The daycare dilemma

I’m a horrible blogger. Pre-baby’s arrival, I was convinced I would document his every step. Then, he arrived and my world completely changed. I actually found lots of time to write during the newborn phase, but now that he’s (semi)mobile I can’t spare two free hands to put on a keyboard.

Sometimes,  I feel like documenting his milestones make it all too real. He’s growing. He’s getting bigger. He is more independent…which means…

I’m closer to going back to work. 😦

I seriously don’t know how you American Momma’s do it. I’m so grateful to have 12 months off in Canada, but I am struggling with the concept of leaving my baby with someone else.

In my city, it’s challenging to find daycare for a 12 month old. Licensed centres don’t offer many spots until 18 months old (which makes no sense with our maternity leave timeframe?). Needless to say, I’ve been on waitlists since I was only a few weeks pregnant. Lately, I’ve been watching the online Mommy groups and classifieds for home daycares advertising available infant spots.

I’m not going to deny it. I’m picky and have requirements for what we are looking for:

  1. Chemical free (as much as possible)
  2. Healthy snacks/meals
  3. Low ratio
  4. Cloth diaper friendly

I talked to another Mom about the possibility of a nanny share, but that idea fell through.

Last week I interviewed with an AMAZING home daycare. The woman was a true modern day Mary Poppins. Her program is also Waldorf/Reggio inspired with homemade meals and many organic snacks. Bonus: she also cloth diapers. The issue is she is doing multiple interviews. As much as we were there to check her out, I was super nervous that Wyatt and I were also being interviewed. Out of all the people she is interviewing, we are the ones looking for a start date the furthest out. We won’t know until after June 7th what her decision is.

Today, I got a call from a daycare centre that they have a spot open for July 1st if I want it. I set up a tour to check out this facility on Thursday. If we like the centre, we will have to decide by end of day FRIDAY if we want the spot AND pay for it until I return to work.

I have one other home daycare interview lined up this week. I didn’t get a super positive vibe from the gal, so we will see how it goes.

Right now, my return to work scenario is completely up in the air. The company I work for was bought out (once again) just prior to my maternity leave starting. Since then, there’s been major changes in leadership. I don’t know what I am going back to. If I do return to my current employer, I’m planning to stay on leave until October 1. I’m keeping my eyes open for opportunities. I’m not willing to return to work until after the summer. I’d really like to stay working from home if possible too.

I’ve had people say, “Lindsey, if you are working from home, why don’t you just keep him home with you?”  We don’t follow a regimented schedule. I base my days around baby’s needs. We don’t have pre-determined nap times. I breastfeed on demand. We just go with the flow and I don’t see how that would work with a 40 hour work week… and not knowing what I’m in for.

My husband threw out the idea of me freelancing part-time and getting to stay home with Wyatt. The idea sounds AMAZING in concept, but I’m not sure the logistics of it are realistic. I haven’t been doing any freelance work throughout my maternity leave, so I don’t have any clientele right now. I love the idea of building up to freelancing on my own, but right now, I need a steady, reliable income. We still have IVF debt to pay off and would like to try another round in the future. :/

I trust that the situation will all work out. I know I’ll end up in the position that is right for me. I’ll continue to listen to my intuition when it comes to selecting the right care provider for Wyatt.

Until then, I just want to enjoy my summer of snuggles, cuddles, laughter and love before my baby becomes a little boy. ❤

 

 

 

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13 thoughts on “The daycare dilemma

  1. Have you looked at nannyservices dot ca? Or care dot com? You might find someone to do a nanny share with on those sites. Just a thought.
    And freelance is great. Working for yourself is great. But it’s far from perfect with unreliable income and no mat leave benefits (even if you pay into ei there is no legal requirement for companies to hold projects for you if you chose to take mat leave). I’m glad I went out on my own, it’s been good for me so far. But I desperately wish I had mat leave, even a month would have been nice but 3 months feels like a basic necessity and a year feels like a dream. I feel like most days are a struggle as we are balancing so much. Again just my two cents.
    Also, I say stick to your guns on what you want for childcare. In my experience so far trust your gut.
    Wishing you the best on all fronts.

