I hate to be the bad guy.
I typically try to give people the benefit of the doubt. Many times it has served me well and a few times it has come back to bite me in the butt.
For those new to my blog, you’ll need to know that my son was born two months early. We had just moved a couple weeks prior and then, boom shacka lacka, the baby came. Which is awesome, except for the fact that we hadn’t really figured out childcare yet.
I mean, we knew that my mom was going to watch Jack three days a week and my husband was going to watch him one day a week. The original plan was for me to stay home one day a week, but the whole losing my job and getting a new one messed that up.
So we needed someone for just one day each week, which is really hard to find. Childcare providers are only allowed a certain number of infants, so they prefer to watch them more often in order to make the most money.
We lucked out though and found out about a lady just 10 minutes from our house. She was best friends with my mom’s cousin (who also previously did childcare) and had over 20 years of experience. Let’s call her Betty for the rest of the story so that we can keep things straight.
Well, when I spoke to Betty on the phone she sounded great. She seemed super nice and even had an infant spot available on Friday’s starting with the school year.
My first call to her was in May, even though we didn’t really need her until August. Betty and I agreed to touch base again in early-June, since her May was insanely busy. Well, June turned into July, which then turned into early-August, due to random issues. No big deal.
Well, our first two appointments we set up in August were cancelled because her daughter went into labor and had some complications (understandable). The next two appointments were cancelled because one of the children was sick who then infected the other kids (also understandable). Yesterday’s appointment was cancelled because she forgot she had other plans (um, okay).
All of these things I can forgive – I mean, I’m a busy girl too and I certainly was appreciative of her warning me about the flu germs before I showed up with Jack. The problem is that she is scheduled to start watching my son NEXT FRIDAY and I still hadn’t met her in person.
Which brings us to today.
I had an appointment to come by her house today at 11:00 am. I showed up on time and she greeted me at the door. She was super nice in person. The three children she was watching were (mostly) well behaved. She held Jack and made him laugh hysterically. Throughout our hour-long conversation, I even agreed with her on many of her childcare philosophies.
Sounds perfect, right?
Well, it would have been if not for one little thing…I think Betty is a hoarder.
There was stuff everywhere. And when I say everywhere, I don’t mean a little sprinkled here and there. I mean the place was PACKED. She mentioned in passing that she was consigning a few things, but as I was given the ‘tour’ into each room I realized that there was NO WAY that all this stuff was waiting to be donated.
Now, I know I sound a bit like a snob complaining that the place wasn’t as neat and clean as I would have liked it. And I am admittedly a bit of a neat freak and keep my space as clutter-free as possible. However, let me assure you that this was NOT normal clutter.
It looked like Toys R’ Us exploded in her house. Every single room had stacks and stacks and stacks of children’s toys and books. And when I say stacks, imagine that there is a clear area in the center of the room and every other area is FILLED with toys.
There was absolutely no room for the kids to run and play…or even walk and play. There was hardly any room at all.
Betty didn’t seem too concerned with the mess, so I tried to tell myself that I was just overreacting. We planned for me to drop Jack off next Friday and I went on my merry way.
As I was driving up the street, the horror set in. The conversation in my head went something like this:
Devil Julie: “The place is gross.”
Angel Julie: “Well, maybe she just has a lot to be consigned.”
Devil Julie: “Hoarder, hoarder, hoarder!!”
Angel Julie: “Jack doesn’t crawl or walk yet, so maybe we can try it out for a month and see how it goes.”
Devil Julie: “You can’t make me go back there!”
Angel Julie: “I already committed to have Jack go there. I don’t want to be the bad guy.”
Devil Julie: “NO WAY! There isn’t even room for Jack to crawl around! And how clean can the place really be with all that stuff? And what if a pile falls on him and he gets CRUSHED BY TOYS?”
Angel Julie: “Shit. You’re right”
When I got home I called both my husband and my mom to see if I was just being crazy. After hearing about the situation, my mom totally saved the day by offering to watch Jack for an additional day each week. We’ll continue looking for other childcare options; however we all realize that it’s possible we might not find anything until Jack is considered a toddler in February.
So now I have the unpleasant task of being the bad guy. I have to call Betty and tell her that we won’t be using her for childcare after all. It’s going to be awkward and I’m totally dreading the call.
Here’s a question for you all, should I tell her the real reason we changed our mind?
8 thoughts on “Trusting Your Gut”
I’m sure the completely adult thing to do is to explain to her why you chose another childcare option. But if it were me? I would lie my face off. Tell her that your mom agreed to watch him an extra day and you really prefer that he be with family. If you tell the truth, you’ll probably hurt her feelings, and she probably won’t do anything to change her behavior (if trashy reality shows are to be believed.) All you’ll have accomplished is making Betty sad and making yourself feel like an asshole.
Thank you for your advice. That seems to be in line with what people are saying on Facebook too. =)
I agree. I don’t like to hurt people’s feelings and I want things to be easy. However, as a mom (my boys are now 14 and 9, but I was in your place once), you have to trust your gut. Tell her you won’t be needing her after all, but that if your needs change in the future you’ll be sure to give her a call.
I feel as if I’m living in the 7th circle of finding quality childcare hell. I needed to read this today. To not feel like I am the only one who has had these thoughts. Thank you. Came here by way of twitter.
Thank you so much for stopping by and I’m so happy that this post helped you. The childcare search was one of those hard things that nobody warns you about! We did finally find one we liked (here’s the post: http://pocketfulofjoules.com/2012/09/13/bust-a-move-we-found-childcare/), but we’re still playing it by ear. Our little one went to the new place on Monday… and came down with a terrible cold and croup on Tuesday. It was too quick for him to have brought it home from childcare, but still the timing sucked!