Our Caregiver is Out Sick – So I get to be Mommy! Can I do it???

Our caregiver, Nanay, who has been with us for 7+ years, has hardly called out sick. I can count on one hand how many days she’s been absent due to a sickness. Today, she could not come in because her allergies are so bad (along with a whole lot of other people!). When I was working, it would have been a huge juggle: could The Hubby stay home for the morning, could I stay home for the afternoon? Maybe my mom could do a couple of hours since she works only a few subway stops away, or perhaps my SIL could pitch in for another few hours. It would be like putting together a complicated jigsaw puzzle those few times that Nanay couldn’t come in.

Luckily, being unemployed, it isn’t such a big deal. Or is it? As I’m sitting here, I have to think about things that I normally didn’t have to. In the two+ hours I have “free” before I pick up S from nursery school, I have to work on my resume, write this blog post, get some emails done and figure out what she will be having for lunch. Then picking up O after school with S and just juggling the two of them and making sure they both have healthy snacks and some outdoor time before O has her piano lesson. Then after that, getting dinner made for the two of them before I dash out the door for an event. I know a lot of moms and caregivers do this every day so you are probably wondering, “What the heck is she all stressed out about?”

It could just be the Type A in me that wants to be able to control everything, but the real mommy in me that knows with two young girls you are never in control and you just have to go with the flow. I know that it’s more about being somewhere in between. In order for the “unknown” to be less scary, I know that I just need to be prepared. I need to make sure I have extra snacks and drinks, enough cash (which I never have) for when they want an ice-cream, and just to be flexible enough to do what the girls want to do after school — and be a good  negotiator when they disagree.  At work, I was in control. I knew when my meetings were, what they are about, who I was meeting with. If we disagreed, there were conversations. Being with children is not as controlled of an environment. It’s more free-flowing and therefore you have to be, too.

We are lucky to be able to have Nanay while I am figuring out what I am going to do next. And these “unknown” moments that I have alone with the girls is a gift. It’s just realizing that the unknown IS amazing – especially when spending it with two little girls who love you so much and who you love so much.

Now, I have to go because I gotta run out and get some milk and some cash!