Kitty Time

Motherhood, babies, life, celebrities, politics…kitty’s claws come out when she’s in the mood.

How to raise adulterers and addicts March 26, 2010

Filed under: Husbands,Life with 2 kids,Motherhood,Nanny,Work — Wired_Momma @ 2:19 pm

As if working parents don’t have enough on there minds, here’s something really outrageous….and for the first time in my life, I am completely speechless.

Note – this piece is yet another example of how to blame mothers for the shortcomings of their children. Don’t dads matter in f#cking things up too?

I know I like to blame my husband.

 

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It’s Back Home I Go April 1, 2009

Filed under: Motherhood,Nanny,Work — Wired_Momma @ 8:22 pm

So kittens, I know I’ve been MIA lately – so here’s the news: I quit my job last week. Friday is my last day. I am really excited about the decision.

As I had indicated before, I loved every minute of maternity leave and this time, I am lucky enough that we have a choice for me to not work. We didn’t previously have that option but now we do – and it just seemed so clear to me that now is the time to seize it.

I did worry and fret some over maternity leave as I considered this as an option – why have I been working, what about my career, etc etc – but I just don’t have any of those concerns anymore. Also – frankly – for all you “pundits” out there – I don’t feel like I am “off-ramping” or somehow letting down future generations of women by stepping out – I don’t feel like I am stepping out.

I feel like I am making a decision that is best for my girls because I have the choice right now – but like a good friend recently pointed out, careers are long windy roads with many stops and starts along the way. Who knows how long I will stay home for – time will tell.

Letting go of our nanny was THE low point for me in this whole process, I hated doing it and really fretted over when to tell her. In fact, someone actually gave me a hard time about how I handled it and indicated that I did wrong by our nanny by not telling her sooner.

Because determining when to tell her was something that I really struggled with and I know I am not alone in this – I want to talk more about it and why I actually stand firm in how I handled it with our nanny.

My husband and I both decided that we needed to make a decision that is best for our kids, and it’s impossible not to worry that an employee would start taking things less seriously once they know their time is up. Also, we needed the nanny to stick around until her last day of work – and who’s to say that the nanny isn’t going to up and quit two days after you give her notice because she’s found a better, higher paying job. Call me crazy, but I am quite sure that is a common scenario. It’s a dog eat dog world out there.

So we concluded that just like corporations don’t give employees 2 and 3 month notice that they are going to be let go, we didn’t give our nanny 2 or 3 month notice that she was going to be let go. I also didn’t know that far in advance. When my current boss let me know that this coming Friday could be my last day, I then told my nanny the next morning when I saw her in person. She got one week’s notice and is getting two weeks severance and I am doing everything I can to help her line up work.

As for what happens next, who knows. Having worked in this town for 13 years, it will be strange to wake up on Monday morning and know that I won’t be getting a paycheck but it also seems very liberating. My current employer wants me to freelance and several others have indicated as much as well – so I have a hunch that I’ll keep my fingers in the pot and just have to figure out how to manage it – just like everyone else.

So stay tuned for KT’s musings on mommy-land. Frankly none of it seems real just yet.

 

Adventures in Babysitting February 6, 2009

Filed under: Husbands,Motherhood,Nanny — Wired_Momma @ 7:43 pm

When we started DD1 in preschool, she was still a baby – just 2. At the first town hall meeting we went too, the head of the school asked the parents to only believe half of what the kids tell us about them and they will only believe half of what the kids tell them about us. The notion of this amused me but well…..I had only a 2 year old – so it didn’t really apply to me.

Fast forward to living with a critter who is a few months into the 3s, and guess what…oh, it applies now.

Case in point.

The other day, our nanny came over to take DD1 out for a bit to give moi a much needed break and let her burn off steam. I swear, why didn’t anyone warn us that with 3 year olds, you need to run them like German Shepard puppies, which can be very challenging in the dead of winter?

That night, after putting DD1 to bed, DH came downstairs deeply concerned. When asked about her outing, DD1 informed DH that she played in the park with Jose while our nanny sat in the car.

Hmm.

This story didn’t really add up in my mind. We discussed it briefly and then frankly, I forgot about it.

The next night at dinner, the subject  came up and again, DD1 innocently tells us about how she played at the park with Jose while the nanny sat in the car.

This time I focused and started to worry. The story remained the same a full day later. Might there be truth to it? Was nanny getting lazy? Jose is her daughter’s BF and while he is perfectly nice, he is a kid and well, I’m not paying him to watch my kid. And why was nanny in the car? It wasn’t that cold out. WTF.

