Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Breaking up is hard to do

It's been a while since I talked about my daycare situation. The good news is we found someone we really like, close to home, with reasonable rates and summertime flexibility. I'm so so so happy with her, and can't wait to move the boys over there. They will start on May 14, and she is willing to take them two days a week through the summer, just as I had originally hoped, and then move to full time care when Beloved's summer ends in mid-August. All that searching, the anxiety and the frustration, seem to have been worthwhile. She is *exactly* the caregiver I was looking for, and I've only not mentioned it before now because the last two times I thought I had found 'the one' it fell through and I didn't want to jinx this in any way.

That, of course, leads me to the bad news. I have to tell the boys' current caregiver that I'm taking them out of her care. I've been dreading it for a month now, and I figure it's only right to give her a month of notice before we end the relationship. It is a relationship - that's what makes this so hard. It's not like firing the cleaning lady, or going to a new hairdresser - both of which are painful experiences for me. Bobbie has been part of our extended family for almost four years, and I have no idea how to tell her that her services are no longer required.

I know what I want to tell her; it's the how that's tripping me up. I want to tell her that we decided to change care providers because of a few factors, very few of which have to do with her personally. I am very fond of her, as are the boys. But there are just so many kids at her place that I feel the boys are in danger of being lost in the shuffle. I want to tell her that my main concern is what they are picking up from the other kids, especially one in particular that has started attending the day care in the last few months. I want to tell her that it's about the sheer quantity of kids, and that if we could go back to it just being her boys and my boys, like it was in the beginning (Tristan was the first child she took on) then I would happily leave the boys with her.

But I'm a coward. I don't think I could tell her all this face-to-face without crying, and I especially don't want to do it with a dozen kids crawling all over both of us, the way it usually is when we pick up or drop off the boys. I could call her on the phone, I suppose. Myself, I'm inclined to write a letter. I've always been a letter writer - when it's really important, I like to have the time to organize my thoughts on paper and get everything out uninterrupted. But, I know it might seem cold to someone who doesn't share that instinct, to get something as impersonal as a letter for something like this.

What do you think? How would you handle it, or how would you want to be informed if you were the caregiver? I'm terrible at confrontation, terrified of conflict. Am I making too much of this? It is, after all, a business relationship - just an excruciatingly painful one. Feels more like a breakup than a firing.

Is it wrong to just print out the relevant pages from blog and give give them to her? Okay, so maybe that's not the best plan - but I've been worrying this for a month and still don't have a plan. Have you been there? I'd appreciate your thoughts and insight - as always!