Monday, May 24, 2010
What challenges do you have finding care for your child?
This weekend, I went to a retreat sponsored by Care.com, a site that connects people seeking help for their kids, parents and pets with caregivers. I just signed on to be a paid ambassador, and a group of us met up to discuss the company. At a hotel/spa, no less! I met some absolutely amazing women, including Sheila Marcelo, founder and CEO of Care.com, Cooper from The Motherhood, Amy from Mommy Tracked, Christine from Boston Mamas, Lindsay from Rock And Roll Mama, and Morra from Women Online. I'd already met Jennifer James, of Mom Bloggers Club fame, at Blissdom and adored her. Please take a sec to register your blog at her site if you haven't yet, it's a great community and she'd love to keep it growing.
The retreat was filled with good conversation and information, good food, good wine, good naps (two!!!), even a very good facial. My pores are extremely happy right now.
We even did this cool activity where we all sat in a circle and played drums with a cute guy someone called a "nugget." (No worries, honey, you are my one and only nugget, though it would be ever so nice if you could cut your toenails.)
We talked a lot about moms and their needs, though we didn't delve into kids with special needs because there was so much to discuss. But clearly, when you have a kid with disabilities, finding care presents some unique challenges.
We are beyond fortunate that Linnette, the nanny we hired before Max was born, is still with us. Last year she won the Care Hero contest I entered her in, and that's how Care.com knows me. Other than lucking out with Linnette, finding babysitters hasn't been so easy. I miss having my mom and my sister, my best sitters. When Max was a baby, they helped me stay sane. But my sister had to go off and have a baby (so thoughtless of her) and my mom's getting on in years (similarly thoughtless behavior). When Max was little, we also got respite care through a program with The Arc.
I'd never feel comfortable leaving Max in the hands of one of the neighborhood teens. We need someone really experienced. This person has to be comfortable feeding Max and making sure he doesn't choke on anything. She also needs to give Max seizure medication. Most important, I need to feel confident that if the worst happened—Max had a seizure—she'd know what to do.
Common sense is key, too. The other day, I walked in and found Max roaming around by himself; the babysitter had gone down to the basement to get something. She'd left that door open, which is dangerous because Max is in this Superman stage where he thinks he is capable of doing anything. That's awesome, yes, but he hasn't got the going downstairs thing down pat.
I know that some of your situations are even more complicated. What concerns and challenges do you have about finding help for your child? Who do you trust with him or her?
Photo/Just My Perspective