Guest Blog Post: Kimberly Didrikson of Learning Motherhood
In the early stages of motherhood, it is easy to find yourself caught up in wanting to do everything perfectly and on your own. Obviously this is unrealistic but it’s almost like a way to feel accomplished in the moments where so much seems unknown. For so many of us that first big accomplishment is related to making the decision of childcare. Navigating the landscape of figuring out what childcare is best for your family can feel like a daunting task that ultimately is met with a lot of anxiety. At the same time maternity leave has a beginning and an end where we all our faced with this decision of childcare. Often times women are left to make this decision on their own as they are generally taking some type of leave so this task naturally falls onto their plate. It’s not necessarily on purpose but nevertheless women all of sudden are tasked to make this large decision on who or where their child is going to be cared for. While I’m all for the divide and conquer for somethings in a dual income household this is not one of them. Soon both parents will be back to work and to expect that this task of all communication falls solely on one caretaker is an unfair expectation. So, let’s set up an opportunity to create dual communication of childcare right from the start.
1) Have your partner participate in the interview process. If you can’t both be there at the same time schedule two interviews. If it is hiring a nanny or a backup sitter and one of you interviews first, then for the second interview have your partner interview.
2) You both should be a part of the final decision. Observation at a childcare center should be done by both of you either together or separately. Final nanny or backup sitter trial runs are done together or separately but observation by both of you should be done.
3) Include your partner on the communication with the nanny or sitter as a group text. You should not have to be the go between. When you add your partner to the discussion, and you step into a meeting he or she can pick up where you left off.
4) Both of you should have the childcare provider contacts in your phone that means all of them! Including nannies, sitters, and childcare facilities.
5) Ask for help! Sometimes your partner might not even realize that you need the help with this and is under the assumption that you like having the control over the childcare communication.
It felt so good to bring my partner into the fold when it came to childcare, having this fall on just my shoulders was unrealistic. The coordination of the communication does not make since to be assigned to one person as you both have schedules that change. At the same time making sure you are on the same page is crucial. Example of a communication to your partner., “I’m going into the meeting if you are going to be home later tonight please send a group text to the nanny and myself.”
The idea that when we return back to work, we can be the sole communicator for all the childcare responsibilities is unrealistic so let’s start bringing our partner into the communication. You don’t have to be the only one taking on these responsibilities.
For more on Kimberly Didrikson & her classes specifically geared towards working moms, visit: https://www.learning-motherhood.com/