It's Working Project

“We looked at lots of [childcare] scenarios that would work. How do parents relinquish that trust?”

After their daughter Ellie was born, Peter and his wife grappled with the usual childcare dilemmas–a nanny? In-home care at the provider’s house? Day care?

“We looked at lots of [childcare] scenarios that would work. How do parents relinquish that trust? That was the biggest struggle for my wife,” Peter explains.

Peter’s retired mother came to town to help for a few weeks, taking a bit of that pressure off the couple. “Having family support really was helpful in my transition back. I think one of the the things that was difficult . . . was when my wife went back,” he recalls.

The couple then hired a nanny who watched Ellie in their home, along with her own 3-year old son. About a year into the relationship, they observed that the nanny had difficulty respecting their parental wishes. When the nanny took it upon herself to offer Ellie foods she had brought for her son, which did not meet the family’s dietary specifications, they knew they needed to make a change.

“We wanted our daughter to have a certain diet that is healthy. My wife went out and bought a very healthy yogurt for our daughter, with healthy ingredients. We told the nanny that this the yogurt we want our daughter to have. There was one day the nanny came home, said, ‘Ellie doesn’t like the yogurt, I gave her my son’s yogurt,’ but we discovered that it was a Trix yogurt, full of sugar and fructose corn syrup. Of course our daughter liked it, it was full of sugars!” he says.

“I think the nanny meant well, she just didn’t understand perhaps our goals in the diet that we chose for our daughter and it didn’t match the way she raised her son. She fed her son donuts, so our daughter would watch her son eat donuts while she ate healthy yogurt or fresh fruit.”

Around the same time, Peter received a job promotion to Director of Operations for W Hotels, necessitating a move from the DC-area to New York. Peter’s mother came again to stay with them while they got settled. And eventually a cousin referred them to a nanny nearby in Queens. “It worked out great.  She was a stay home mother and her children were in their teens.”

After a final move, this one from Queens to Connecticut, the couple placed Ellie in a daycare service near their new home, which they continue to use. Ultimately the family tried several different childcare options, and found that they were able to relinquish that trust in the right scenario.

Ellie turns two in August and Peter credits extra support from work, family, and friends as helping them through the crucial times. “There are some times where my wife and I would have to take care of stuff. We would recruit our friends to watch our daughter while we had to travel to DC to take care of something. Having that person or family members is important.”