So I have been putting this post off, mainly because I really don’t have any desire to relive this day, but the rain is really calming, so maybe that will help. Adelai started daycare last Monday, and it was by far my most emotional day yet. I spent the whole morning cuddling with my sweet baby, but felt like I was being followed around by doomsday music. I got her bag packed with extra clothes, blankets, pacifiers, and milk, then got myself ready for school.
I had done quite a bit of research on daycares while I was pregnant. The biggest problem I had was finding one that would allow me to take her and only pay for two days a week. This shrank my list of potential places down to three. I visited a Montessori one close to our house, and it was terrible. I walked in to the infant room and the two teachers were talking to each other while babies were sitting in bumbos and exercaucers crying. They weren’t even speaking English, or Spanish for that matter. The floors were tile and the cribs were metal, and there wasn’t an ounce of warmth in the room. I left in tears, thinking about my baby spending even an hour in that place. At that point I decided that corporate daycare was no place for my family, and I would mainly focus on smaller ones.
The next place on my list was a Lutheran school that we had heard did part time, but when I went to visit I found out that only kids that are not in the infant room have the ability to be part time. This was a total downer since the place seemed really wonderful. So I crossed that one off the list and had one left. At this point I was feeling like no place would be good enough, and really no place will ever be good enough you just have to find one you feel comfortable with.
The last place on my list was a small daycare relatively close to the house. It looked like a winner on the website and the person I talked to on the phone seemed wonderful, but I had been deceived before and didn’t want to get my hopes up. I arrived without telling them when I was coming, which is important to do, and the moment I stepped foot in the door it felt right. It was like God was telling me everything was going to be okay. The infant room was cozy, with rugs over wood floors and wooden cribs. All of the kids were happy and playing. There was artwork on the walls that the babies had made, and French doors that led out to the playground area. Another main thing to mention was that this was a breastfeeding friendly daycare, the owners had nursed their son for the first year and the infant room was equipped with everything they need to store not only milk that is ready to go, but also frozen milk for just in case purposes.
I toured the rest of the facility and found it hard to fight back my tears of joy. They do amazing things with the children there and I was just so happy to have found a place that I felt comfortable with. It was a little on the pricey side, but when it comes to my child, money is never going to be an issue in this kind of circumstance.
A couple of weeks before Addy’s first day we went and spent the morning there so that she would feel comfortable before we left her. I got to see them in action with her as well. Everyone wanted to hold her and play with her, they changed her diaper and asked me a bunch of questions about her habits. If it was possible for me to be even more at peace with my decision I did.
So back to the first day. I had a hard time fighting back the tears on the drive there, but I knew it was important for me to be strong for Addy, and she would be able to tell if I was stressed in any way. When I got there they got all of her stuff and then I sat down in one of the gliders and nursed her for about 45 minutes while I talked with the teachers and tried to make the other kids laugh. Then I handed my sweet little girl to the teacher and left as fast as I could before I started crying. Luckily Adelai goes to other poeple really easily so she was very calm. I called my husband and was in tears as I pulled out of the drive way. He reassured me that I did feel very comfortable with the place and that she would be fine. I still sobbed all the way to school and didn’t take in anything that was said in class that day.
I called the daycare in between my first two classes and they said she was doing great! She was mostly being held by the owner and the teachers, she enjoyed music time and had taken a couple of cat naps. I was feeling a little better hearing this. But when I got out of my last class and called my husband to see how she was doing I heard her screaming on the other end, and he said she was crying when he went to pick her up. I literally ran to my car and got home as fast as I could. She seemed fine when I arrived, passed out on daddy’s chest. I looked at the note that came home with her and could see that she had only slept for about 45 minutes the whole afternoon. This was the reason for the crying.
I picked her up and nursed her, and started sobbing. She was too little to be in daycare. She couldn’t even play by herself yet, or interact with the other kids. There had to be a way for us to put this off longer. I cried for almost 2 hours straight, and my mom called and I was a total wreck. This is the hardest thing you will ever do as a working parent. Don’t think it is going to be easy, and there is no way to prepare yourself for how you are going to feel. But I can say it gets a tiny bit easier as the days go by.
Over the next two days Tony and I were determined to keep her out of daycare for a little longer. He tried getting approved for telecommuting for work and I considered having my Mom come down three days a week until I graduate. We were counting the amount of time Tony could take off, but in the end I was too worried about him hurting his career by taking that much time off. The telecommuting was not approved, and we knew she would have to be put in daycare eventually so we decided to see how things went.
The one thing that does make this easier is nursing. Adelai knows when I get home she gets to nurse, and she will stay latched for about and hour and a half on daycare days.
I will keep updating with our progress.