So last night I went to put on my pajamas and noticed a little wet crusty stain RIGHT on the nipple area. Good Lord, I’m already starting to leak colostrum. I had heard that this can happen during pregnancy, but it still took me by surprise, and for some reason made the whole actually having a baby thing feel all the more imminent. Like this is totally happening, three months from now I will be breastfeeding my child twelve times a day and subsisting on little tiny increments of sleep. In the words (or word, I suppose) of the great Joey Lawrence of Blossom fame, “Whoa.”
Don’t worry, I’m not just realizing this now, but I don’t care what anyone says, having junk leak from your boobs for the first time sorta throws you for a loop.
So Dan and his dad have been working like dogs on our basement every evening this week, and I should thank the lucky stars every single day that we have a plumber in the family willing to do free work for us during his very limited free time. I don’t even want to think about how much MORE money we’d be spending on our basement remodel if we didn’t have Dan’s dad. I am so grateful, I just hate that he’s had to spend so much time there when he surely has so many better things he’d rather be doing. The poor man works all day trying to make money to feed his family, then comes to our house and works all evening for what? A free meal and a few beers are about all he’s willing to take from us. I just had to put this out in the universe, because that man deserves so much good Karma.
I’ve started doing the day-care search thing, and my goodness is that stressful. Imagine that, the process of finding a stranger to watch over your kid who isn’t even born yet is stressful… who would have thought? Seriously though, I had no idea where to start. I know the most desirable way of going about it is soliciting referrals from family and friends, but I didn’t think that was feasible, as most of my mom-friends live in a totally different part of the city. So yesterday I spent hours doing the internet thing, looking at both child care centers and licensed in-home day cares through mnchildcard.org. It’s a great website, gives addresses and phone numbers, enrollment vacancies, hours, and a few generic tidbits about each provider’s experience, education, and environment. But goodness, what am I supposed to do, just start calling these random places? I want pictures, I want testimonials, I want mission statements!
So what did I end up doing for hours? I looked up the addresses of these in-home day-cares on Google maps, heading straight to street view, and dissected whether or not the house and neighborhood looks nice enough. ;) This ended up being a pretty good tactic, because a lot of the houses gave me a total “no way, I am not dropping my baby off there” vibe, so I was able to take them off the list immediately. No reason to set up interviews if their house even gives off a bad first impression. I know, my weeding out process sounds sort of superficial, but I think there’s a lot of merit to it.
Then last night I had dinner at my parents’ house and my aunt stopped by. The subject came up and she had an immediate reference for me. Someone I know, but didn’t realize did day care. Someone my aunt knows so well she knew her phone number by heart. Someone who’s been doing day care for 20+ years and maintains such incredible relationships with her kids that she has gone to a number of their high school graduations! Someone who runs a structured, activity and development based program out of her home, which she’s designed so that the child-care portion is completely separate from her family’s living quarters. I don’t know, I’m feeling incredibly optimistic about it. I just talked to her on the phone and set up an interview, and also got some info on her hours and rates (which are a bit higher than I was hoping, but nothing insane). She’s got an opening in September for an infant, which is a few months earlier than I’m looking for, but she seemed to think we could work something out if Dan and I were interested after meeting her and getting a feel for the environment.
Though we haven’t actually decided on anything, I am feeling soooo much better. Frankly, I don’t feel sick to my stomach when I think about it anymore. Childcare is something that I haven’t really wanted to talk about, let alone think about, since we got pregnant, because I already feel so much guilt about having someone else raise my kid. However, I also don’t want to quit my job, for many reasons including 1.) we couldn’t afford it, and 2.) I don’t want to totally put my career on hold. I keep telling myself that I can always change my mind later and consider part time, once I’ve had the baby and have been on maternity leave for a few months, if I realize that there is just no way, emotionally, I can go back full time. But that doesn’t mean I can slack off on finding good childcare, just because I have this “Scenario B” in the back of my head. That’s just something I do, I avoid situations that stress me out and require me to make difficult decisions. Clearly I need to work on that.