Ok, I have come a long ways since my last ultra dramatic and depressing daycare post (read here and here, unless you don’t want to be depressed because, whew, that was a bad couple of posts). Go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back, you were all right, it does get better, it does. BUT, I had quite the stumbled yellow, no brown, because yellow is too cheerful, brick road journey to get here.
I wanted to hold off on writing an update for a good month because it was so difficult at first. I desperately wanted to be positive about it and quit with the whole depression saga. Now, even finding a daycare that I really like and trust leaves an empty hole in my heart. Giving someone else my daughter is the hardest thing I have had to do. It is still a struggle every day. I live for 4:15pm each day when I get to see her again and we get to all be together at night. It’s just not enough time. I am really unsure about this whole “working Mom” thing. I really don’t think it is for me…
But that’s a whole nother dilemma.
Here is my quick update:
Starting with the center. Hate them. WHY did I ever think that a center was the best idea?! I just liked that they were with other children their age, yada yada, not even going to go there, because I WAS WRONG. I lasted 1 ½ weeks of misery in the center. They were all VERY nice and I could tell they had the best interest for the children they cared for, but it was not for us. Ivy continued to cry (and so did I) each time I dropped her off and picked her up. It was devastating. I don’t even want to relive any of that week and a half so I choose not to dwell on the misery and offer details. I just don’t like centers. It was not for us.
I thankfully had a bit of relief during that strenuous time. I was so glad Grandma had her two days of the week because it offered me two stress-free days! And I SO needed that.
Mostly, I thank each and every one of you that encouraged me to look into an in-home daycare. I was so reluctant to, but after hearing many experiences, I knew I had to give it a try.
So I started looking.
I wanted a home near where I live and had a list of about five in which I was interested in. I immediately deleted about ten of them prior to going further just based off of phone calls. Is that terrible, probably, but I was going to be picky this time. I needed something stable.
I visited all five and each one was so different. Some, I could immediately walk out of, some looked ok, but then after talking with the caretaker, I could eliminate. It was all so stressful and unfulfilling. I had it down to one that I really liked. She offered a folder full of details, had her own very impressive website, was very proactive and gave many details about the daycare, and was quite professional. She was the only one that I could (sort of) see my daughter going to.
But still, I ultimately hated that I did not know this person. I hated that no one I knew knew this person. I had no connections with her except for the references she offered on paper. I just still did not feel 100% about it, and I so wanted that 100% (or let’s face it, 80% because I really just wanted to stay home with her). I wanted someone that I know and trust.
And then, finally, I hit the jackpot.
Two of my good friends I trust dearly had told me about a new in-home that was with a woman they had known for years and highly recommended her. I wasn’t too interested because it was on the other side of town. But after stricking out with the other ones and not being totally sold on this other woman, I decided, what the heck.
I called her and it was like I hit the daycare jackpot. She only had 3 other children at the time, a 7 month old, a 1.5 year old, and a 2 year old, and was only going to take on 5-6 children max. Ivy would have her own bedroom and the woman loved to be outside with kids and had a great playset. This was quite important to me since I was outside with Ivy all summer! I want her to be an explorer with the outdoors and my little outdoorsy girl. I hated in the center that she never got to see the light of day.
Overall, the conditions were optimal and I really enjoyed talking with the woman. I valued my friends’ suggestion and trusted them wholeheartedly. I knew if they would send their kids there, I could too.
I decided to suck up the drive and go with her. Something about a “Mother’s Intuition,” I guess, it just felt as right as it could be. The situations were about the best I could possibly get for a daycare.
I remember my first day dropping Ivy off, I didn’t cry. That was a huge relief. Finally a place I felt connected to and a place I could trust. And when I came to pick her up, Ivy was on the swing in her backyard grinning ear to ear. It was like daycare heaven at that point!! I couldn’t have been happier!!!! I knew I had found a good match, for both of us.
Since we started at this new place at the beginning of September, we have gotten so much better. I can tell Ivy loves going there to play with the other girl her age. It is the biggest relief that she never cries when I leave her. Even though I still tear up once in a while, the fact that she enjoys it, makes it all better. Whew.
So, in short, THANK YOU, everyone. Your comments were encouraging and I knew this Mom intuition thing told me I was in the wrong environment. I appreciate all of your help and kind words as we worked all of this out. I cannot thank you enough and I am so glad we are making it through this! I am so thankful to have friends like all of you who just want the best for us! Thank you thank you thank you.
Still, I may or may not have started a countdown until the end of the school year :)
In the famous words of Mary J Blige, “No more pain, no more drama.” Holla.
Photo by Finished Vision Photography