DH tells me that this bothers him deeply. I begin to fret over how to raise it with nanny without accusing her based on the words of a 3-year-old.  But naturally I began to wonder how often this happens? What else are we going to learn as she tells us more? My mind started going to places where no parent’s mind should go…..

Oh lord – how can I go back to work when our child is being tossed to teens in parks?

Fortunately with a baby in the house, no worries keep me up at night, a world war couldn’t keep me from sleeping, so I was as rested as possible the next morning while I casually raised it with nanny.

Time to harken back to only believing 50% of what they tell you……

Turns out they randomly ran into Jose at the mall (he was applying for a job)…and he walked with them to the play area in the mall…where nanny stood next to the little cars that the toddlers ride around in for amusement while mommy shops…..

HILARIOUS

Crisis averted.

And well….she did play with Jose at the “park” while nanny was next to the car (not in but is there a difference when 3?)……so she got it all right in her mind, that’s how it played out.

It was a great lesson for us in taking everything with a grain of salt.

And for your amusement, it seems that if I want to have an affair, I better do it while DD1 is at school…because the other day a guy was here fixing a window. Shortly after, DH came home from work and went upstairs to see DD1 as she was playing. Apparently the first thing she told him was “Daddy, there was a man here.”

HA!

I guess I better stop bad mouthing people in front of her too….

 

Pimp my house, yo September 30, 2008

Filed under: Husbands,Motherhood,Nanny — Wired_Momma @ 4:33 pm

Like all customers, it started innocently enough….I just got my feet wet….but before I knew it, I’d become the Elliot Spitzer of the home project world with my nanny as my pimp.

Sure, I’m not crossing state lines with prostitutes and I’m pretty sure the FBI isn’t surveilling me but seriously, I am ADDICTED.

See, I used to think I needed a wife. Now I’ve realized I have something better – a nanny. I tell her what I want done, she finds me the right people for the right price and before I know it – they are at my house, wrapping up various odds and ends. I come home from work and it’s all done. Finished. Complete. With no real effort on my part.

It’s like being a man and just showing up one day and getting a baby!

What prompted all of this?

The same thing that leads blossoming politicians and presidents astray, I’m sure, I just got tired of waiting for my DH to get it done.

It began with just some leaves being cleaned up and bagged and taken away. They’d been in that corner of our yard for THREE YEARS. With that first time, I was nervous and I didn’t tell my spouse, I just arranged for the job to get done. What I forgot was he would be home that day to take DD to school and he called saying “Who is Jose and why is he in our yard?”

HA – busted.

But see, Jose came and he took it all away and that corner of my back yard never looked better.

So I was hooked. What else was bothering me? What else needed done and the response from DH was always this: “I’ll get to it.”

Uh huh…sure you will.

As it turns out, there is SO MUCH to be done around the house…and the nanny has someone for everything.

Now DH is fully on board with this..he doesn’t even ask…he just acknowledges when something is fixed and nods his head. He sees the beauty in the nanny as our pimp. I am in hog heaven. Things have never been so clean, so organized and so expeditiously done chez moi.

So for all of you who also joined me in believing you need a wife – it turns out it’s not true! You just need a nanny as your pimp – and I’d recommend you cut your husband out of the process – just tell her what you need, settle on a price – and get it done. It’s magical.

 

Call Me Mommy October 22, 2007

Filed under: Motherhood,Nanny — Wired_Momma @ 3:49 pm

I have a general rule of thumb for myself with the blog. When I realize that I’ve been thinking about something for more than a few days, I conclude it is blogging material.

I mean – if I’m chewing on something for so long and it’s keeping my attention – then surely you will too, right? Right.

So here goes.

A few weeks ago, my nanny mentioned that her friend, who is also a nanny, was in trouble with her employer. Let’s call her Nanny X. She watches Baby J during the day.

Seems that Baby J has taken to referring to the Nanny as Mommy X. That’s right, calling the nanny “Mommy” followed by the Nanny’s name. Now I don’t know about you but that would set me OFF if I caught my daughter referring to our nanny as “Mommy X.”

I mean – it’s tough enough to leave the house on the mornings where it feels like she likes the nanny more than me – but that would put me over the deep end.

A friend of mine once joked that we all needed to back away from our HR Offices one morning – a few of us were having trouble juggling motherhood and working and were probably threatening to quit……and I can say with certainty that I would need to be told to back away from my HR dept if I heard my daughter referring to our Nanny as “Mommy X.”

Wouldn’t you?

