We interviewed another daycare today. This one was a family daycare as opposed to a center and I really liked the woman who ran it. She had a lot of experience and seemed very knowledgable and friendly. Still, throuhout the entire meeting I could not help but wonder about everything good she said. She seemed completely sincere and seemed like she loves children, but how can I leave my most important thing in the world with anyone? Even for three days a week? R got depressed because the 7 month old we met had just learned how to turn a little wheelie toy thing that day. And her parents missed it. I was scared thinking of not being able to control my child's environment. Will she be held enough? Watched enough? Will she be in the company of someone I do not trust? Even for an hour? I cannot stand the thought of leaving my helpless infant with someone I barely know.
After we left, we both felt like she was great--and we still hate the idea of daycare or even a babysitter unless it was a family member I trusted. We talked again about me staying home. That also feels like I would be miserable. I guess I can't know for sure. Maybe during my maternity leave, I will fall so in love with my baby and our time together, I will not be able to imagine leaving her. I am sure I will. On the other hand, how could I leave my job? How could I stay home and devote all of my energy and attention to a child under 14 months? I know I am lucky to have these choices at all. In some ways my paltry salary is a blessing since R and I have learned to rely far more on him to be the breadwinner. But in other ways it is so hard because it makes the choice seem so selfish. If I am going to pay half my salary to daycare, is it selfish to not stay home with my child? Financially it may be a slight stretch, but I think we could probably do it for a little more than a year. Still, would I go nuts? Would I resent R for his time out with adults? I respect stay at home moms and anyone who makes the choice to be with their children full time and I know thousands of extremely intelligent women make this choice, but I worry that I would feel intellectually understimulated. Why does it scare me so much to think of not working? I have always worked. I have always had a job since college graduation (except during grad school). Maybe I am just scared. It is all SO much change.