Tales from the Diaper Bag



“A word to the wise ain’t necessary. . . “

. . . it’s the stupid ones who need the advice.”

You can say that again. 

A few weeks ago, I was chatting with a friend at work about first-time pregnancy, maternity leave, etc. She gave me a lot of advice, but the point that she really emphasized was that I needed to start looking at day care options now.  Not soon-now. Pronto. That day. She warned me about the horrors of being wait-listed. She told me that some places had wait lists that were YEARS long. She said that I was underestimating how much time it took to research centers and arrange site visits and that I had to think about how many households in the area had families with two working parents that would need day care. I smiled. I nodded. I asked questions. . .and then I pretty much set that advice aside. 

I took her advice seriously, I did. But only slowly started thinking about looking at places. I mean, come on– I’m still barely showing and it seemed a little dumb to be touring child care centers asking about their child care philosophies and feeding schedules when I didn’t even have these things yet myself (or for that matter, a child with whom to implement these plans).  So, it was only half-seriously that I started arranging site visits this week.

Holy smokes, I was such a fool!!! Seriously, a big raging moron. Every place I called today already has a (sometimes lengthy) wait list for when we’d be needing child care. IN SPRING/SUMMER 2009. That’s right.  There are already dozens of unborn children ahead of my unborn child on lists for daycare centers all around my home and office. I talked to one day care director that told me that many parents start looking at day care as soon as they find out that they’re pregnant. So, while I was thinking about my first prenatal doctor’s appointment, they were reviewing county inspection reports and writing checks for non-refundable deposits.

 I still think it’s insane– but that’s what I’m up against.  People who are even more Type-A than I am (Even more amazing– these people are more Type-A than my husband who is so uptight he makes even crazy, worrisome, pregnant me seem mellow).

Oy.

So anyhow, now I’m looking at child care centers and thinking about who I want to watch my bambino when I return to work.  I visited three places today and we have plans to visit several others.  On a positive note, most of the places I’ve visited so far were clean, secure, and staffed with caring, well-trained employees. Most of the places also kept detailed daily records on what the baby does, eats, drinks, etc. during the day so that parents are always aware of what’s going on with their little babes during the day.  On the negative side, it is already making me sad to contemplate that–whoever I decide to leave my bambino with–they will see more of my kid during the week than I will. They’ll tell me about it. I’ll read about it in those cool little daily logs. . .but I won’t be seeing it for myself.  I already feel sad for my loss.  Worse, I’m feeling the first trickle of guilt that I assume will be my constant companion as a working mom.

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