Sunday, August 8, 2010

Daycare, schedules, and life returning to normal

I am a working mom.

I work because I have to. Because there is absolutely no way we could afford to live on what my husband makes alone. I also work because I want to. I enjoy my job (most days!), and I think I might go nuts if I didn't have some adult interaction and intellectual stimulation every day.

My maternity leave was 12 weeks long - over half of it unpaid. Last fall, we researched daycares, and in December, we put down a deposit to hold a spot at the one we liked. We're lucky we found a place we liked that was convenient. We live downtown in one of the larger American cities, and it's not exactly full of young married couples with kids. In our building, there is one other baby besides Baby Citysaur, and one toddler. Fortunately, there are over a 100,000 people who work in the urban core of our city, and some of those folks like to have their kids nearby at daycare. So where we live, there are around 4 church-affiliated daycares and 1 non-church-affiliated daycare. Since neither of us is very religious, we went with that one.

So when we put down our deposit, we reserved a spot for June, since that's when we estimated I would return to work. We were second on the list for June. Baby came...and we waited on word of our spot. April came and went...then into May. Finally, we were nearing June...and I got the call. There would NOT be a spot for us in June. We were told it would be "mid to late July" before a spot would be available.

Of course this sent us scrambling for other arrangements - for 6-8 weeks! Fortunately, Mr. Citysaur was able to switch shifts at work, and he began working Friday through Monday. I was able to work out a deal with my boss so that I only worked 4 days a week - Tuesday through Friday. And on that one day when we both worked, it just so happened that my mom didn't work - so she watched Baby Citysaur on Fridays! This arrangement wasn't perfect (I really missed seeing my husband, since we didn't get any days off together!) - but it worked.

So we chugged on through, playing tag-team parenting and handing off the kid each day. In some ways, it was nice. I did love those 3-day weekends, and all that time with my precious baby boy. But I really missed my husband, and having time together as a family.

Finally, in mid-July, we got another call from daycare - this time with good news! We'd have a spot open on August 2nd. Hooray! There was much rejoicing in the Citysaur household!

So now we've had a week of daycare. Baby Citysaur is doing great! He hasn't had any issues with napping, which was my biggest concern. The teachers rave about him, and I only cried a little bit that first morning. He's the youngest baby in his class right now - so he'll be watching those other babies and learning from them, hopefully!

And we're wrapping up our first weekend together as a family since I went back to work in June. It's been really nice. I'm so glad for things to be returning to normal. And I can tell the baby is glad too. He was soo happy and smiley this weekend - even more than usual!

Here's my little cutie, just a couple of weeks ago. I can't believe he'll be five months old next week!


  1. He's just so precious! I'm glad things worked out for you guys! Not having childcare (or having poor childcare) is the worst.

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