It’s Not All Mary Poppins


There. A highly successful round of interviews done, and a new client signed up. Sometimes things click, you know? Last time I had a space open unexpectedly — with a months’ notice — it took me five months to fill it. By the end of that time, I’d eaten through the cushion, which, like the smart self-employed person I am, I keep stashed away against such eventualities, and was not liking the look of that wolf slavering on my doorstep…

(Though it is not now the case, when I started in this gig I was a single, sole-support mother. The daycare was not a “lucrative hobby”, as one friend (in)famously put it, nor was it, as it is in the case of some of my caregiver friends, the income stream that allows for luxuries like holidays and renos, it was my bread and butter.)

But this time! This time I had tonnes of applicants for the position. What a lovely position to be in… except that it meant that I had to turn people away.

That’s hard.

Well, mostly it is. Not always. And you know, for the sake of the mother, I felt really badly about saying no, and was greatly relieved when it turned out not to work for her — and when she found a spot in a local daycare centre within days of our interview. Phew.

There was the lovely, lovely couple with a cheery, well-managed little boy. I soooo wanted to offer them the spot — she was a former nanny, almost always a good, good thing, they were both eminently sensible, friendly, and fun — but they only wanted three days a week, and I really, really need full-time.

There was the nice pair with a sweet little girl — but active! lord, that child was gogogogogogogo — but they wanted to start Right NOW, and, even though some might argue I shouldn’t feel any qualms about doing to others as was being done to me, I do.

There was the Very Involved couple… After one lengthy phone call, pretty much an interview in itself, they came to my home for the in-home interview. As I do with all potential clients, I sent the contract home with them to peruse at their leisure. They phoned not one, but THREE times with questions about the contract, taking another two-ish hours of my time. And then, they wanted another interview AND a month-long weaning-in for their child, with a parent in attendance for about half that time. Can you say “High Maintenance”, boys and girls? They weren’t so hard to turn down…

And then there was the couple who:
– live right down the street
– wanted to start when I wanted them to start, and want full-time care
– soft-spoken (this matters to aural me: loud parents often engender loud children)
– had heard about me from other sources and reeeeally wanted the spot
– and I just liked them. Though first impressions do not always survive better acquaintance, it helps enormously when I like the parents. No matter how much I might looooove the child, if the parents are obnoxious, it can taint my whole work environment. Don’t ask me how, but it’s happened in the past. Toxic people are… toxic.

So. I have a lovely couple who want to start on June 15. Other mom is due in June sometime — I still don’t know the date — so now I need to talk to her.

Ugh. Not looking forward to that conversation. And yet, yes. Yes, I am. It will be good to have this thing DONE.


March 4, 2010 Posted by | daycare, parents | 12 Comments