Sitter Days: the Ups and Downs

June 17, 2013

We have had the best experience with sitters. All three of our long term ones have been just amazing.

Right now, with Dr. appts slowed down a bit, I have her 3 mornings a week. 2 are just for me to work. I plan them so as soon as I get home, Bella has had lunch and after a few minutes together she hits nap. This means that I often get 4 hours of nearly uninterrupted working time – you have no idea how much I can kill in 4 hours.

When I close the Twitter/Facebook tabs. 😉

Our sitter gives Bella the creativity and energy that I simply can’t do much of right now. I mean, I’m having trouble getting off the floor when I sit down. So chasing her around the backyard is out. And it’s hard to prep for a craft when I’m passed out on the couch during her nap.

Let’s call a spade a spade: having a high energy sitter makes me feel 100x less guilty when I sit on the couch and zone off for a half hour while Bella chases Charlie around the house. I see that craft on the fridge they made together and my third trimester exhaustion thinks, “Well, at least she did that today.”

On sitter days, we wake up late and have breakfast. Sam comes home now for about an hour and helps me with Bella – my hips usually hurt so bad in the mornings it’s hard to simply get out of bed. (No, nothing was found to be wrong.) Then it’s off to clean up for our day – curtains open, beds made, laundry in, kitchen cleaned, clothes on. My routine is usually up for a while/rest for a while. I can’t sit long because it hurts, but so does too much walking. It’s a bit of a challenge.

Then Bella gets time to be outside or in depending on the weather (sometimes by 9am it’s hit 90* here already). While she plays I take a shower, prep for work with notes and ideas, and finish up cleaning.

NOW. Don’t be fooled by this picture I’ve painted. Because here comes the good part:

As soon as the doorbell rings, my home turns upside down. Charlie goes insane; barking and yelping and trying to get at our sitter. Bella screams that she has to open the door, not me, and then yells at Charlie to move. Once she actually makes it inside the house, Charlie jumps up and down for her attention while Bella spins around or crashes on the floor, the peaceful moments of the morning gone. I’m yelling and scolding, roping in a dog and asking Bella to stop, calm down. Usually before I leave, Charlie ends up in his crate and Bella ends up in her room.

It’s truly awful and I always feel bad that she sees this every time instead of the 30 seconds before. She takes it all in stride, but I’m exhausted and cranky as I leave. She’s assured me it’s not like that after I go, and I really hope so. I have to stay there, I’m the mom. She can leave and not come back anytime.

I keenly remember in these moments as a nanny leaving a home after a 10-12 hour shift, totally fried, and having no idea how moms worked full time only to come home and start all over again. No wonder some of them viewed traffic as a mini vacation! I realize their scenario is completely different than me leaving to work at a coffee shop – not comparing at all – yet it reminds me just how much the roles have reversed in life for me. I used to walk out the door and think, “If I had kids, I’d go home and never get a break.”

Some of you do this every day and work full time. Mind=blown.

I am incredibly blessed to do what I do and have dependable help that enables me to. There isn’t a week that goes by I don’t breathe a prayer out of thanks for her in our lives during these past few months when life turned upside down again. If we could only figure out the initial “WELCOME TO OUR HOME HOPE YOU LIKE BEING MAULED BY THE DOG AND MY CHILD CRASHING INTO YOU” thing. But nothing’s perfect, right?

Did I mention the best part? Truly.

She and her husband are tentatively moving to Bragg a few months after us. ::throws confetti::

I already called dibs.


  • Madonna Foster Millerschin

    June 18, 2013 at 7:07 am

    I'm so jealous she could be following you to Bragg. We are in the process of moving and starting over on finding daycare. Our oldest was her first Clint, almost four years. But E is enrolled in a school in our district and we need a sitter near the house.

  • Rebecca

    June 17, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    I do a little computer tutoring at my home one morning a week, for my pastor’s wife who just doesn’t have time to figure out computer stuff all on her own without being completely frustrated. When she gets here, the dog goes crazy and the preschooler sometimes starts chatting loudly at her as well. (That’s why we’re at my place, not hers – keep him in his own environment with toys, crayons or educational shows.)

    I’m thankful things settle down after a couple minutes, but otherwise I shake my head at the reception she gets. I totally get your house at sitter-arrival-time!

  • Rebecca

    June 17, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    *stupid phone* might move to NC after you is amaze balls!

  • Rebecca

    June 17, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    I think your setup is awesome and having a sitter you love and trust seems like a key to the success. The whole Charlie / Bella dramatics cracked me up (since they aren’t mine) but would totally turn me I to monster mom (if they were mine). LOL. And the fact she m

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