Thursday, 4 April 2013

Rejection hurts

For more than one year I have been searching for a day nanny for Sunny. I only need one for the weeks when he is on holiday from kindergarten (and, as of summer, from school) and then only for two mornings per holiday week. These are mornings I really need in order to take a deep breath, get things done and charge my batteries again so that I can be the mom he needs and deserves. A mom who is loving and patient, kind and relaxed.

Every day nanny we met was afraid to take over his care. They were afraid they could not do it and that they could not handle him because, let's face it, taking care of Sunny is a lot more strenuous than taking care of a NT child. He just cannot be left unattended for more than a few minutes. Most of them probably thought that they were paid for one child but had as much work as you have with two children. I am well aware of that. But they did not even give it a try which was something that always made me sad. I just wished they would have given him a chance and just tried it for one or two hours and see how it goes.

Anyway, just recently I thought that my search was over. I found a nice young woman who is an educated day nanny and she and her husband decided to give it a try after they met Sunny and me. When I heard that she has two small, NT girls of her own, I was even more happy. I am a big fan of inclusion and I always try to engage my son in activites with typical kids which is something that rarely happens because we hardly know any typical kids. So this was something I really looked forward to.

Yesterday was the morning when we finally gave it a try. It felt so good to be home, relaxing a bit, doing things that need to be done calmly and without interruption and feeling good because Sunny could engage with kids other than those from his SN kindergarten and the nanny did not call so I presumed everything was fine. You cannot imagine how disappointed I was when I opened her door to pick him up again and asked, full of expectation "So, how did it go?" and she looked at me and said "Not good. My girls do not get along with him AT ALL". Meaning that she will not take care of him again. The older girl who is Sunny's biological age was offended because he did not talk to her (she obviously tried to explain it to her daughter but the girl was offended nevertheless) and the younger girl was angry because he broke something of the Lego playhouse she had built. When I came to pick him up they had withdrawn themselves from him and gone down in the cellar to watch a movie there. In peace and without him disturbing and annoying them.

Just to think about all that makes my heart so heavy. I feel isolation and sadness. I wonder if he felt their rejection, if it hurt him too or if he (hopefully) was just oblivious and did not even notice they did not like him, that they disapproved of him and maybe were even mean to him. Being the child that he is, I know that he would have just backed down sadly, probably not understanding what was wrong and not being able to defend himself if the girls were mean to him. It also showed me again how special he is, special in the not-so-positive-way from the viewpoint of other people.

My husband's reaction was different from mine when I told him about it. He was not only sad, he was angry about the nanny. And, come to think of it, he is right. This would have been the chance for this mother to teach her children about how to treat a child with a disability correctly and with kindness, how to show them that everyone is different and how children like my son deserve respect, too. She chose to miss this opportunity and rather decided to remove this disturbing factor from her kids.

I will continue my search for a matching day nanny for my beautiful son but I guess I will refrain from another one with other kids. Although I thought it would do him some good if he engaged with typical children I am now scared to do that to him again. 


18 comments:

  1. This makes me sad and angry too. I'm sorry. Joy. Not that I expect life to be fair, but that's really not fair. I struggle with finding someone to watch my son too. Partly because, like you, I don't need many hours and partly because it's intimidating for many people to manage his care. Have you tried nursing students or SN teachers that might now work full time? I have a friend that has had good luck with nursing students. Hugs. I hope you find a solution and I'm sorry you've been hurt a long the way.

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    1. Thank you Tatum! The problem with nursing students or SN teachers would be that they do not have the needed insurance if something happens. I do not want to risk that. Otherwise the idea would be great!

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  2. You know, I think your husband has a really good point. A woman who is in the child-care business could not take the time to teach her daughters the right way to behave?? That's just wrong. And sad. And sucky. I'm so sorry. Tucker is 3 1/2 and has never had a babysitter. Ever. I've just never felt comfortable enough looking for one. With that said, this summer will be a challenge with shortened school hours and me working part-time. I did ask his teachers and one of them who is still in school for her graduate degree gave me the name of one of her fellow students. I'm hoping that this woman - because she is getting an advanced degree in special needs education - might work out. So maybe ask his teachers if they know somebody? Or another mom in his class where you could share a nanny?
    We also have websites in the US where you can say what your needs are. I have not tried them but I know somebody who did and had success.

    Huge luck to you sweet friend. And maybe he's better off without those mean girls anyway :(

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    1. Thank you Kristi. As I mentioned to Tatum already, the missing insurance cover would be a problem. This is why I contacted an agency for day nannies; they all have insurance cover. However, their conscience obviously isn't covered :-/

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  3. Hi Joy, sorry you and Sunny had to go through such a negative experience. I don't have any useful tips I'm afraid, but wanted to let you know (as others have done above) that you were doing your best and it is absolutely the responsibility of this nanny. It's so hard leaving our children with anyone and requires us to trust, so when it doesn't work out we tend to blame ourselves as much as the individual who actually did something wrong. This was not, in any way, your fault. The world we live in often does not contain as many understanding reasonable people as we would wish it too. A sad missed opportunity for this woman to teach her children a valuable lesson. With luck they will have the chance to learn it elsewhere.
    Hope you find someone lovely soon, to give you that break you need (AND DESERVE!).
    Lucas

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    1. Thank you so much, Lucas. I already contacted two other agencies. They are specialised in SN kids and adults. We'll see how that goes.

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  4. I'm with your husband. The nanny should have tried to explain in a better way what the word "compassion" means to her girls. I've been through this with my own son... Good luck on your search.
    Jessi

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    1. Thank you Jessi, the more I think about it, the more angry I get.

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  5. I am so sorry Joy it must have been so horrible to go through that I know how hard it is to be excluded because you are different - I have Cerebral Palsy - it hurts that adults would exclude a child with special needs Sunny didn't chose to be different he shouldn't be penalized for it. Have you tried finding a nanny through one of those nanny agencies?

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    1. Dear Nisha, thank you for your comment. Actually, this day nanny was from an agency. I already contacted two other agencies now. They are specialised in SN kids and adults. We'll see how that goes.

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  6. So sorry :-( A neighbor where I used to live had great luck with young women (and they were usually women) studying to be special ed teachers, or LPNs. Just a thought of another avenue to try.

    It does s*ck, being rejected by caregivers -- it feels like a rejection of us, and our kids, and just isn't fair.

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    1. Hi Michelle, thank you for the thought. The problem with nursing students or SN teachers would be that they do not have the needed insurance cover if something happens during the time they care for my son. I do not want to risk that.

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  7. I'm so sorry you all are going through this. Finding care can be so challenging. Hopefully soon the right person will come along. In the meantime I can only imagine how hurtful this must have been and my heart goes out to you and your family. Praying for the best person for your son to come along.

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    1. Dear Jo Lynn, thank you so much. Yes, it was extremely hurtful and still is.

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  8. Wow, so that's what social exclusion looks like and feels like - on the receiving end. It hurts and it's just unbelievable that this 'nanny' did not get that. It is really good that your sweet boy did not have to spend more than one day in her awful house. What kind of a person not only lacks compassion and caring for your son, but for you as well? It's jaw-dropping. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

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    1. Thank you Donna for your heartfelt comment. You nailed it on the head. I am still angry, hurt and sad.

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  9. Beautifully expressed and written. I really applaud you for posting - it takes a lot of courage to speak up about this painful part of life. I really believe that if we start using our voices and speaking the truth...well, that's the only way change is going to happen in this world.

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    1. Thank you so much. The experiecnce was just so painful that I needed to get if off my chest. Reading it now makes my heart so heavy and stirs up all the negative emotions again. :-(

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