In a recent interview with Vogue, President and Michelle Obama opened up about their life when they were still a "typical, middle class family". The President reminisced to the mag about when he was still a state senator, saying: "We had to figure out how to make a mortgage, paying the bills, going to Target, and freaking out when ... the woman who’s looking after your girls while Michelle’s working suddenly decides she's quitting. All those experiences made us who we were."
Wait. Somebody quit being the Obama's babysitter? The hell? And, wait -- how did they deal with that?! Having the babysitter up and quit is every working parent's nightmare incarnate!
When you both work and are a parent, good childcare is priceless. There is nothing like not having to worry about your kid when you're at your job/knowing that your son or daughter is in the best possible hands. Every nanny/babysitter-using working mom I know lives with the constant low-grade fear that one day the person who looks after their little one will up and quit. And the people I know who have had to go through a nanny or babysitter quitting have said it's beyond stressful -- for all parties involved.
So, what do you do? I mean, odds of one person taking care of your child forever are pretty slim (save for those of you lucky enough to have a family member watch your little one).
In my experience, you have to have as trusting a relationship as possible with whoever looks after your baby while you're at work. Will it prevent them from ever leaving and moving on to greener pastures? Of course not. But it may better prepare you for when they do leave -- IE, you may not find yourself in an Obama-like position of being suddenly left high and dry.
I like to think that the person who looks after my daughter and I have an open and honest relationship. I told her when she was hired that we were going to move at some point, and as soon as we made an offer on a home (that's in a town further away), I let her know. We determined that we both want to continue our working relationship, and have mutually tweaked her schedule. And on the other hand, she's told me that she's going to be going to grad school come August. It will be a very (very) sad day 'round these parts, as both my daughter I and love having her, but I'm glad that we know this far in advance, as it gives me ample time to find a replacement.
Not saying that having a good relationship with your childcare provider will always prevent them from suddenly leaving (or that the Obamas didn't have one with theirs), but it just may help make any transitions a little smoother. And that, too, is pretty priceless.
Did you ever have a nanny or babysitter suddenly quit?
Image via Pacific Coast News