T.W.O. is always saying I should be more open and raw on muh blawg, so here goes.
The combination of number of kids, the ages they are, their physical and mental vigor and quirks, and the fact that I do stay home with them have all led to our household reaching a point where the effort involved finding the type of full time nanny/babysitter that is ok with it all is more stressful and disruptive than simply giving up things like cooking in favor of going with part-timers, private school and deli food. We had a good run, had some very kind and caring people over the years, but we’ve reached the limit of how useful it can be to us in a part of the country where being a housewife isn’t really viewed as having its own purpose.
I come from the South, and there being a housewife comes with expectations that make it reasonable to do something like have full time childcare if that’s what it takes to meet the expectations. Many do not, but people don’t really freak out if you do because it’s assumed you must have that lady there to help you meet the expectations of hospitality and visiting and decoration that come with housewiving there, especially at the higher household income brackets. Where we are now, the expectation is that the housewife is solely full time childcare. This is the reason for the 20 dollar a day SAHMs around here. They literally don’t know what else to do but watch kids, so they just keep chugging and the money is pretty much a token sum charged because people would be weirded out by them pleading to watch kids for free (although sometimes they offer, and now I understand why).
We basically didn’t have to confront this issue until recently because the people we got stayed for decent lengths of time. But recently we had to put feelers out and the hassle was just so epic compared to previous hiring go-rounds that we’re done this time around. Granted I will still have part-timers, but part-timers don’t sweat me being home precisely because they are part-time. It could be a lot worse, we’re not making the change because of inability to pay, and I still have part-time childcare from nice teenagers readily available. I just had hopes of starting “pure” homeschooling soon, but that’s just not possible. There is no homeschool community here, the private school options we’re going with are closer to the “one room school” model that we think is best for our children, and me providing more complex instruction down the road is always an option as the kids age.
We’ve all been pretty sick the last couple weeks, so I have more anxiety about the whole thing than is really warranted. The kids are very capable at very young ages and we can do this without everything falling apart. At least, that’s the hope.