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She isn't Mary Poppins

Posted Jan 05 2010 3:36am
She's Katie. And she's living with us.

A few weeks before Christmas, Katie told me that she was leaving her fiancé. They were living together, so of course the topic came up of where Katie would be living. Katie is going back to school to receive her nursing degree (she has an associates in Early Childhood Education) and working for us part-time. While I do think we pay her well, we don't pay her enough that she could feasibly afford to live alone, pay all of her expenses, and continue going to school.

When we purchased this house, one of the things we liked best about it was that there is plenty of room to house guests. We still had hope that my mom would be coming to live with us and wanted to have plenty of room for her. Needless to say, we have quite a bit of extra space that we haven't been utilizing. For numerous reasons, we can't afford to hire Katie full-time or pay her more. She's also the first person (outside of family and a yearbook girl) that I've trusted with my children. It probably helps that she is only a year younger than me and we've become friends. I didn't want to see her have to move home, quit school, and selfishly -- leave our family. It just seemed logical to ask Katie to stay with us.

Katie agreed and slowly started filtering her things to our house. She's officially moved in now and has been staying here for just about a week. We are all adjusting -- especially Katie. I don't think she knew exactly what she was getting herself into! ;) An exciting Saturday night at our house is spent discussing ingredients for beef bourguignon and cleaning out the spice rack. That said, I think this is going to end up being a positive for all of us.

Katie will still work her normal hours (from 9 to 1) and I am going to try to leave the house and work elsewhere more often. I will be teaching MWF from 12-12:50 so hopefully that will motivate me to leave on those days and spend the entire time working. Currently, I seem to spend about half of Katie's work hours out with the kids -- feeding the girls, reading to Bo, unloading the dishwasher, etc. and I am really going to need every hour I can find for work with my new undertakings this spring. I also plan to spend one day per week with Bo going to the library for lapsit and out to lunch with Mike. Bo and I both look forward to that quality time outside of the house each week.

In exchange for Katie's room and board, I've asked that she play a "mother's helper" role from 4 to 6 in the afternoons. We'll both tag team with the kids and dinner so that maybe we can actually start sitting down to a real meal more than two or three nights a week. I've also asked that she just be generally helpful around the house. I don't expect her to scrub our bathroom or be a housekeeper -- but just helping me to pick up, helping with errands, etc. will be a major help and benefit to us right now.

I think that having Katie with us will be very valuable. It will allow both Mike and I more flexibility as well as be very beneficial for the kids. It's really difficult trying to do anything else when all three kids are awake -- so being able to make dinner, unload the dishwasher, do laundry, etc. and still have the kids needs met with an extra set of hands on deck will be a huge positive. (I am hoping all of this becomes a little easier as the girls get older... ) I also hope that Katie is happy and comfortable living with us and able to finish school without having to work at another job.

I never imagined that we'd have a "nanny" living with us but Katie has already turned into more of a friend and is becoming more like family every day. Life doesn't always go as I've planned -- but somehow, it all manages to work out in the end.
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