A CLEAN HOUSE!
Something about having an outsider in your house 4 days/week makes you keep things more organized – I make the bed first thing in the morning, put away my shoes and Charlie’s dirty laundry, and just do general straightening up around the house. Between that and the fact that M does “light cleaning” throughout the day, I come home and our breakfast and lunch dishes are clean or loaded in the dishwasher (or the dishwasher is unloaded if it was clean!), the laundry is moved and/or folded, the rug is vacuumed, etc. Can’t beat that, AMIRIGHT? She even dusts and such on occasion (and hardcore cleaned my house before my parents arrived last weekend – WITHOUT ME ASKING), enough that Charlie randomly gave her $100 cash tip the other day because he feels like she’s better than hiring a cleaning lady. Highly appreciated on all sides.
My kids are 2 on 1 with a provider who cares about them, takes them on play dates, and interacts with them all day, PLUS SHE CLEANS.
As much as I struggled with this decision, it is the best change I’ve ever made in regards to my kids. My only regret it waiting so long to make the change. I’m so glad I got unstuck.
*ETA – every time I say “nanny” I feel all hoity toity and uncomfortable. Please keep in mind that we lucked out to find a friend of a friend here in town who is incredible and just wanted to help us out, so thanks to her flexibility with price and schedule, we are actually spending the same amount as we were before to send two kids to full time daycare!