I am not quite sure how I got here. 11 months ago I thought my return to work after a year on maternity leave was so far off in the distance. It was as though my life had been put on pause and time practically stood still as I got to know my sweet little somebody.
“I have so much time” I thought.
“12 months is practically an eternity” I thought.
“I will totally be ready to go back to work at 12 months” I thought.
Boy, was I wrong!
After the fog of the first few weeks with a newborn cleared, it is as though I fell on the fast forward button of my life and now my baby boy is almost a year old and I am starting to think about going back to work. Don’t get me wrong, the thought of getting to interact with adults again on the daily is somewhat exciting but there is something about the simplicity of baby conversations that I will no doubt long for.
If I am to be honest though, what has really been causing me anxiety about my impending return to work is the dreaded D word: DAYCARE! After bonding with my little love for the past few months, I am not quite sure how I feel about the thought of leaving him. I would imagine this is what drives many to stay at home with their children, which I completely respect, but the reality is that this is just not an option for me.
Knowing that this would no doubt stress me out, I started my search for daycare pretty early. I mean 9 months ago early. That’s right folks, I started my daycare search when my baby was 2 months old! I am not talking casually perusing to see what’s out there. I am talking actively searching everyday with the intent of securing a spot ASAP. I realize that asking daycare providers to commit to taking care of my son almost a year in advance sounds a bit crazy, but the control freak in me just couldn’t help it. You see, I wanted the ‘best of the best’ for my son, the ‘perfect’ daycare. Surely, I would have to start early…..right!? After all, my son will be in this person’s care for approximately 7 hours a day! 7 HOURS A DAY!
My daycare search lasted for about a month, and all the while I struggled with this internal battle: How would I ever find someone to replace me? Who could ever care for my son like me while I was away? I am not certainly not professing to be the greatest mother of all time, but I do take pride in the special bond that I have created with my son over the past few months.
After numerous hours of research and dozens of emails sent, I am happy to announce that I have found a daycare provider that I think will be a great fit for our family. I have also come to one very important realization: there is no such thing as the ‘perfect’ provider. Do I want someone who will nurture and care for my son? Absolutely! Do I want someone that will teach him his ABC’s and 123’s? Sure! But I shouldn’t be looking for someone to replace me….because that just isn’t realistic or fair for anyone.
At the end of the day, when I go to pick up my little boy from daycare (after what I would only hope was a day of fun and discovery) I want him to run….err or crawl into my arms and feel comfort in knowing that its time to go home. In my opinion, that’s perfect.