Has the Price of Nannies Gotten Too High?

November 4, 2013 by  
Filed under Family

By Rosy Barren

 

nanny

I know this is a controversial topic, after all we are talking about our children here! But, indulge me for a moment.  I had a job out of college, actually in my twenties in which I worked 40 hours a week and I made 28K a year, that equates to roughly $13 an hour.  I worked hard and taxes were taken out my paycheck like everyone else.  I had to work two additional catering jobs just to make extra cash to pay the bills.  It wasn’t that long ago. I know young people that are now facing the same measly income, have you ever checked out what MTV pays their college educated entry level positions?
Now let’s examine what a Los Angeles nanny makes.  In my search I have found $15.00 an hour for one kid and upwards to $20 for two kids!  How did that happen?  I’m sure this is the jealous, bitter mom in me but it’s tough to swallow spending that much money to let someone do what I only wish I could all day.  Reading books, playing at the park, going to music classes, showing up in sweatpants and not having to face an angry, micromanaging, hovering boss like in my twenty-something job.  Yes, I want someone that will love my children like I do, of course I want them safe but the intern in my office who I’m sure isn’t making that much would likely be all of those things. So before you start ranting, consider my logic.  These nannies are making 41,600 a year, some of them with credit cards, gym memberships and two weeks vacation. And fellow parents are still complaining about them!  If you have the money to offer that, good for you but I can’t help but wonder if other parents are driving up the price of nannies? A savvy nanny compares her pay at the park with other babysitters and is suddenly able to negotiate a much higher income.
I can’t help but wonder if the price of nannies has gotten too high.  Has the quality of today’s nanny changed?  In my research some of these girls aren’t doing anything differently, some of them won’t even clean or pick up the house. I’d like to hear your feedback.
Research shows these as the average hourly rates, but again in my experience LA is much higher than quoted below
San Francisco- $14-15.50
LA- $12.50-14.00
Seattle- $11.25-$12.25
Denver- $10.00-$10.25
New York- $13.50-$14.00
Boston- $12.50
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I’d like to hear your feedback.  What do you pay where you live and what do you consider fair?
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Are Bikinis “Out” For Parents?

July 15, 2013 by  
Filed under Same Sex Parent

By: Rosy Barren

Pool-Party-01

It’s summer and in California at this time of the year, I find myself at pool parties often. I hate being hot. The only thing I like about summer is being in water or on the beach.  I used to dread summers, sticky and unbearable but somehow with kids, it’s different.  I enjoy sharing the fun hot days can bring.  Popsicles, sprinklers, ice cream trucks, late-night walks, gorgeous sunsets, beaches and POOLS!  But let me get to my dilemma, I seem to be the only mom at the party that is wearing a bikini.  Did I miss the memo?  Is it tacky to be a parent in a bikini?  It’s not that I’m trying to show off my body. I’ve only ever worn bikini’s, frankly it never occurred to me to buy a one piece.  But suddenly I find myself, jumping out of the pool and racing over to a towel to cover-up.  It reminds me of my teenage years when I was terrified of anyone seeing my body.  Damn I should have enjoyed that body of mine more!

But seriously, I feel that the women might hate me because it may seem as if I’m trying to attract their man, even though I’m a lesbian, am I over-thinking this?   I worry that I won’t be invited back for fear that I’m just that annoying girl that shows up in the two piece.  What is the consensus here?  Do I go shopping to please the mothers or am I too neurotic for my own good?

I could use some advice moms!

