take care of the babysitter and nursery. For the lucky there is also the option of grandmother, if he does not capitulate at a stress-free monster.