My conundrum, or I hate making decisions.

After a couple of food-related posts, it’s time to get back into FS life. Ugh.

I don’t mean it that way (like ugh, I can’t believe I have to do this), more like I’m pretty cranky with a couple of decisions and potential life-changing things hanging over my head.

My dear readers, you may remember my being offered a job waaaaaayyyyyyyyy back in December. Yeah, I almost forgot about that too. Needless to say, I’m still not working and still waiting on a clearance. All this time and all this waiting have really made me question a lot of things:

1) Am I even going to like the job?
2) Am I comfortable putting my trust into another person to help raise my kid?
3) Will this job help me in any way with what I want to do in the FS life I have?
4) Do I even know what I want to do with my life?

I’ll speak a little to number 2 above for a bit…..

Maybe I’m crazy or to paranoid, but I have a really hard time with the whole nanny or housekeeper/babysitter thing. As much as I bitch about what a pain in the ass my kid is, I’m getting what a lot of working parents don’t get: an opportunity to watch my son grow and to help shape him in his most formative years (and seriously, who’s allowing me to do that anyways?). Just because house help is cheap here, I’m just supposed to dump my kid on a complete stranger and hope for the best? The experience we’ve had thus far with housekeepers, nannies, and the current string of “meh” interviews for our current needs really is beginning to make me question just exactly how much faith and trust I’ll actually have in someone if we do decide to hire them.

Neither my wife nor I ever really had to deal with many babysitters nor early childcare as our Moms were nice enough to stay home with us. My mother was a teacher, and I think she didn’t start working again until I was in kindergarten. I went to day-care during kindergarten, but only in the morning before school, and my Mom was always home when I got home. There was minimal trauma from this, as I recall.

We’ve really only found one person we trust here: our masseuse. She’s stayed with Son once or twice as we’ve had engagements in the city. Our recently-fired niñera was caught sleeping while she was watching Aidan, our former housekeeper stole from us, and our first housekeeper liked to compare us to her previous boss (and possibly paramour) to our faces while telling us how she was working too much and needed more money. You can see the trend here.

I started to work with an agency to find a nanny, but that plan crashed and burned as they had ONE nanny available with no idea when they’d get a new crop. Really? When I recruited, I ALWAYS had at least 4-5 suitable candidates for any job. Your whole purpose is running a nanny training center and then getting those nannies work, and you only have ONE available? As if I’m going to take the last nanny available from your most graduated class. That’s like taking the last puppy from a litter: asking for trouble.

I’m truly starting to lean towards the whole stay-at-home Dad thing. How many parents can say that they got to experience the bulk of their kids’ younger years? I think it will make a huge difference in the overall happiness of our family. Because a happy spouse and happy kid make for a happy FSO, in my opinion.

So, I’m taking the weekend to decide just what it is that I want to do. My security clearance’s target date is May 8, and if past experience is any indicator, that date will come and go without a clearance. But I’d rather just make the damn decision and get on with life rather than fret about it any more.

3 thoughts on “My conundrum, or I hate making decisions.

  1. I totally get you and the struggles with having help. The only time I took an EFM position was when my son qualified for pre-k and it was only part time during those hours. When I needed the little bit of buffer needed (like your morning youth arrangement) I also had an elementary age daughter who knew the routine and could communicate any problems. My pay wasn’t career setting, I liked what I did a lot. But I wouldn’t trade any of the time watching my youngest grow up and being a part of his life. I didn’t get that privilege with my first one. For me it has worked finding a dependable person to come once (or twice) a week for floors, bathrooms, ironing, and light dusting. Just enough to help the week be easier. The time with them that small will fly by. There will always be EFM opportunities. I know you didn’t ask for any opinions. Just follow your heart and you will make the right choice for you and your family.

  2. Totally get it. Totally. And I agree with Nomads. Go with your gut. If you don’t trust a caregiver, don’t leave your kids with them. I don’t know where you are posted, but the quality of childcare varies a LOT all over the world. I never worked more than part-time when my kids were little, and I don’t regret it for a minute. A couple of hours of spoiling by a nanny was one thing, but there were very few caregivers over the years that I would have considered leaving my kids with full-time. Being picky is a GOOD thing. And these years will fly by before you know it!

  3. I had a wonderful nanny/housekeeper at one post, and wouldn’t trade that experience for anything. It gave me time to work part-time AND explore the city we lived in. And time to have a second child, and have someone to watch that child while I spent 1-on-1 time with the older child, since there wasn’t a grandma around for 1000 miles to do that for me. But it is a tough choice–to have a (crappy) little job that takes you away from your family, that bring you some adult-time, but probably no professional advancement or responsiblity, or suffer the isolating, sometimes frustrating, life of a stay-at-home, for all the joys it brings.

    A happy family does make a huge difference to the FSO and the mission and the overseas experience.

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