Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Oy!

I love being a mom. But let's be honest, there are a lot of things to dislike about the job. Keeping LL safe is hard work, especially now that he's mobile. Finding nutritious things for him to eat can be tough, considering my limited time to shop and cook and prep food. Trying to find the right balance of encouragement and discipline is getting trickier as he gets more capable and more aware and more curious and more defiant. Reading the same kids book dozens of times a day, with the proper voices and sound effects, can get boring. Sleep deprivation over a long enough time period does weird and horrible things to the mind and body. Repeating "Gentle! We don't pull Mommy's hair!" over and over and over is unbelievably annoying. But you know what my absolute least favorite aspect of being a parent is? Child care. I can deal with everything else, usually happily, with a giant smile on my face, but when problems arise with child care, my life completely falls apart. Completely. Finding decent child care consumes me. I worry about it constantly, and once the problem is "solved," I continue to worry about it. And as soon as everything seems okay and I trust my new child care provider, it falls apart again. Good lord, I hate dealing with child care.

Thanks for all the suggestions of nanny-share and craigslist and relying on stay-at-home friends. Sadly, we have no friends, none at all, that use a nanny. All of the working moms I know use daycares. We are big craigslist users, but the majority of the crappy daycares that we've visited have been found through craigslist. And I really do mean that we've seen some crappy daycares. Recall: Baby Factory, Total Wackos, Lila's Place, Piper.... (We found Natasha through craigslist, too, so it hasn't been a total loss. But the hit rate has been depressing.) As for stay-at-home friends... we have LOTS of stay-at-home friends. Tons. I can count on one hand the number of my mom friends that actually work outside of the home. But when I sent out a "please please please help us!" plea to the stay-at-home friends, we got a deafening silence. Followed by a few offers to maybe take LL for half a day sometime at the end of the month. To be fair, I do understand the reason: all of my stay-at-home friends have one child, and every single one of them is currently stressing about whether to have a second child. They're all agonizing over whether they can handle taking care of two children at once. When faced with the prospect of trying it out, using LL as the stand-in for child number two, I think that they all froze in panic and decided that they're really not ready. One of my friends felt so guilty about coming to that conclusion that she offered to leave her own two-year-old child with her in-laws while she cared for LL, thereby helping me out without needing to care for both children at once.

The good news: we seem to have found a decent solution, for now. One of my friends recently started her son in an in-home daycare, and because of several job-related relocations, the daycare happens to have several immediate openings. The woman who runs it agreed to take on LL on a temporary basis, knowing that he'll probably only be there for a month or two. (I didn't want to mislead her.) We know two children at the daycare, one of whom has been there for almost two years. The parents and children all love it there, and it's been open for over 20 years. Everything about it is perfect (except the location, which is a pain in the ass, but really, if everything else about it is great, I can deal with the horrible commute for a month or two). LL started there today. Fingers crossed that everything goes well, and that this place can carry us through until Natasha returns.

In happier news, the Packers beat the Bears on Sunday. I had the highest score in the league for fantasy football this week. LL's vocabulary is growing, in three languages. Lots of family members are flying in later this week to celebrate both LL's birthday and Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year). And I have officially reached my pre-pregnancy weight. (I have a little more to go to reach my pre-fertility-treatment weight, but I'm taking baby steps, so to speak.)

3 comments:

  1. I'm glad you found a solution. Daycare can be such a headache. I hope this one works out perfectly.

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  2. I'm so glad you found a temporary solution! Remind me never to take my day care solution for granted!

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  3. We only dealt with day care for a couple of months, but I know your stress! Why can't we just clone ourselves so that we can leave our children with someone who loves him as much as we do?

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