- Don't shake or hit the babies / children
- This is how much they can ask you to work
- Here, let us sort of teach you CPR
I bought her some travel guides (NYC, Philly, DC, Baltimore) for her welcome gift. Any thoughts as to whether that is sufficient, and if not, suggestions of what else might also be appropriate?
Luca, generously AND wisely, offered to take tomorrow off to finish various stuff in preparation for her arrival. We need to come up with a to-do list though.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of the following exchange with a faculty member in my department:
Me: Our au pair is arriving next week.
Him: Oh! That's great you won't have to use daycare anymore.
Me: Actually, she is in addition to daycare.
Him: Oh. (Disapproving look)
Me: Yes, obviously I am the worst mother ever.
Him: Haha. Uh-huh!
Me: Well, you can thank my geriatric parents.
Him: Oh, are they paying?
Me: No. They are too geriatric for me to be able to make them provide me free child care so that I can finish med school. You know, not everyone has that option.
I remember a few years back, there was this woman-physician-scientist talk (I think I organized it, actually...), and one of the panelists said that at one point she was paying 60K per year for childcare for her three children under the age of 5. When she said it, you could hear 90% of the attendees (and other panelists) audibly gasp. She immediately backtracked saying that, well her husband was a real estate developer, that was how they afforded it, etc. And then everyone else immediately went back to assuming that she was a rich asshole who hired that kind of childcare because she *wanted* it, not because she *needed* it in order to keep her job.
Guys, unless you have proximate and willing relatives who don't mind if you burden them with caring for your kids (and it IS a burden that many grandparents do NOT want), if you want to have a job that works you more than 9-5 -- and medicine is one of these jobs -- AND your spouse also has a demanding job, and you want kids, you don't have much of a choice but to pay out the nose for childcare. Sorry. This goes double or triple if you have more than one child. Even if you use daycare.
There was one family at my daycare who had 3 kids under the age of 5 enrolled, and every time I saw them, all I could think was that they were paying $5500 per month on childcare.
If my family couldn't afford the au pair and the daycare, we would either a) take out a loan to pay for it, or b) my husband would quit his job and we would take out a loan to pay for our living expenses. It's just that simple. Quitting medical school to stay home with my kid would be about the dumbest thing I could do right now from a financial standpoint. Not to mention it would make me ridiculously unhappy.
So, here we are paying 40K a year for childcare. Maybe one day you will too. And if you don't have to because you have relatives who want to help, perhaps instead of calling me a rich asshole / terrible mother, you should just be grateful that you have more options than I do, and reflect for a moment on how lucky you are. And remember that part of me hates you just a tiny bit, because I would LOVE to have helpful relatives and an extra 40K of income per year that I could spend on something else.
(Sorry -- just feeling a little defensive today. I promise I will try to stop complaining about the cost of childcare at some point in the near future.)