And the to do list seems to be growing rather than shrinking. So much to buy, and to choose, and to decide. We finally got around to getting serious about the childcare decision -- months later than we really should have. The procrastination is understandable -- no one wants to leave their tiny little baby in the hands of someone else to watch all day. No one can take care of my little one the way I can. But the reality of our lives dictate that some sort of childcare decision must be made. One of the things that is great about my not committing to a firm and the fact that we've managed to stash away a good bit in savings, is that I can stay home guilt and (relatively) stress-free for three months.
Even so, the cost of childcare is astronomical and the wait lists are long so the fact that the real calling and researching and debating only started last month is really unacceptable. We have enough friends with children in centers in the city to have already had a mental list in place before the first phone call. But most of these places are highly desirable (prime location with excellent reputation) and therefore were unlikely to have openings until the end of the summer. A situation that would have required us to set up temporary daycare for as long as several months with a chain daycare with lower ratings and greater availability. And here we learned the often-taught lesson that procrastination is a very, very bad thing.
Fortunately, when the dust settled the daycare that both Tony and I liked best was one that was less expensive, closer to home, and had a shorter wait list. And the ratings were as good as the centers that we were more familiar with. After meeting with the management and touring the facility, there was a 1000% agreement between us that that was the place for our child. It is small, intimate, had an extremely low rate of teacher turnover, and they are very focused on reinforcing parental decisions rather than keeping all of the kids on a daycare-dictated timeline. (Many daycares in this area want all of their infants on the same eating/sleeping schedule as well as want to dictate when/what solid foods should be introduced. And many don't want to bother with feeding breast milk preferring formula that doesn't require refrigeration). But this place didn't have any of those hang-ups and they eased as many of my concerns as can be eased. So with that, Tony and I have made a childcare decision. As glad as I am for it to be done, it hurts me that I have to trust someone else to watch my baby. As far as the wait list, they predict openings in May/June. Although May was our ideal as far as my returning to work, a June start date would make me even happier.