Monday, Monday

Oh right. It's Friday. Just feels like Monday, or, more accurately in my personal lexicon, like Tuesday, which, when I was working like a dog in a paying job, I referred to as the "Day of No Hope." Or maybe, today is actually Wednesday, because yesterday definitely felt pretty bleak.

In the last four days, the Lovely Swiss has decided that au pair-ing is not for her, and she's going to leave as soon as we find someone else (or the beginning of December, whichever comes first.) I am frustrated, and trying hard not to be angry, and a little bit--ok, a lot--at the end of my personal rope. The last six months, in truth, the last year, have been incredibly intense, from the decision to move, to getting our old house ready to sell, to juggling two houses, to moving, to fixing up this house to the H's exacting specifications, to dealing with the H being an invalid for a couple of months before and after his back surgery, then having him working seven days a week for pretty much the entire time we have lived here, meaning he was unable (or unwilling, you decide) to pretty much ever give me a break from the kids. Did I mention that the Babe is two with a bullet and completely willful, really f-ing smart, and prone to hysterical, cannot-be-assuaged temper tantrums and occasional sleep boycotts? All this--stress? stuff? pressure?-- led to a whole bunch of conflict between the two of us, between us and other family members and, to be fair to my husband, resulted in him admitting that he doesn't do his share of family stuff and that he needs to do better. I know he wants to, and I hope he will. (Let me just say that I know my problems are not divorce, or cancer, or poverty, or despair. They are, however, my problems, and I feel them, and they f*** up my life. So bear with me, and please don't tell me how lucky I am. I have enough guilt about my good fortune to choke a barn full of horses.)

So with B electing to leave (not, she says, because we're so awful, but just because she doesn't really want to do this, which makes it worse, somehow) I hit the wall. I pinned too many hopes on her helping me get caught up (remember the chaos post of a few weeks ago) and now I'm getting the payback for anticipating that one change would change everything. But today looks somehow brighter. I have found a couple of new au pairs to interview, B is still here (and at the moment wrangling a screaming Babe) and Dido, super big boy that he is, read his first book (Green Eggs and Ham) last night. This week, he also lost his first tooth. Change is afoot, and I just have to get on board.


Alto2 said...

OK, I'm going to share my secret with you: college babysitters. If you live near a college --who cares what caliber -- find a way to post a job there. Advertise for a regular babysitter, if that's what you need, and decide what hours you want. You'll find someone who will care for your kids, appreciate an occasional home-cooked meal, and who will not cost you a trip to the moon. Good luck. This message will self-destruct in 10, 9, 8 ...

goodfellow said...

I'm afraid that you are probably facing an uphill battle with au pairs, as they generally like to be in or near big cities. If hiring a nanny is "out", how about hiring someone local as a mother's helper? Rural communities are usually short of employment opportunities, so I'm betting there are a bunch of moms with school-age kids who wouldn't mind making some extra money with this sort of work.

My secret is that I hired a girl in high school as a cleaner/mother's helper. I met her dad (key)through a book club, and so had been to their house (neat as a pin). She was very reliable, honest and trustworthy, and a better cleaner than the pros (she did exactly what I told her, and did not scratch our floors with faulty equipment). I could really, really, use her now, as I feel I am wasting my life away on housework (somehow, this house is more trouble than ours back home). She was great with the kids too.