Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The Dreaded

So the time has come. The time that I've been dreading. The time to find some daycare for Miss Dahlia.

I hate this. I wish I could stay home with her and devout all my attention to her but I can't. And because I can't, I have to find someone to look after her so that she DOES get loads of attention and I can work (and hopefully continue to bring home a paycheck).

I don't know where to look. I don't know if I should try to find a home daycare or a center or a nanny. I don't know how I"ll be able to afford it. There are so many questions.

There is a daycare a couple houses down from us (home) but I don't have a good feeling about it. Although it would be supremely convenient, I've never seen the kids play outside except when I've seen a couple of them (older) racing down the middle of the street unsupervised. I don't know. Just leaves me with a not-great feeling. I like the idea of finding a nanny type to come to our house, but I know it won't be as flexible (or will it?) than finding a center. And again, not sure how we're going to afford it.

so, that's on my task list for this week (and next week...?) I don't want to give her up. I don't want to lose spending my days with her even though I know that some separation would be good. Basically, I wish I didn't have to work. I could do my own thing and make measly amounts of money & spend a lot of quality time with her. There are so many cool activities to do with wee ones - Hartley Nature Center has a program, the Y has oodles of programs, the Zoo, etc. *sigh* I don't like this.

I know in the end I will feel better - I will get more work done, I will have some 'adult' time for me, but it's still a heart breaking decision.



Kate said...

I remember Holly's post about the same thing, my dear. I can't give you any advice like the other moms can, but if I was there, I'd totally and completely watch her every day for you. I would.

I'm all for home daycares, but definitely one that gives you a good feeling. Don't stop until you find it.

feisty said...

it must be really hard. but just think: you spent the first year of Dahlia's life with her every day. so many women would kill to be able to do the same.

congratulate yourself for all the good times, know that there will be more (you make your own schedule, you'll find time for hartley and fun things!) then start making some calls. your career will thank you!

can't help you with where to look...sorry! there is a child care at UMD but i've heard it is popular, overbooked, and expensive as all hell....

donna said...

Check with churches around you - they often do day care as part of their community service and aren't in it to make profit, just to cover costs so you could try that.

Here's a hug. I know it's got to be hard.

Anonymous said...

I feel your pain, I really do. I was able to stay home with my 4 month old for only 6 weeks, and my heart just broke. But, there are some pluses - I am so excited to see her at the end of every work day and I NEVER take my time with her for granted (which I found I was doing towards the end of my leave).

It helps that we found the most amazing home daycare. She is enthusiastic, devoted, and extremely empathetic. It is worth the time and energy to do a search to find a great provider. My cousin uses University Daycare and that seems to be working out great. Also check with the County.

Good luck!

Holly said...

Oh lord do I feel your pain. I so remember this thought when we debated daycare vs. nanny.

Our nanny is moving back to NC in March and we have to begin the search again or figure out how Pete (and I) can survive with his very limited work schedule.

I've become a home daycare fan myself after viewing the centers and after hearing about how well Relia is doing at her daycare. The only one I might consider is a montesori but, I swear, I'd have to take on antoher job to pay for that one. Somedays I wonder if not putting her in some sort of situation (outside of ECFE) is the best for her too.

I'm with donna, you might want to check into the churches. We have one near us that is hard to get into b/c it is run by the nuns and has a fantastic reputation.

Good luck and big hugs to you.

juliemac_29 said...

Make a note for us to talk about this tonight. We're about 2 month away from needing to find something for Holland too (when Mark goes back to day shifts.) It's super overwhelming, huh?

Cello Mama said...

Well, as you know I had Kate in a center, but a small one. It was CRAZY expensive, and still far from perfect. No outside time, no windows (in a downtown office bldg), lots of noise.

We were going to look for a nanny when I decided to stay home. It looked like that would cost even more than the daycare - from what I saw we were prepared to be out between $30-40k/year. Yeeouch.

The moms I know who work and seem to have a happy and healthy balance almost all use an in-home daycare. They are much less expensive and if you find the right one they can be a gem. I also know moms who use church daycares with great success. If I were to go back I would look into those first.

It is so very hard, but there WILL be positives. You will have more energy for her. You will snap less and hug more. She will get great socialization with other kids. If you find the right place, it'll be OK. Just take your time and be thorough and I have no doubt you'll find something that just feels right.

K said...

Uggh...so hard I'm sure! I just wanted to chime in that my friends who use home daycares are happiest as well. My best friend takes her kids to a church program as well and loves it. It's a big church in the south and seems really positive and not very expensive. Several friends struggled with finding a good center. I used to work in a town center years ago and we worked hard, but the bigger/chain ones are sometimes questionable....ask lots of questions and drop in/observe.
I'm sure everyone is right though. You will treasure every minute and you will find the time to do those special things. Dahlia will learn valuable skills too! :) Good luck.

Wilhelmina said...

Perhaps you could find a friend with one kid and share a nanny? I'm lucky (and frugal) enough to be able to stay at home, but I wish I could be two places at once and have a career too. Kudos to you for being home with her for her first year.

GTR in Duluth said...

Hi from a fellow Duluthian! Good luck... I will say that you might have a fairly long look ahead of you... it can take a while to find anyone with openings. Although maybe it's easier for a 1-year-old than for a littler infant.

Try this link; http://www.mnchildcare.org

They will send you their most current listing of openings; it doesn't always show up online for some reason.

That said, I ended up finding our small home-based daycare through a friend, and she's great. But she's all full right now as far as I know. I don't know anyone in Duluth who has an in-home "nanny" but some people do have college students who come for a few hours, etc.

Quite a few people in my "circle" end up at Summit, which is not cheap but they like it, I guess.

Good luck; it's not an easy feat but it can work out OK in the end!