We found a daycare.
We are so very relieved at this. It was the 4th home daycare we interviewed, having called a total of 14 places and interviewed 1 of 2 nannies we made contact with (the nanny was good, but more expensive and we preferred a home daycare anyway). When we arrived at the daycare yesterday, we met all (or nearly all) of the children there, including a 6 month old girl, 1 year old boy, a toddler boy and 2 toddler girls. They all seemed happy and active. There was a sunken living room area for them to play in, lots of toys and books around. The house was clean and babyproofed. Each baby had their own crib to sleep in next door to the living room. The woman whose house it was has two teenaged daughters, both of whom we met, and are lovely and also help out with the kids from time to time after school. But there is also another full-time staff person who was just leaving as we arrived.
Curly crawled around, inspecting the toys and books, and watching the other children. The woman kept remarking on how cute and good he was (not one of our reasons for going with this place lol). She exuded a warm feeling and was very sweet with the kids, and cuddly with the 6 month old. She allows drop-ins and made every effort to make us feel comfortable and welcome. We knew it was the place we wanted almost immediately. She also requires that each new child begins with a “trial” period, starting off with an hour or two at a time, moving to a half day, and then to a full day. Since I get a lot of time off for the winter holidays, this works out perfectly.
Now the hard parts… I am feeling anxious about him starting daycare, like most parents are. I know it will be good for him and am so relieved at having found a good, stable situation. It’s just going to be a huge change. He won’t be able to take his 3 naps in peace & quiet during the day…the kids usually take one long afternoon nap at this place. Knowing what a mess Curly turns into when he’s tired (and that’s still pretty often), I’m worried about how it will be for him and hope that he’s able to change his schedule in the way that’s needed. As the daycare provider said, usually the kids are tired at the time of pick-up and want to nap when they get home. That means seeing even less of him than we already do. I worry about him getting sick, which he definitely will now that he’ll be around many other kids. He’s only been mildly sick once or twice in his 7 months, so I’m imagining him coming down will all sorts of bugs now.
Finally, there’s the grandma situation. We’ll be paying for daycare 5 days a week. Curly will need time to get used to the new schedule and the new place. This won’t work if he is watched by one grandma at our place one day, then goes to daycare a few days, then is watched by the other grandma another day, then weekends with us. So this has to stop to allow Curly to adjust as quickly as he can or he will constantly be backpeddling and out-of-whack. With Curly at daycare, needing naps when we pick him up, and the mommies no longer working from home once a week while watching him, we’re going to be missing him like CRAZY. We’re going to want to spend our weekends focusing on him as much as possible. And the grandmas (and grandpas) will be missing him, too, but will have to understand when we need our time together as a family of 3. It’s going to be a huge adjustment for everyone.
So anyway, that’s where we stand. Relieved, anxious, satisfied, empty, happy, sad….such is parenthood.