 

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Working Mom v. Stay-At-Home Mom

December 10, 2012 by  
Filed under Same Sex Parent

By Rosy Barren

A colleague recently told me that she just couldn’t imagine how hard it must be for me to put trust in my nanny while I’m at work. “I just don’t know how you do it,” she said.  She’s pregnant and will have the luxury of staying at home. Her judgments have begun. Whether we’re willing to admit it or not, as moms we judge and are judged. I’m tired of being judged but I will never stop judging, I can’t help myself. But she with her opinions before even having birthed her child made me cringe. I wanted to say thank you very much for throwing in my face that which I obsess about daily, thank you for making me feel like a horrible mom because I have to provide for my family, thank you for reminding me how much less fortunate I am than you, thank you very much for your insensitivities. Instead I said “Yeah, it’s tough.” I was furious after I abruptly ended our conversation. How dare she? It’s hard enough that I recently stopped nursing my second, that I don’t see my kids nearly as often as I would like, that I wish I could be with them every waking hour. I wish I didn’t have to work. But then I started realizing, it’s hard to be a stay-at-home-mom, I know this because I have flexibility in my schedule and sometimes when I get a long string of taking care of my kids, I appreciate the break that work gives me. I like motivating to look good, be smart, and talk with grown-ups. Kids exhaust you, raising them is hard and not having balance in my judgmental opinion can make you complacent. I know stay-at-home moms who take any chance they can to get on the computer just to escape, they plan play dates accompanied with wine, they are bored to tears and they’ll admit it in intimate settings. So perhaps said colleague will become a tired, run-down, alcoholic stroller-pusher. Regardless, she has become one of those in my mind, those women that always have a better way of doing things. I’m sure her child will be speaking two languages at one!

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My Breasts

April 15, 2011 by  
Filed under Family

By: Rosy Barren

“My breasts are no longer yours; they are hers now.” Yep, I actually said this to my wife the other night.  I can’t even imagine her wandering lips making their way to these goddess boobs of mine that I now believe were only made for our daughter.  I should feel terrible but I don’t.  My wife doesn’t know what it’s like to have milk dripping from your nipples and a tiny baby suckling at you in the most innocent of ways.  How dare she take the most natural experience of parenthood and turn it into a dirty night of sex?  I have no interest in sex.  Sex?  Really?  “I love you baby but I recently pushed a child through my vagina and well you get the picture.”  This must have been rough for her to hear given that in my fairly recent past I was practically a nymphomaniac.  I was horny while pregnant, which I hear is fairly common.  My wife couldn’t keep up with my need for orgasm and by the third trimester, forget about it, she was afraid she was going to hurt our fetus.  Not me. I had no problem making my way to the source of pleasure because my body craved it in the same ways it craved Taco Bell and ice cream!

I wasn’t even sure if I was going to breastfeed.  Truthfully I was terrified of it.  It sounded painful and awkward and so completely foreign.  I vowed I would try my best to do it for a year if I could bear it because I knew it would be healthy for our baby.  Many moms with their generous (I say that sarcastically) advice gave me their opinions of the wrongs and rights of breastfeeding.  I had heard all sides.  After our daughter was born I tried desperately to feed her, it was the only thing my body knew to do.  They lay her on my chest and I obsessively said, “I must feed her.”  I was awful at it.  Clutching, latching, gripping, it was all wrong.  My wife knew more than I did and kept assisting our little daughter’s lips around my nipple as I shrieked in pain each time.  We even invited a lactation consultant into our tiny room at Cedars so that she could tell me what the hell I was doing wrong.  She, in all her maternal glory, simplified it by explaining that a baby knows where the source is and if you simply place her on your belly she will find her way to your boob and suckle.  That’s bullshit.  Our daughter sat on my belly, tortured by the delicious smell of dinner and when I finally gave up and brought her head to my breast I couldn’t seem to feed her properly.  She was frustrated and I was frustrated.  She was hungry and I was tired.  The hospital was a disaster.  I must have fed her somehow because we were able to avoid formula in the two-day recovery period after birth.  When we got home we had a Doula come over and spend some real one-on-one time acquainting my daughter and me with my oversized breasts.  It finally worked.  She suckled away and I have never in my life experienced something so incredible.  Her little blue grey eyes staring into mine, probably not seeing me at all but knowing that I’m her mommy, the one that brought her into this world and will watch over her until my last dying breath. She is my angel and right now these breasts are hers.

 

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[Photo Credit: Flickr Member Ficierbaz]

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Keep Your Hands Off My Baby!

