Friday, June 19, 2009

Don't make me feel worse than I already do

Today and Monday we are going to be looking at daycares for Blaise.

Roman won't need one this time, since we plan on getting him enrolled in his elementary school's after school program. The one at his school is supposed to be the best in the area (even some of the daycare directors I've talked to today have confirmed this.)

I hate that we need daycare.

I went back to school full time when Roman was 6 weeks old. It was one of the most difficult things I had to do. Fortunately, at that time, my parents lived reasonably close to us and my mom was able to watch my darling little baby for me.

But it was still hard for me to hand over my still very new little baby and leave for sometimes the entire day.

My parents moved when Roman was about 6 months old. At that time, one of Keith's sisters was able to watch him. She lived an additional 30 minutes away, but had a little girl close to his age. My SIL watched Roman until about 2 years old. At that time, she was expected another baby, and felt that it was too much to continue to watch him. After that, we found neighbors and friends to watch him.

The problem with having friends and relatives act as your very full time babysitter is that there was always a sense that we were an inconvenience to them. It means that they need to conform to your schedule, which can impact family activities or even vacations. During finals, when days might go longer, they would have to watch Roman longer. Some semesters, I had very early morning classes, which meant that I occasionally woke people up, much earlier then they probably would have liked.

We still appreciate every person who helped us out during that time. They freely gave of their time and support.

But after Blaise was born, we decided we could not continue to prey on other people's schedules. Especially with two children.

At that time, we looked to professional child care. I looked into nannies, but our "budget" just didn't allow it (I say budget, but what I really mean is extra student loans.)

So, when Roman was 4, and Blaise was 6 months old, and I was headed back to medical school after a nearly 7 month hiatus, the boys started in daycare. (I'm so glad I so much time with Blaise as a baby. A whole 6 months where he was just mine.)

In someways, it was easier for me. Especially since it was Keith who dropped them off (my days started at 5 am, way before any center was opened).

I don't like that my darling children have spent so much time in daycare. Obviously, I would much rather that they had spent most of that time at home, with me, surrounded by people absolutely invested in them.

But that, unfortunately, was not an option (unless I were to quit school. And don't think that thought didn't cross my mind nearly everyday.)

But daycare had definitely made somethings easier. We don't impact other peoples schedules. The center is there, for us, and if we drop them off earlier or later, or pick them up earlier or later, or have a day off and they don't go, it doesn't matter.

Roman and Blaise have had the chance to interact with more children, do more activities, learn more than they might have otherwise.

Blaise has been out of daycare since March. And he was only going part-time for several months before that.

Everyday we have together is so precious to me.

But now, we are on the search again. Hopefully for a place that we both feel comfortable being his second home.

4 comments:

Gina said...

I totally and completely get this post. And I know I am lucky to only have to send L to day care two days a week. But already I see how much it is helping him...the other day, someone took a toy from him at swim lessons, and he said, "Give it back," like he learned at school. It does hurt my heart though, when he says, "I cry at school when I miss Mommy." They'll all survive, though. :) Good luck with your day care search!

Gina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Salem said...

I am so glad that you have stayed in School and been so kean to be considerate for your own family and us all. Every day it seems I am impressed with your daily landmarks of achievement and the brilliancy of my nephews. Keith is amazing too and up to more good and achievement than he seems to say very readily. I am always glad to tell my friends about what you and family are like and of such a blessing you have been to care and be there for us where it matters most. I am praying that you keep your light and faith afresh in the goodness you can do and the example you set, to be a road for many others to emulate. I am try to be one of those.

Bonnie said...

I missed this post earlier. I guess for people earlier in the century transitioning from teaching their kids on the homestead to the local town, or from the local transit teacher to a public institution, the feelings must have mirrored yours. You had to go to day care too, and your brother too and I relate, because know how it aches. The best thing is that your children are as well rounded and happy as you are! Good job all of you!!!