By Anchel Krishna
As I was growing up, we didn't go to daycare or have a nanny. My dad's mom (dadi, who we called mummi) was often around to take care of us when my parents were at work. It was a great way to grow up.
We are lucky to have a very loving, involved family that lives in the same city we do. I went back to work in April and since that time, Dilip's parents have been taking care of Syona. And they have been doing an amazing job. Syona has cerebral palsy, which is a non-degenerative neurological disorder.
In addition to these appointments we have "goals" that we work towards using daily homework to help Syona build her skills (e.g. teaching her how to go from lying down to sitting, teaching her to dress herself and learning how to sort objects by colour). None of these things come naturally to Syona so we find alternative ways to teach her.
Our almost three-year old has started the process of giving up her naps...and it is not pretty. The ongoing lifting and carrying of Syona is also starting to take a toll on my in-laws so we've recently decided that we need some help.
We are looking at options of personal support workers who can provide some daily relief, but it likely won't be as much support as we need in the longer term. Daycare isn't the right choice for us, because we need some level of flexibility (why pay a million dollars a month if your kid is only there half the time?).
So really that has left us with the option of finding a nanny or a nanny share. It really wasn't something I imagined doing, but being flexible and adjusting to things as you go is really what parenting is all about. We need someone who is caring, confident and willing to learn. We're flexible with hours, live in or live out options and are really looking for the right fit. Whoever we find will be well-supported and well-trained by Syona's awesome team of therapists. (On that note if you know anyone that might fit the bill, tweet me @AnchelK
I know we will continue to be so very blessed to have very involved grandparents. Dilip's parents are both retired and have flexibility during the week, while my parents both work, but gladly take over any weekend babysitting duties we request.
When I made the decision to go back to work, Dilip's parents immediately stepped in and offered to be Syona's primary caregivers. This was pretty typical of what happened with my mom 30 odd years ago when she returned to work and my mummi stepped in to take care of me and my sisters.
"No one can take care of a child like family. Mummi offered and I said yes. It was that simple. And you all (me and my three sisters) had an incredible relationship with her," says my mom.
With Syona it is a bit different because of her special needs, but I think there is more to it than that. I think that we're starting to figure out that fine balance between our culture's typical habits of keeping it all in the family while asking for the help we need.
We've all started to realize that it doesn't have to be one of the other. Dilip's parents will continue to be involved (honestly, no one is better at teaching Syona a new skill than my mother in law. I am convinced she was a teacher in a past life.)
When I compare Syona's childhood to mine I realize that the picture might look a little different than what it looked like back in my day. But she is surrounded by love, family and support. What else could be better?
How did you choose childcare for your kids?
Follow Anchel on twitter @anchelk
Read more of Anchel's posts on masalamommas.com: