Tuesday, June 23, 2020

empathy-deficit

My F***book feed is on fire today regarding The Orange Man's decree that there will be no au pair visas granted this year.  Reactions have varied widely:

1) I am so screwed.  The au pair program was the only way I was able to afford childcare.  Now I may have to quit my job.

2) I am outraged that we will have to fork over $60,000 for a nanny this year.  Dammit.  I won't be able to buy a new Tesla after all.

3) Dammit.  I should have voted for that b*tch Hilary instead of writing in my husband's name, even though powerful women rub me the wrong way.

4) All you selfish doctors should stop complaining.  Compared to all the other women in this country who are utterly f***ed in the childcare department, you have it... marginally better than most.

5) This is hard for everyone.  Suck it up and just hire a $60,000 per year nanny like I was able to do because my husband is a hedge fund manager / my parents left me a ton of money.  God.  Why are you so selfish?

6) As an attending who had children after finishing training, you residents with children need to understand that decisions have consequences.  

7) Thank God I only had one child and she is almost old enough to get up and get on the bus in the morning by herself.  Hanging on by my teeth here!**

8) Crap. I'm going to have to use my elderly parents as childcare again.  I hope I don't kill them, because then I would be so screwed.  

**This one is me.




16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sympathy!
Also, wow what a f**b* feed. I'd trim like mad who is on my lists... get the ugliests gone.
Thank you for writing. Am thinking about your move and what is involved and am extra appreciative. Looking forward to hearing you are landed.
You bring such focused reality into my life. a perspective reminder about what is a real problem and what is just super inconvenient hard.

Anonymous said...

Ha! This is crazy and funny! This from the poor single mom who most don’t give a shit about...

But my kid is now 17 and doesn’t need child care. But man this pandemic sure has her acting like she’s 9 or something....
Anon in mass

OMDG said...

Lol, well in fairness to myself, a bunch of these are from fb groups and not personal friends.

Noemi said...

I thought his VISA ban exempted au pairs. But I guess I misread that or people wouldn’t be up in arms. I will admit, as a public school teacher married to a civil servant in one of the highest COL areas of the country I don’t have a ton of sympathy for the commenters you listed so articulately in this post. My guess is if The Orange Man hasn’t exempted au pairs he will eventually because surely he doesn’t want to piss off that demographic. It seems an easy exemption to make.

OMDG said...

First the Washington post said it exempted au pairs, but then the transcripts said it didn’t. Apparently the first go-around he exempted au pairs because one of the Fox and Friends hostesses told him she relied on having an au pair so that she could get to work at 4am or whenever (or so rumors have it). My guess this legislation was the work of Steven Miller, who just hates immigrants, even if the people who employ them would vote for him.

Most of these are hyperbole, but there’s a grain of truth to be had in even the worst. Now the thread is talking about the horrible entitled au pairs who don’t want to take care of 4 kids anymore. It’s like yikes! I can’t manage four kids either!! I get that the childcare crunch is real, it is super hard to be left in the lurch like this, and at some point this will land on me as well, but some of these girls are treated like crap and taken advantage of by their host families.

The truth is — and I’m sure you’ve felt this too — is that childcare is a freaking nightmare in the country. It’s extremely expensive and really hard to find reliable people. That is a problem for all women, not just doctors. I would have struggled to pay a nanny for the hours I needed during residency, and I know I’m not alone in this.

sarah (SHU) said...

Childcare is definitely a nightmare. But high earners also need to understand the reality that they CANNOT have everything: the Tesla, the 2million dollar home, the designer interiors, the full time nanny and the family vac in Fiji (unless you're earning in the >1M/yr range which most physicians are not).

We shell out for the 60K+ nanny and we drive Toyotas that we plan on keeping at least 10+ years and live in a nonfancy home with IKEA furniture. And I am VERY happy with these tradeoffs.

One colleague I work with (in a much higher paid specialty) was complaining about her salary as she climbed into her Porsche SUV to drive to her 2M home. Um, yeah. You're right. It's going to be stretched pretty thin with those choices.

sarah (SHU) said...

