Friday, April 20, 2007

This is what a 26K a Year Daycare Looks Like

The daycare was really nice. As far as daycares go. Yes, all the children had runny noses and I was dogdging their touches the whole time, but the place was well run, clean and friendly. The teacher to student ratio was 3, the facilities new and clean and the playrooms fun and safe. Plus the place is a five minute walk from my work so if I did go back, I would be able to visit Samara as many times a day as I like (ie, I would be getting paid to hang out with my kid). I could even stop by and breastfeed her a couple times a day. It is tempting.

On the other hand, I felt close to tears during my entire tour. Picturing Samara in one of the cribs or in the arms of one of the teachers made me feel like I was drowning just off shore while people played on the beach. I hated the idea that she would spend all day with these women who could never love her like I do.

We went to a playgroup yesterday with a group of mothers and babies. Some of them were older and it was neat to see how Samara will grow. Of course, she is not mobile, so mostly she sat in my lap while I chatted with the other mommies. One made a similar salary to me and decided to quit her job to stay with the baby. It sounds like financially they might even be in a worse place then us. Still, she made the decision to stay home (and actually, if we were paying that much for daycare, my salary would be close to nothing). She said she would not give a second back. Of course, when pressed, she admitted some days drive her crazy and it is hard. This much I know. Hence, my dilemma.

If she were in daycare, breastfeeding would probably suffer unless I managed to pump six times a day. I just do not produce enough milk to store for her. But if we are home, I get nothing done. I need R to help at nights and many nights he is gone in the lab. He is basically working 2 full time jobs right now between school and work and, although I know it is ultimately for us, I can't really get a whole lot accomplished during the day, especially since Little Miss Hates-to-Nap has reappeared this week. At school, she would have toys and friends and teachers who are paid to give her attention, stimulation and energy. Some days mommy just wants her to sleep so she can get work done. I can already see that overall I am not cut out to be a stay at home mom. But for now, I almost feel selfish for wanting to rejoin the working world and, of course, there are a million reasons (as I stated in my post two days ago) that I should be home with her.

Ugh. Why do I always wait until the last possible second to make decisions? I know I can "always get another job when I feel like working again." People keep telling me this. But I am still struggling. I just need to pick a side and go to it.


M said...

Just found you by way of Interrupted Wanderlust. My daughter just started daycare on Monday....but we don't pay nearly $2200 a month. I hope they are feeding them with gold plated spoons. ;)

Editorgirl said...

So which way are you leaning right now and how long until you have to make a decision? It's too bad you couldn't have the best of both worlds with a 3/4 or 1/2time gig.

Kristi said...

I know I've told you this before, but run out to your library right now and borrow The Mommy Wars. Just read a few of the essays (and they are from both SAHMs and working moms) and once you have, your decision may be easier.

It's a tough decision, and one that is deeply personal for each woman and each family. Ultimately, you have to decide what makes you happiest. Because if you're not happy, your family life will suffer. Believe me, I know this.

I'm responding to your email soon, too, so you can get an idea of what it's like to be a WFHM.