So, my nanny and I discussed this situation. She went on to point out that her friend doesn’t tell the boy to call her Mommy X. In fact, apparently the nanny corrects him and reminds him just of her name when he does so, but he is just over 2 and well, he says what he wants.

Or how he feels, according to my nanny.

She then went on to just say that the nanny spends more time with Baby J than anyone else and like in other situations she has seen, Baby J has gotten so attached to the nanny that it feels natural for the child to refer to her as Mommy X.

See, KT over here, I’m not buying a ticket on that bus. I’m not replaceable, I am the only Mommy and I’m the one that brought the child into the world, nurses her to health at 3am and provides for her at every turn. I am the mommy and am not sharing that title with ANYONE.

I’m pretty sure the mother of this little boy felt the same way because this Nanny was in the DOG HOUSE.

I pushed my nanny on it a bit more, asking her if it would bother her if her kids referred to someone else as “Mommy,” to which she replied “No.”

Again, surprised. Was she just more comfortable in her role as a mother than me? Was she just more confident than me? I wondered.

So off I went, for a few days, and thought about it. I thought about how many hours my daughter spends with the nanny, I thought about how many hours she spends with me, I might have been spotted loitering outside the HR department of my office a few times, just sort of lurking in the shadows cast off by the cubicles.

But I also thought about something my nanny said and something my friends and I have said, mainly in regards to our in-laws.

First what KT’s friends say. We believe “you get what you give” – you give a lot, you get a lot. You don’t give much, well then, you don’t get much.

The nanny’s believe that as well because they also work in households where the parents just aren’t around as much, where the nanny is tending to the child from early morning until bed time. They might even be the one that is there when the child is sick. So for them, to be called “mommy” is just a natural extension of what they are doing. They don’t encourage it but they can see why it’s happening.

A few more days passed and then I went to a birthday party…..and noticed that there were NANNIES present at the birthday party.

Which was held on a Saturday.

Naturally I was busily judging those mothers and wondering why in the hell they needed to drag their nanny out on a Saturday to attend a child’s birthday party with them? I mean – for real?

That following Monday, I made a comment in passing to my Nanny about this and she looked at me, smiled, and said “Now you know why the little boy calls my friend Mommy.”

For once, I was pretty much speechless. Because – is she right?

I mean, you get what you give. Don’t you?

 

Nanny….where art thou? August 21, 2007

Filed under: Motherhood,Nanny — Wired_Momma @ 12:13 am

Like Romeo and Juliet, the end of the affair with the nanny can be quite dramatic. KT believes there are three ways this often complicated and dramatic relationship between mommy and nanny can end. There’s the “blindsided”  ending, the “long slow goodbye” and the “diplomatic treaty.” From KT’s perspective, few end the diplomatic route but I try to be positive every now and again. So let’s begin. Those of you who have been in the ring know how each of these end.

First, the “blindsider.” That would be the nanny that calls you out of the blue, like an unsuspecting Sunday night, and informs you that it’s not working out and then really gives you no notice. It’s over. Done. You’re left wondering if it really happened.  If you’ve been through one nanny before, you skip over  the “was it me, not her” mourning and jump right into rage. If you don’t believe me that you can be abruptly blindsided by your nanny quitting, go read Self-Made Mom. Her nanny literally quit by phone on Sunday night. After her second week of vacation.

I’ll get to the evil role of vacation later. Think of vacation as “the other woman.”

Then there’s the “long slow goodbye.” I, personally, experienced that route with my first nanny. Again, there was the vacation. In fact, this was a 6 week vacation and then she didn’t show up on her scheduled return date, only leaving me to conclude worst case scenario: she was stolen by bandits and was tied up in the jungle somewhere. Turns out she just changed her plans, never let me know, and didn’t seem to think anything of it. Meanwhile over in reality, I aged about 15 years trying to get to the bottom of the great disappearing nanny of early 2007. Then she quit about two weeks later. The truth is, all the signs were there that it was going to end, I think I just  shoved my fears into the back of my mind and she needed the time to work up the courage to end it all.

I think you’ll note two commonalities in both of these scenarios: vacation. I’ve grown to fear the dreaded vacation on the part of the nanny. Sure, if they are taking vacation when you are taking vacation, then it’s just regular vacation. But I swear, out of the blue vacation is the first major red flag that something is afoot. Where are they going? Do they have a lover in another town? Are they traveling to their homeland and ultimately spend a lot of time with their children only to return with extreme vacation brain: the reminder of why not working is good? Whatever the case may be, vacation is like infidelity. It’s just the beginning and it just gets complicated and ends in divorce.

