It’s rare to find someone to help you with your kids who cares for them anywhere in the ballpark of how you care for them. I had that in Liz. When I had my twins I was on an ill-timed deadline to finish my third book. Between hormones (double the dose), PPD, preemies just home from the hospital and work stress I was the epitome of a hot mess. But luckily I had a secret weapon: my newly hired help. I’d hired a nanny to help me bridge the gap because I knew I had to get my book in but I also had another child who had just started preschool in addition to the twins. It was going to be a nearly impossible situation. She sort of took over while I cried over my computer, over my deadline, over my perceived lack of parenting twins ability. Liz stepped in and stepped up, taking the twins for long walks, helping me hold them, feed them, love them. Liz saved my life.
And I almost didn’t hire her.
When I was maybe seven months pregnant I had a pretty lackadaisical approach. I sort of figured I had a lot of time to choose someone. When Liz came over she was very sweet but clearly meant business -letting me know that she had a strong religious faith -Jehovah’s Witness and wanted to make sure I didn’t have a problem with that. All I knew about Jehovah’s Witnesses was that Michael Jackson was one and that they liked to knock on people’s doors a lot. So after Liz left I Googled it and what I found really didn’t bother me. Hey, she wasn’t a Scientologist! But I didn’t call her back right away because I just wasn’t ready to commit.
Cut to a few weeks later when I found myself on bedrest in the hospital. While I was there, not thinking about nannies, my husband told me that Liz had called and that she was very interested in the job. Apparently she was being offered another job but she wanted to work with me more (I wish it was because I was so pretty and charming but I think it was more because the other job seemed like more work and required travel). So seeing as it would’ve been tough to start interviewing more people at this stage and based on a good feeling, we hired her. Don’t you just love trusting your instincts? It was the best decision ever made out of sheer laziness and desperation.
Liz became a part of our family. She saw me bloated, teary, overwhelmed, panicked and vulnerable and she never let on that it was anything less than a normal situation.
When Sadie got a feeding tube button put in, Liz was one of the first people to feed her through it. I’ll never ever forget that.
So when I hear stories of people who don’t take good care of the people who take good care of their kids it makes me crazy.
I wrote a post about it on Babble called, Are You a Babysitters Worst Nightmare? Give it a read because I’d love to hear your comments or stories!