Friday, May 13, 2011

Adventures in Babysitting

No, this blog post is NOT about the 1987 movie Adventures in Babysitting (although I loved that movie when I was in high school and watched it about 500 times.) Adventures in Babysitting has been my life for the past few months. In fact, I am pretty sure that there has not been one day since the end of February that I haven’t thought about babysitting. In fact, we could probably have produced 4 Osterhout Adventures in Babysitting movies in the past few months. :-)

ADVENTURE NUMBER 1 started in February. Since Anna was 6 months old, she has been cared for by a wonderful friend…Miss Sarah! We were so fortunate and blessed to have such amazing care for Anna! Miss Sarah and her family have been blessed with some additions to their family and 4 kids in their home was plenty for them. Since Anna made number 5 and they weren’t willing to give away one of their own children, Anna was the logical choice to go (although I think they should have at least considered it…I mean Anna is awesome.) :-) We were (and still are) super excited for Miss Sarah and her family and totally understood their situation and were totally willing to do whatever was necessary for their family. Their friendship and well-being of their family was our ultimate priority. Although we were thrilled for Miss Sarah’s family and completely understanding, it was kind of stressful as we started looking around and interviewing child care providers. We ultimately found an in-home daycare which was highly recommended and was near the preschool where Anna would be attending in the fall. We made arrangements for Anna to stay with Miss Sarah until the end of the school year and would start at the new daycare in the fall. ALL SETTLED and our Adventures in Babysitting were done…for about a day anyway. :-)

ADVENTURE NUMBER 2 began when Miss Sarah began to have some medical issues with her pregnancy so we had about 2-3 weeks where we weren’t sure what was going to happen (things are good for her and her baby now.) Of course our first concern was the health of Miss Sarah, but we started another adventure during those 2-3 weeks. We were scrambling and very blessed to have my Mom (who happened to be on Spring Break) and my Aunt Donna help out. It was also a huge blessing to be working at Living Stones Church, which allowed me to have a flexible schedule while all of this was going on.

We embarked on ADVENTURE NUMBER 3 when we finally decided that we would contact the daycare that Anna was supposed to attend in the fall to see if she could come for the rest of the school year. Miss Jane agreed and Anna started attending that day care one month ago. We were very pleased and really liked the care that she was receiving there, but there were the adventures and stresses that come with starting a new daycare and how Anna would adjust, learning the routines or new place, etc. About a week ago, I finally started to relax and knew that we had made the right decision. Anna was adjusting well and there were all kinds of neat things going on there. Then this week, the bomb was dropped. Miss Jane told us that she would be closing the day care in July. She has been doing child care for 30 years and had a completely different business opportunity arise and she was ready for a change. We are happy for her to have this new opportunity, but it kind of puts us in a bind. It has caused me to add something to my list of questions that I would have never thought of: “Are you considering closing your day-care/stop babysitting in the next month?” :-)

So, now we embark on ADVENTURE NUMBER 4. As I see it, I have 2 options:

• Quit my job and become a stay at home mom
• Begin the search for another child care provider

As far as option number one of becoming a stay at home mom…there is a big part of me that says do it. However, we have two problems with that. Number 1 is financial. By the time insurance premiums, retirement, college funds, taxes, union dues, etc. are deducted from Mark’s salary, the amount that he actually brings home is fairly small. We kind of like having food to eat and house to live in so we need my income to make that happen (even considering that fact that we have no debt other than a mortgage.) I guess I could become an Extreme Couponer like those people on the TLC show. However, I am not sure I have the time or the energy to devote to that. As a side note, I really think some of the people on that show are about 2 steps away from being on the show Hoarders. I mean who really needs 100 bottles of Maalox (and if you do, you probably have bigger problems that probably should be addressed by a medical professional.) :-) The second reason why being a SAHM is probably not feasible for me is that I think I am probably a better mom because I do go to work a couple of days a week. I think that my personality and the way I am wired makes it a healthier situation for my marriage, my child and myself if I do go to work. If you saw my Facebook post yesterday, you know that I forgot to buckle Anna into her car seat as we drove home on the 20 bypass at 70 MPH so it is probably good if she has someone else who takes care of her part of the time. :-) So…all of you who are stay at home moms I have nothing but mad props for you!!

So, we are left with the option of finding child care once again. The thought of starting over is exhausting. One of our top contenders when were looking in February and March has since de-friended me on Facebook so not sure that is a contender anymore. There are couple ladies at church who do child care, but their location is not ideal. I am hoping to find something on the South Side of South Bend since that is where we live. If you have any recommendations, I would be happy to receive them. We do have some good prospects and I ultimately know that I we will find the right fit. It is just frustrating to begin the process all over again.

Once we do find the right fit and end ADVENTURE NUMBER 4, I am hoping the ONLY Adventure in Babysitting that we have for a LONG while (or ever) is in the form of a cheesy 80’s movie. :-)