June 28, 2010

A New Adventure

Last July, when M and I discovered that we were expecting, one of our immediate concerns was child care. The first few months of my pregnancy were filled with lengthy discussions that listed out our options and weighed the pros and cons of each.

We quickly decided that me becoming a stay at home mom was not the best option for our family. While our financial situation would allow us to leave off a single salary, my job provided our health care benefits. Moreover, I love my career and strongly feel that the Lord has placed in my current position for a reason and a purpose. There was no peace in my heart when I contemplated leaving….

Our next option was daycare, but our needs were very complex. First, we wanted a facility with a high teacher to child ratio. The facility also needed to begin educational training at an early age. I had seen facilities in other areas that did not engage the infants very well. Most importantly, we needed a facility that had lots of flexibility with scheduling. Both M and I have jobs that often require early morning and late evenings. Our town, while small, has two great day care centers that met both of our first two requirements, but the scheduling was a sticking point for both.

As my delivery date loomed, I wondered what we were going to do. To further complicate the issue, Joycelen was due to arrive at the peak of cold/flu season, and my mind filled with images of my tiny infant coming down with the flu.

When I was seemingly at my wits end, my Mama offered to keep Joycelen until the flu season had passed. Our original agreement was 3 months, but 3 months neither my Mama nor I were ready to change our arrangement. Mama loves having Joycelen each day – as an empty nester it gives her a renewed sense of purpose. I love being able to go into work early, stay late if necessary, and visiting Joycelen on my lunch break. (Side note: the first 8 weeks after I returned to work, I would nap with Joycelen on my lunch break; there is no daycare in the world that would allow that).

At the beginning of June, Mama asked if I could find a fill in caregiver for a few days so that she and my Daddy could take a short vacation. She seemed apologetic, but I assured her that a getaway was well deserved, and I had no problems with making alternate arrangements.

It just so happened that our local Christian daycare center had drop in opening for the 3 days that we needed. My older nieces attend this center, so I knew the quality care that Joycelen would be getting and the individuals who would be providing it.

This morning I carried her into the center. She was cooing and babbling the entire time, as I gave a brief run down of her routine to Mrs. Jamie, the lead teacher in the infant room. When it came time to leave, I got a little bleary eyed and worried that she would do the same. But not my girl, she was too busy jabbering at another infant to worry with my departure. If things go well, M and I may enroll her in the 3 day a week program in the fall, to give my Mama a break and to allow Joycelen more interaction with her peer group.


Jennifer said...

Mama's watching your baby is the best thing next to you getting to stay home with her. My mom watches the kids during the summer and it is great!
Though, I agree that putting her in something a couple of days a week will be very good for her.

Kathie Brinkman said...

Sounds like you found a great solution.