March 26, 2011 by  
Filed under Family, Parenting

By: Rosy Barren

mama bear syndrome with a baby

I recently had a baby.  She is 3 weeks old.  I burst into tears a couple days before she was born.  I told my wife that I didn’t know if I could do it.  I was afraid that I would get post-partum and do something awful to the baby.  I was most afraid that I wouldn’t love her.  Several of my friends have suffered some degree of depression with their newborn and I couldn’t bear the thought of going through those rocky emotions after having tried for almost three years to have her.  I think I scared my better half; she talked me through it but recently told me that she was ready to protect our child from me if she needed to.  I hated hearing that but I love her for saying it.

I don’t have post-partum, quite the opposite.  I am obsessed with our child.  I want to take her away with me to a small desert island and allow no one, possibly not even my wife, to touch her.  I want her all to myself.  I don’t like it when the grandparents come over.  I’m afraid they are going to drop her, I worry that they aren’t holding her neck properly, I watch the clock until it is time for my daughter to nurse so that I can sweep her back in my arms and escape to the nursery.  I sit in there longer than necessary, sometimes crying because I want everyone to leave me with her so that I can dote and coo and love her all to myself.  My wife is the only person who I realize I have to curb these emotions with.  I understand the importance of her bonding time with our child. But everyone else, with their lasagna and gifts and tips and wine, can simply leave me alone.

I have three months, three adoring, loving months, in which I get to do nothing but be with our daughter.  I get to lose sleep over her and watch her as she gazes into the light, dance with her in the mornings and sing to her at nights, I want to enjoy every instant of my time with her, I want to make it last.  I rock her at night, drowsy from waking every two to three hours and know that I will never get this time back.

I realize my emotions are extreme.  There are many books on post-partum but who tells you how to deal with overbearing, protective, mama-bear syndrome?  Who tells you how to stop tears of joy that sometimes last for hours –I’m not kidding –hours of which, if we have company, I hide and sob because I want her back in my arms where she should be because she’s mine.  All mine.  No one else’s.  Mine!

 

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Good-Bye. For Now.

August 24, 2010 by  
Filed under Family, In Vitro

By: Rosy Barren

This will be my final blog for TNF. It has been wonderful and I am still happily and healthily pregnant, but the time has come to focus on the baby and say good-bye to writing under IVF parents. This process was incredibly cathartic for me and the support was so thoughtful and abundant. Thank you all for thinking of me in your prayers and thoughts. I will keep in touch and you may even find me writing again someday soon under another category. I’m off to pick out baby blankets, cribs, strollers, car seats and all things sweet and happy.

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So Far So Good…

July 1, 2010 by  
Filed under Family, In Vitro

By: Rosy Barren

Dear Infertile Myrtle-

I didn’t think it would happen, I really didn’t but it did so now I have all the faith in the world that you, whoever you are out there, have a fighting chance.  So if you have been trying and are considering giving up, think again, one more time, because it might just be your fairy tale dream come true.

Love,

The new and improved Rosy Un-Barren

Belly Update:

We went in for blood work. Everything looks good so far, I have an ultrasound in a couple days, they are monitoring me very closely given all that we’ve been through.  Deep breath.  Just trying to get through this first trimester but guess what? I’m pregnant and that’s all that counts.  Can I say it again?  I’m pregnant, preggers.  Ok, more soon.

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[Photo Credit: Flickr member Robert McDon]

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Waiting Room

June 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Family, In Vitro

By: Rosy Barren

I went to the doctor today without my wife.  She had to work.  I didn’t need her to go since he was just going to “take a look”.  He did an ultra sound and then pushed back in his chair, threw his gloves in the trash and said “I want to do a pregnancy test”.  I asked about the HCG shot and he said, it won’t affect it, it’s been long enough and this is a good one.  I wondered if I knew where this was going given my results last night but I didn’t dare assume anything.  I took the test and he instructed me to wait in the lobby.  I sat, fidgeting, didn’t read any of the magazines.  I know everyone by name at this private practice, they have been routing for us with every try for over 2 years now.  There were only 3 people in the office (it was lunch hour), Maria the nurse, who has given me many shots in the ass, has seen me cry, has drawn my blood month after month, CC, the receptionist who has asked after every try, who knows my voice every time I call and swears that I will get pregnant and finally my doctor, who knows my dog, my wife, my fears, my anxiety and every square inch of my uterus.  I sat staring at the little window that led me to the footsteps and voices behind the closed doors.  CC didn’t look up, didn’t talk to me like she has every single time I’ve sat waiting, come to think of it, I’ve never had to read a magazine because I usually cozy up to that tiny window and chat until I’m called by the nurse.  Today, silence.  3 minutes of silence.  It was somber.