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    • I’ve been on care dot com. Signed up for a profile to see who was out there. I haven’t checked out the nannyservices site. Thanks for that recommendation! 🙂 Could we pay for a nanny on our own? Yes, but we will see if we need to go there. It’s a definite option if I don’t find a daycare/home I’m comfortable with. I’m sure you find it much more comforting to have the little guy at home with you even if you have to work. I think I need to get really clear on all fronts – what is required for care and a job change. Locally, lots of in-house positions currently pay less and I’m not willing to take a huge pay cut. I’m worried about staying where I am and my travel requirement going up though as our head office is now MUCH further away. At the end of the day, I just need to remind myself that I can cross that bridge and make those decisions when the time comes.

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      • I found nannyservices way better for possible nanny shares. And actually just better in general.
        And yes at this age I like having him at home. And truthfully no daycare/day home here will accept him at this age even if I wanted that for him (which I don’t). That’s said, I do realize at some point he will benefit from a setting with more kids around. And when he’s probably a year old we will start looking at more formal options but thankfully here we will have lots of options (due to the economy here there are lots of childcare spots available).
        And as for work travel, it’s the worst now!! So far I’ve managed to avoid over night trips but that does mean I’m doing 16+ hour days sometime and that’s not fun at all. I miss him so much on those days.

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  2. I can relate to the ambivalence and anxiety to which these choices and child care constraints can give rise and I’m sorry there isn’t a clearer more ideal path visible to you at the moment. I believe you when you share your confidence that you will land where you (and Wyatt) belong. I wish you the very best in making your way there. Hugs.

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  3. Returning to work is sooo hard. I only work 15 hours a week and I want to cry often. I like the idea of freelance if you can make it happen. I’d love to be home all the time but it’s easier being part time. I can’t imagine full time. At least for me. I know it’s a nice break for many mom’s though. Good luck!!!

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  4. I already worry about these things. I desperately want to stay home with baby girl for a year after she’s born, but right now we have no idea where B will be working come the time she’s born, so we don’t know if that will be feasible. Whenever I do go back, it will be part time until (hopefully) she’s ready for school. Day care in our area is SOOOOO incredibly expensive. I also definitely won’t be going back into the field I’m in now…I refuse to work nights and weekends and miss out on my child’s life!! I hope that things work out for you and you find someone to watch him that’s fabulous!!

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  5. Ugh my heart hurts for you! I’m so jealous of your year off but I can imagine how much harder it is to return to work after so long off. Child care is a nightmare. We still have our up and down days that is for sure. I hope something clicks for you soon! Good luck!

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  6. Bah, finding childcare is the worst. Most of the good places where I am have waitlists a year (and up) long. Even the so-so places are full. It’s craziness. I had been stressing about it but circumstance and serendipity got us into a fantastic daycare that works great for us. I had put my name in at a few places but was just kind of burying my head in the sand and hoping something would work out. Luckily it did, but that probably wasn’t my smartest move! Ha ha. Now I’m just dreading the day I have to drop her off. The place is wonderful but it will be very sad for me.

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  7. I got a teaching job that starts in the fall and our daycare situation is “whatever will be will be” right now 😕. I am only going back to work part time, which I am super happy about, and we are thinking family can keep the baby which makes me even happier… But the whole thing is just so hard. If only we were all independently wealthy and could just stay home with our little people foreverrrrrrr!!!!

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  8. This is seriously one of the hardest parts about having a kid. I REALLY struggled leaving Mackenzie with someone else for 9 hours a day. I did 3 interviews the first time around and the one I liked most on the phone was the daycare I liked the least in person so don’t let the first phone contact influence you too much. The second time around we interviewed 2 as my first provider gave her notice when Mackenzie was 8 months. I knew instantly we found the right place and I’ve been happy with her since. Several people told me you’ll get a feeling when you find the right one and even though that didn’t happen for me the first time around it happened for the second. Mackenzie has really thrived with the social interaction and that’s part of what makes me feel better about leaving her for the day. The routine we have down is amazing too and really makes things pretty easy these days. Good luck with your search!

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  9. Sorry your maternity leave is coming to an end. I think in some ways it would be harder to stay home for a whole year then have to go back…but I’m totally jelly that you got to spend the whole first year with your son. Best of luck with your daycare decision, I know how hard it is…thinking of you mama 🙂 🙂

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  10. The daycare struggle was REAL! 4 different daycare visits! We had issues trying to find daycares that were okay with our cloth diapers and willing to work with us. We still struggle with the details of cloth and daycare. The center has several different people in and out of the room changing her diapers.
    I hope you get whichever daycare is best for you and you feel comfortable with!

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