Dear LiL – Thanks for your response to Undecided about childcare after returning from maternity leave – but I’m more concerned about the fact that we also have COVID-19 to contend with now. Going back is hard enough but you tell yourself “it’s going to be good for him/her and for me. They’re safe, in good hands, etc.” What happens now when that may not be the case anymore? I’m struggling with that part more.” ~ Concerned
Thanks for your follow up query about handling/choosing child care arrangements after maternity leave in light of the current health pandemic.
Covid-19; what unprecedented times we are now living in.
Regardless of the nanny versus child care route you may have chosen, to satisfy yourself that your child is safe it is important to have the lines of communication open with the caregiver, and to also critically assess how you can reasonably, and within your means, help minimize the chances of you and your child contracting COVID-19. Also, communicating your concerns with your child’s family physician is invaluable here. My understanding is that children are more likely to recover from the virus than others – but this is a medical opinion that needs input and discussion with a qualified health care practitioner.
Speaking from my personal circumstances, I inherently trust my current nanny. We openly discuss how we are keeping our social contacts and interactions to a minimum. I fully trust that she will not come to work if she is sick, or has been in contact with someone with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis. In fact, in early February she informed me that there was a possibility that her husband was in contact with someone that had COVID-19. I can only imagine that disclosing this was difficult to do – and yet she did it. This is just a further example of how it built our trust relationship.
An added benefit is that my nanny drives – and so this also reassures me that her chances of contracting the virus is further reduced. I have friends with nannies that rely on public transit to commute to and from their home. In most of those instances, they have chosen to personally transport their nanny to and from their homes, so as to minimize the chance of contracting the virus. I appreciate that in order to even facilitate this, it is a privilege and not possible for many people.
I also have friends recently returning from maternity leave that have chosen to keep their child/children in day care. They feel reassured that there are proper protocols in place at their daycare; their daycares won’t accept anyone with obvious symptoms to the layperson that they are sick or coughing. The caregivers themselves also wear personal protective equipment. Again, in order to satisfy yourself that you are leaving your child/children in good hands means that you need to be having these conversations and open communications with the caregivers and owners.
As a mother, I am constantly assessing and reassessing the decisions I make for my children. I am not perfect. I never will be. I also cannot control my children from the inevitable. But what lets me sleep at night is that I am satisfied that I am placing them in a safe environment to the best of my ability. And really – what more can we do as parents? Chin up colleague.