Also I got so riled up from these "groups" 4 yrs ago that I quit facebook. It was the right decision for me and your post corroborated that :)

OMDG said...

Most aren’t living that lifestyle with their incomes as doctors. They are getting it from their families, which almost makes it worse. The thing is these same doctors whose parents gave them a down payment for their house shame and scold other doctors for not being able to hire the 60k nanny, which until recently, we couldn’t do either.

Anonymous said...

I have just deleted a 3-paragraph rant with bulleted accompaniment about our time with a nanny a few years ago, the problem of pandemic-life-with-daycare-shutdown, and the gendered division of household labor in my home that got so much worse in all this. I will just say this:

Anyone who is not putting a really clear eye on the wrecking ball that is the childcare situation at this time is at best a fool and at worst malicious. I put the current administration in the malicious camp; the women in your Facebook group--most likely-- in the fool camp.

And don't tell me "Oh, just spend 60,000 on a nanny," or "oh, we're virtuous, we have a nanny and spend less in other categories," because: No. NO. We did that. Nannies do not work out well for everyone and did not work out well for us. It wasn't a problem with the nanny herself, who was a lovely person. It was a problem with logistics and expenses.

I may be really angry about this topic.

sarah (SHU) said...

@anon - there's a lot to be angry about. sorry if my comment came off as "duh, just spend less." i definitely did not mean tto proclaim that is the answer for everyone BUT BUT BUT I do work with people that say things like what I wrote ("Can't Afford" to pay a household employee well - but I can afford all of these other things which in my mind fall much more in the luxury category compared to childcare) and it DOES infuriate me.

but, understand that is not going to be the answer for everyone for a number of reasons.

the lack of childcare available right now absolutely #*($&@# SUCKS.

Anonymous said...

FYI - it's "Hillary" with two ls. Let's show her the respect she deserves, as winner of the popular vote as well as someone who would have made vastly different choices if in office, rather than this Cheeto.

My job is to basically run a hospital (so I'll never post non-anonymously - I should be consumed every moment with my job!! Plus I could never admit to being interested in anything maternal if I work). We are generations away from understanding what it is we ask of doctors versus what an actual person with outside responsibilities can accomplish. I had a nanny *and* an au pair for my four kiddos, now grown, and still every day felt like death. My neighbor, who doesn't work but is rich in that way that is kind of like a job (philanthropic this and that) has a manny and a nanny and never travels in the same car as her five sons. I urge you to find more happiness and more joy in your life and in your child before it all passes you by and the bitterness you exhibit on your blog becomes something you exhibit in your real life as well. Best of luck in Michigan.

OMDG said...

Huh. And here I was thinking I was doing pretty well. Weird. I hope you stopped feeling like death!

OMDG said...

Nannies didn’t work for us either, really. Nobody who wants to be a nanny is willing to wake up at 4:30 to be at our house by or before 6. Even if they want to, they will flake. It’s just a matter of time. The only solution to that problem is a live in nanny, which comes with a whole other host of issues. There was a period of five years where I was paying more than I made for childcare, And that time juuust ended a year ago. Don’t get me started on this either.

Anonymous said...

Hmm...interesting, I never thought of you as bitter or incapable of joy...
Anon in mass

Noemi said...

I definitely read the WaPo article so that is where I got my misinformation.

Childcare is really hard to find in this country. We’ve had to rely on daycares and even paying $25K a year for that was really difficult for us. I’ve always said that I can’t imagine making enough that I could provide someone else’s livelihood and still support my own family. But I understand how necessary it is to have that kind it consistent, in-home care for people in some professions with very long hours. It’s just way above my pay grade.

I hope you can figure out your situation in a way that works for you and your family. I’m sorry that idiot is doing something as stupid as blocking au pairs from coming into the country. I don’t understand anything that guy does.

Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life said...

Wow. OMDG doesn't appear to have an issue with bitterness, but that comment came across as pretty judgy.