Monday, March 24, 2014

So you're a stay at mom/caregiver? And you need a nanny?


I am a "stay at home mom" (SAHM) and a VA caregiver for my combat veteran hubby, whom we shall call my Hero.

Imagine being a SAHM on steroids.  Truly.  That is how bizarre/crazy/ballstothewall things can get. In the blink of the eye.

For example, today, all was going great.

But in the blink of eye, it was seizure after seizure after seizure.   His, not mine.  There was vomitting, confusion, anxiety, the propensity to wander....

In the blink of an eye, our afternoon was other wise shot.

In comes Nanny.  We affectionately call her Nanny #6.  Though she is our first nanny in this capacity, she is, without a doubt, our little angel.

She's not scared of PTSD.  She isn't afraid of TBI.  She doesn't even bat an eye at seizures.  What's wrong with this girl!?  Nothing.  She's also a Hero you see.  At least to me, but to our country.  She served 4 proud years with the Airforce.  She is no stranger to what her brothers in arms go through. And if she is, the Force taught her well to hide her fear.

I hired her almost a month ago.  The ever bearing medical appointments, a strange new land, (we are transplants from out of state, way waaaaay out of state, and she doesn't mind we don't have our Southern graces yet, she is patient, she is handy, she loves my kids. She is proud to help us.  So I think we'll keep her.

The point is, women have this unattainable pressure to be the BEST stay at home mom (I suck at it) then best wife (also high on suck factor), and the mounting paper work (what paperwork? Come stay with an disabled family and you'll see), the doctors appointments, and the appointments for doctors and did I mention the never ending appointments???? Oh and hubby can't drive now.... that puts a lot on me.  And I tried. LAWD have I tried!  And it was breaking me, cracking me into a thousand little pieces.  So, I decided to get off my own back, and find some help.

I went and answered the Daphne Welcoming committee woman, named Annette, (who brought us WARM FRESH BREAD!) and chatted~ we chatted about nothing and everything, and she hooked me up with a wonderful woman, who had some ideas.

Oh great more ideas....ideas don't get a broken woman far, we need action!  But this woman offered me her nanny, for a bit, until she had to go home to her husband, also a hero hubby :)

So there I was on my own again, but this time, I took her advice.  It was a small fee but I had access to several nannies and babysitters.

And that folks is where I found my Nanny #6.  It was nanny love at first sight.

And on top of that, I created an entourage.  I have a posse.  I feel like such a boss.  I have 5 vetted nannies in my pocket, in case Nanny #6 is sick, or its off hours, etc.  I have a care team.  Like I said, BOSS.

My unsolicited advice to you, my caregivers, is trust me, you can afford this, you SHOULD afford it, at least until EVERYONE is stable.  Nanny #6 isn't a gold plated nanny that I can't afford, she is modestly priced, and came with 3 pages of references.  You have GOT to get one. She doesn't mind if I work from my room, if I'm roaming around the house aimlessly, if I have all of a sudden to get out and run errands.  I suspect they all operate that way, but this one, she doesn't care, her job right now is kids, and as I slowly groom her to work with the husband, well, then she will get a little pricey, but its going to be soooooo worth it.

Now, this is no way saying is fool proof. I suspect any creep can create a profile, so be sure to check your references, and no, the VA, as of now, is NOT paying for this, though I am hoping they will cover some hours so I can have her more as my Hero is requiring more and more medical help.

Don't burn out your friends and family.  They don't truly understand anyway.  And that is okay!  Preserve those precious relationships, and have a nanny work for you.  Maybe even a Nanny #6.

Kateri P. Wife to my very own beloved Hero Hubby (Army 2002-2006)