The blets are all down and in storage, my personal effects are all gone, and the only things left are my giant Jinx wall mural, and the hanging bar full of running medals, because they’re out of the way enough to where I don’t feel bad leaving them up. But for all intents and purposes my office is no longer my office, and is back to being a bedroom, ready for a new resident to my household who will be arriving in short order.
Mythical wife and I are long past the point of exasperation when it comes to childcare, and we’ve decided to embark down the route of getting an au pair, which is a fancy way of saying we’re bringing in a person from another country to come live in my home, and be a live-in nanny to my children.
The hopes are that with a nanny as a resident, it will bring a semblance of stability to my house; reliable, consistent care, and with them living with us, the hope is it will greatly reduce the possibility of fake sick days, COVID exposures, and the litany of other bullshit that seemed to plague my home through the parade of temps and babysitters we’ve relied on throughout the rest of this year.
I genuinely can’t express in words the sheer exasperation I’ve had with all the babysitters I’ve had to endure over the last year. All the bullshit sick days called in where I’m the one who has to eat the sick day from my own job. All the regular tardiness from them where they were always 3-10 minutes late every single fucking day, where those small amounts of time are the difference between being prepared for an early meeting, or needing to log into a meeting with a crying baby in tow, praying that I’m not called upon to unmute my mic. All the clock-watching when it came to the end of the days, to where they’d leave on the dot, and I’m on double duty while on the clock at work until mythical wife gets home.
I’m sick of feeling like a liability at work, and questioning my job security, and really hoping that nobody’s taking notes or building a dossier on my occasional work flakiness on account of putting my kids first. I’m sick of feeling like I’m wasting money when I have to pay shitty babysitters who grew complacent and fell into routines and lazy habits. I’m just sick of unreliable help.
Of course, mythical wife and I are more than prepared to welcome our au pair with open arms and hope to embrace them as a legitimate member of our household, and we’re really hoping that by giving a shit about them will make them want to give a shit about us, more importantly the kids, and that we’ll have a mutually beneficial year of reliable childcare while they get to explore a slice of life in America, as polarizing of a place we are these days.
But this also means that I’ve had to forfeit my office, as all the other bedrooms in the house are occupied by the kids, and that was honestly one of the things that gave me pause about heading in this direction in the first place. I loved my office, I loved my wall of blets, and I loved having a personal space for all of my shit that I geek out and obsess over, even if nobody else gives two shits about wrestling, running or any of the rando pieces of art and figures I had on my walls.
However, I love my kids more, and frankly it goes without saying that a large part of parenting is sacrificing things for the sake of our kids. So add my office to the list with hobbies, disposable income, freedom to bullshit and just time in general, and I’m hoping the au pair experience will go so well that I’ll have zero chance to have any regrets about it.
It’s funny, because while I was on the fence about going the route of an au pair, when my last full-time nanny’s personal drama bomb went off, and she used it as reason why she couldn’t come in to work, I remember my wife showing me her phone with the wall of text, and two seconds after reading it, I was just like, fuck this, let’s get an au pair. I don’t need my office so much as I just need some fucking reliable childcare, and it just doesn’t seem like we’re going to find any viable options in our area, much less this country full of lazy and entitled people who have some babysitting experience, looking to cash in on a hard caregiver’s market.
But all the same; vaya con dios to my office, as it’s going to be a long time before you will be mine once again, and I will have my blet wall back, and a place to put my nerdy framed artwork and League figures up on the shelves, and have a place in the house that is solely my own. But the kids come first, always, and one day I will have my office back definitively.