I heard my doctor’s voice calling me into his office, it was shaking and I tried to read into every syllable.  I slowly picked myself up off the coach with tears in my eyes and opened the door.  I saw Maria at the end of the hall and her eyes immediately shiftd down to the floor.  The walk to his office seemed endless, I rounded the corner to see him, his arms open and a smile on his face.  “Congratulations, you’re pregnant”.

I can’t properly describe that moment but Maria had to hold me up as tears blurred my vision, I stopped

“Are you sure?, are you really sure?”

“Yes”

“But the HCG, do we need to wait for a blood test”

“No, you’re pregnant”

“I have to call my wife”

Maria handed me the phone…voicemail

“Honey, I’m pregnant, I’m here and I’m pregnant, I can’t believe it, we’re finally pregnant.”

I didn’t even say goodbye, I handed the phone back to Maria and stood stunned.

My doctor handed me a scrap of paper


“Go buy me breakfast cuz your pregnant”

So I did, I turned around and went across the street to the place that I have gotten a croissant or cookie or coffee after every appointment for 2 years.  This block has become my home.  I stood in line gripping that small slip of paper trying not to cry.  I sat alone at a table until my doctor’s breakfast was ready.  I know why he sent me on a food run, he couldn’t cry, he was my doctor, he had to be strong but this was a big moment for him too.   He is like our family, he offers to dog sit, we’ve met his daughters, we have all been in this together.  I dropped the breakfast off, hugged him and raced to the car to call my wife again.

I had no phone.  I don’t think there has ever been a day that I have forgotten my phone at home.  I drove 45 minutes back to our house in tears of complete and total joy.  We are pregnant.

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The Stick

June 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Family, In Vitro

By: Rosy Barren

We won the raffle from the adoption fair- we got a steak dinner at Morton’s, haven’t had it yet.  We also went to a friend’s house for dinner and after, watched her favorite movie “Knocked Up”, she doesn’t know we’re in the process of trying to get pregnant.  I laughed at the irony of it all, laughed at the movie and promptly lost it on the car ride home.  It felt like some sort of joke that is being played on me, all of these things that I may construe as signs, I’ve been down this road before on other tries, sitting in my car listening to the words to a song by Bright Eyes “this is the first day of my life, glad I didn’t die before I met you…” that was my sign, they can all be signs.  I was blubbering and broken in fear that I may face another rejection.  The next day I brushed myself off and went on with my long wait.

I got a call from my doctor today, he wants me to come in tomorrow to take a look, not to determine anything, it’ll be a day or two early, just wants me to come in. I’m not sure what that means, he’s often cryptic and without explanation, I love that about him and I hate it.  Tonight, I broke down and decided to buy a pregnancy test, this is stupid because the HCG shot can give a false positive that you are pregnant so they tell you not to take one but I wanted to just to see if it was a negative.  I knew if it was negative, I’m not pregnant and if it’s positive well then we wait.

I took the test. We sat in our guestroom on the cold wood floor, cross-legged waiting.  It was positive meaning not negative.  “Happy not negative” my wife said.

Happy Not Negative!

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Seriously?

June 21, 2010 by  
Filed under Family, In Vitro

By: Rosy Barren

I’m lying low, not exercising too much, staying under the radar, not telling many people. Went to a play the other night, we know the playwright and guess what the theme was?

War….faith….and….yep…infertility! Guess what happened? Yep, they got pregnant. Huh, trying not to read too much into that one either. I’m just sayin!

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