This happened many years ago and times were definitely different. Moms just did not work outside the home, unless there was an overbearing financial need, like a divorce or something. I received a lot of skepticism and disapproval from a lot of different people, but those who really knew me and cared about me (like family and good friends) understood and supported me. Of course, that was only for the first couple of years I worked, after that it began to be more and more common and accepted, but when I started, I was unusual.
Now obviously, we needed to make some arrangements for taking care of our daughter while I worked. It was bad enough that I wasn't going to be there every minute of her life, if the arrangements were not top notch, there was no way I would have done it!!
So we advertised and interviewed and discovered gold! We found Mrs. P. Oh, she was wonderful! She was about 15 years older than I, she only lived about 3 blocks from us. She had 3 children of her own, 2 school age boys (about 9 and 10) and one 4 year old daughter. Several months before she responded to our ad, she had suffered a miscarriage and was looking for something to help fill up her days.
In the interview we discussed what we needed and she met my little Ratchlet. Ratchlet loved her! It was a perfect match and she became part of our lives for the next 2 years.
Every weekday morning Mrs. P and her 4 year old daughter (Little P) would arrive at our apartment at about 7:15 am. We only had one car, so the Big Guy would drive me to work and then go off to his own job. After we left, Mrs. P would give Ratchlet breakfast, get her dressed for the day, and then clean the apartment (beds, vacumming, dusting, bathroom stuff), while Little P and Ratchlet played together. Once those things were done, Mrs. P would take Ratchlet and Little P back to her own house (she had a yard!!) or the park or shopping, then Ratchlet and Little P shared lunchtime and naptime and they became good friends. Little P was like the big sister. Mrs. P played with them, took them to the library. Whatever she did for her own daughter, she did for ours! After work the Big Guy and I would come and pick up the baby and go on home. Ratchlet even stayed at their house for dinner a few times when the Big Guy and I needed to do something after work.
It was perfect! My house was neat, clean, and de-cluttered every day, the baby was safe, well-cared for, well-mannered, and happy. By the end of the 2 years Mrs. P had accomplished complete potty training for us! No angst, no fuss, no muss, no trauma! Mrs. P's whole family (including the boys!) loved our little girl and made her a part of their family. It was wonderful, the best time of my working life (and I had a pretty great career). In the two years she took care of Ratchlet, Mrs. P only had to take off 2 days....one, the day of her mom's funeral, and the other the day they read the will in the lawyers offices. That's it! Twice in 2 years!
Mrs. P was a gem! She treated Ratchlet like her own daughter. It was a mutual admiration society. Ratchlet loved being with her and she loved have Ratchlet with her!
(Ratchlet, at about 2 1/2 years old. Wasn't she a cutie? )