Now about the third scenario – the “diplomatic treaty.” Again, I’ve yet to find anyone whose nanny relationship ends in an amicable agreement but I’m sure it exists – probably among the school-age set of kids, such as the youngest goes off to school and the full-time nanny is no longer needed. Seeing as how I’m just entering the mean halls of preschool, I’m not there yet and just don’t run with the older crowd. But I have to believe there is a drama free ending to some nanny relationships.

Sure, I’ve covered the role of the nanny breaking up with you, the employer,  but we all know that many parents break up with the nanny. It’s a two-way street,  this dramatic relationship we enter into.

I think that one of the worst, most stressful parts of working and parenthood is managing the relationship with your child’s caregivers and dealing with the stress of when it ends. Particularly when blindsided like  SMM on a regular summer Sunday evening.  That is just wrong.

At the end of the day, however, it always works out. There is a nanny out there for all of us, a good one, and one of KT’s older mommy mentors advised  me that each nanny just gets  better. That truism is the one thing we have to hang our hat on, especially when you start seeing the red flags that the long slow goodbye is upon you…..

 

Manny, anyone? August 7, 2007

Filed under: Motherhood,Nanny — Wired_Momma @ 6:54 pm

By now, we’re all quite familiar with the Manny. Most would argue that white trash Britney was the first to have a manny, what with last summer’s manny heart throb, fresh from the naval academy. Who knows, perhaps he inspired Vin Diesel’s character in “The Pacifier.”

But wasn’t Tony Danza really one of the first manny’s in this country? I think we all remember his classic role in “Who’s the Boss?” And if you don’t, then you’re probably not old enough to drink and you’re definitely not old enough to be reading this blog.

Ahh yes, lovable goofy Tony Danza, here’s the beginning of his role as the manny of the house, its TV writing and comedy at its best:

 Tony: I’m Tony Micelli. I’m here about the job.
Angela: Oh, I’m sorry. There must be a mistake. This job is for a housekeeper.
Tony: That’s me, Mr. Goodmop!
Angela: Well, my mother’s screening everyone. Did you meet her?
Tony: Yeah yesterday. She gave me the once over, kicked me in the tires, put me up on the rack…
Angela: Well, she should’ve checked under your hood, ’cause you’re the wrong sex.
Tony: Oh, wait a minute; she said that wouldn’t be any problem.
Angela: My mother didn’t think World War II was a problem.

Indeed kids. We probably thought that was really funny at the time. I mean, Mr. Goodmop! What the hell does that mean?

But now, apparently manny’s are such a phenomenon that, of course, someone’s written a book titled……wait for it……

“The Manny”: http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/Story?id=3293877&page=1

Brilliant, I know.

And so, while having Mary Poppins was so 1970s, Mr. Mom was so 1980s, regular old foreign nannies is so 2000, apparently having a MANNY is so 2007.

SO I got to thinking, what might be the pros of having a manny?

Well, there’s the obvious eye candy for the pro category. I mean, one dear KT friend suggested a while ago that the very attractive Casanova young Latin intern in my office this summer might make for good manny material.

And right she is. Mamacita! He’s easy on the eyes, sweet natured, charismatic, why wouldn’t I, and my darling daughter, of course, want him around the house? And the brilliant thing is, darling husband leaves in the morning before our current female nanny arrives and well, he’s never home in the evening when she leaves. SO darling husband could go months before even knowing that pleasant older female nanny has been replaced with doe-eyed 18 year old Latin Casanova….

But then there’s the other thing to consider. See, avid KT fans (and there are thousands of you) know by now that there are days when I despise my nanny.

Why? You ask.

Because my kid likes her, of course! Why else!

But seriously – the relationship between mom and nanny is fraught with issues. Jealousy, competitiveness, contention. It ain’t an easy path to navigate all the time, after-all, this woman is spending the entire day with your beautiful cherub…and if she’s worth her salt, your beautiful cherub grows to love her too.

And every woman wonders, is there enough love in beautiful cherub’s heart for the both of you?

Of course there is – so long as she loves mommy more and never shows any inclination otherwise. Which naturally all toddlers demonstrate very clearly on a regular basis.

But now – would this be the case if you had a MANNY? Would the same mother-nanny dynamics exist as what exists between two grown women?

I don’t think so. I think it would be a very different dynamic, as sad as that is to admit.

And we all know, when mama’s happy, everyone is happy.

So – was Britney really onto something, back for one brief second when she still had a brain cell? Is the Manny the way to go?