I interviewed a daycare yesterday.
The woman is lovely, we chatted as the children played. The house is nice with a giant backyard in a good neighborhood. She has cats and dogs, tonnes of toys, happy kids toddling about. She does crafts and takes the brood to playgroup on Fridays. In short, it was a great little daycare.
She's looking after her own son, who is 3, plus a 16 month old, a 13 month old, and a 5 year old at the same time. Chou would be an addition to the group. That's four under three plus a 5 year old and one caregiver.
While there, one of the girls wasn't feeling great (the 16 month old). She climbed on my lap while we chatted and wanted to look at a book. Really, she just needed a cuddle. Chou was happy immediately, playing on the floor with the new toys and staring at all the new faces. The woman's three year old was a bit uncomfortable with a new baby and woman in his house and was clinging to her. Happy, but shy.
I left realizing that the children were safe, clean, fed and cared for.
I looked at my 9 month old. She'd be the youngest. She's be only 11 months old when she'd start. I felt pressured to agree to full time (and got the same story from another daycare).
I'm not ready. I can't do it.
I need to know that Chou's bum would get changed ASAP. I need to know that she'd get cuddles when she needs them. I don't want to wean her, but know that even half days away from me may mean she weans far sooner than I'd like her to. Would they sing and dance like Chou and I do? There was a big ole TV in the playroom; would she spend her days plunked in front of it? Would she get the attention an 11-month old needs? I'm not sure.
In short, I feel that I'm the best qualified to care for my child at this age.
This will change, I know. Part of me feels that it's Chou's age that's got me stuck on not letting her go. She won't even be a year old - an infant still - and I'll be expected to leave her in a stranger's care for half or full days. Right now, she's not even walking, so she needs more sit and play with me time, more supervision. In two months, who knows, maybe she won't need so much, but as I drove away yesterday, I couldn't shake the feeling that it was just all wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. And not because of the daycare, just the concept.
I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I've agreed to go back to work, and I will, I just don't know what that's going to look like right now. And maybe in 2 months from now, my headspace will have changed, but right now, all I want to do is sit on the floor and bop along to top 40 hits with my toothless grinning 9 month old, in between interviews, writing, running and playdates.
Is that so wrong?