Saturday, September 11, 2010

Mary Poppins

I knew it was going to be too much of a challenge to care for an infant on my own, that I would need help. That was not going to stop me from having children though. I had an absolute peace knowing that God would provide that help, both physical and financial. And when you put your total trust in Him, He provides more than you could ever imagine. I was totally clueless how any of it would work out, but I knew God had a perfect plan.

God provided a Mary Poppins, a nanny, several actually. Well... they weren’t real nannies. They had the role of a nanny but sure didn’t receive the pay. These were just women I had found through church, friends, and an ad I had placed on Craigslist, that were willing to lend a helping hand to a disabled mother.

I want to share the timeline of each “nanny” because it really is a testimony to how God works.

Prior to Kiana I had no experience with babies. None. So I really had no idea what kind of help I would need, what I could do on my own and what I couldn’t. My parents were here to help me for the first month. I had someone from church lined up to help after they left but when I contacted her a week before my parents left it turned out she had moved. Oh no! Now what? My husband was going to take a week off from work anyways to spend time at home with us so that gave me another week to look for someone.

I found another woman from church. I was still on maternity leave and didn’t plan on going back to work until mid-January. She came over in the mornings right before Tim left for work and was with us all day until Tim came home.

Our day: Tim would put Kiana in bed with me right before he left for work so I could nurse her. The “nanny” would then come in and carry her out to the front room. My “nannies” did everything I wasn’t physically able to do: carry Kiana, put her on my lap to nurse, move her to the crib when she fell asleep, change diapers, bathe and dress her. But I was always right there. I wanted Kiana to know that I was mommy and that even though I was not physically able to do the task, I was right there.

A week before I had to start work my nanny just quit showing up. It is a more dramatic of a story than that but I won’t get into the drama of it. One day we were confined to the bed until 1pm until I was able to get a hold of someone to help. This wasn’t SO bad because God blessed us with a very easy, happy, content baby so I was able to entertain her, change her diapers, and nurse her without her throwing a fuss about being on the bed for hours. I remained calm and it all worked out.

It just so happened that my neighbor friend had a week off and was able to take nanny #1’s place, thus giving me a week to find someone. I put an ad on Craigslist. God had it all planned out, but I’ll admit, I was an emotional mess. I didn’t know what I was going to do. I started to get depressed, wishing that I was just able to take care of Kiana on my own, I was in tears on the phone to my mom, my husband and I discussed every possible solution (one included him quitting his job and being a stay-at-home dad, but financially that wasn’t going to work.). My mom had decided to come, except there were no seats available on flights for weeks, so in the end she never came because I found someone 2 days before I started back at work.

Nanny #2 was awesome. She was so wonderful with Kiana and she was a perfect fit in our home. I went back to work part-time and nanny #2 would watch Kiana in the mornings in my home and then help me with Kiana in the afternoons until my husband got home. But I knew she was only temporary, that she needed and was looking for a “real” job. So I kept my ad on Craigslist.

Oh, I should also mention that two mornings a week I had two Bible College Students from our church come help me, free of charge from February-May. Yes, Kiana had many different people come and go in her early months, and sometimes I felt bad about it and worried that she might grow up with trust issues, but Kiana did well with each change and is a pretty social little baby.

Nanny #2 was with us for 2 months before I found someone else. Nanny #3 started in March. Again, she was only temporary and in May she gave me her week’s notice. I called my friend to ask if she could help out. My friend was a stay-at-home mother and had offered to help before. My friend was willing to come to my home and help out in the mornings and then when I left for work she would take Kiana home with her, but after her first day she called to tell me that her son was allergic to my cat and she couldn’t help me at my house.

I was at a loss. I cried, I prayed. My friend was scheduled to start on Monday. I was so tired of interviewing random strangers to find someone I could trust with Kiana and in my home while I was at work. Something I wanted to avoid at all costs was to put Kiana in full-time daycare just because I couldn’t take care of her myself at home. That would have made me feel like a real failure as a mother, having someone else take care of her. I understand full-time daycare if you are a full-time working mother, but I was only working part-time and I wasn’t about to have Kiana in day-care while I was at home by myself. I am so thankful I was able to find women to come into my home those first 6 months to help me. Plus, I wasn’t even able to get her in the car on my own to get her to and from day-care (I’m still not able to at 10 months).

The next day was Saturday, a work day for my husband, and I decided, to just try it on my own. Kiana was 6 months at the time, was sitting up, crawling, and starting to pull herself up into a standing position. (She developed very early for her age and I believe this is how God planned it because He knew I would be caring for Kiana on my own starting at 6 months and that it would be easier for me if Kiana was more independent, sturdy, and developmentally advanced.) Saturday was probably the worst day I could of chosen to be alone with Kiana because that was my husband’s longest day at work, but I was actually more nervous about being alone with her on a work-day because I’d be pressed for time and would also have to try to get myself ready for work.

I had 2 wonderful neighbors I could call on if I needed, but as it turned out, that Saturday went very smoothly and Kiana and I had a very relaxing day together. Yay! I could do this! And from that point on, I now take care of Kiana in the mornings and my friend picks her up before I leave for work and provides childcare out of her home.

My desire and prayer is that I can be a full-time stay-at-home mom and I fully believe that will happen all in God’s time. In June I got my hours reduced at work to only 12 hours a week so I am spending more and more time at home with Kiana. And I love it! But it is difficult for me, and some days I feel as if I’ve been beat up, and we are not able to leave the house so I don’t think, at this point it would be fair to either of us to be stuck in the house 40 hours a week.

I realize though it may only get more difficult, but only time will tell. As I look back on it all now I wonder why I ever worried, that God had/has it all worked out, even down to the last second. He will always come through. God is good.

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