Friday, May 30, 2008

Pressure Cooker

Our baby is due sometime in the next two months. Understandably I am feeling a slight amount of pressure (understatement) about one major thing: Finding a happy comfortable childcare situation for our newborn daughter by the fall. The first years of Matthew's little life all with reference to child care were stressful, scary and not fun.

I am fairly certain I ended some friendships based on the angry, disjointed feelings I had about being a working mom, about not having the luxury to leave my job or the support from my husband to leave my job.

Money sustains us as much as I do not want to believe this at times. I would love to spend my days playing with my boy, being the sole provider of discipline and love, learning and growth.

On the flip side, it is just not going to happen both because we need money to live our lives and because Kevin is just not down with me leaving my job. SO we are here. AND I am happy to be here.

Matthew spends his days at a place he loves with a person he loves and we love that. That is happiness for me with respect to child care. I could ask for nothing more. I have not felt so grounded and secure with Matthew's care since my maternity leave when I was the one doing it. The most interesting aspect of this all is that it shows. I was calmer, I was able to lose weight, I smiled more, I showed up happy most every day to work, I felt less down and out... It was seriously an amazing transformation for me to notice over the months since Matthew started at Kelly's.

Oddly enough three years ago as it is now, I also love my job. There is no other place like it. I get paid well, I work hard, and I feel I am likely a better mommy for working (as that is my case and not the case for others I understand this NOW.) Work is part of my family and we are treated as such. It is not just another job -- this is the job I will do until I decide to retire or the company ends.

However, the worst times I have were during those early months. I resented my job and being away from child not because I wanted it to be that way but because I felt so horribly uncomfortable with the people who were caring for him. Yet, I felt stuck. We were limited by money and so we chose the best things we felt we could do at those times even though they were not ideal for us.

With all of that said, Kevin and I have not done anything to find anyone to look after Baby Pancake yet. I am not sure why. Neither of us can really put our finger on the why of this. Perhaps, it has to do with the fact that we have done this three times before with Matthew and we both now it is a lot of work which neither of us have had much energy for lately.

For me, it has to do with the old feelings welling up inside me which are that I just want to stay home with my baby until she is old enough to go to school. To quit work and enjoy my kids. I long for that again when I thought I had left it behind. And I have in degrees. I mean I definitely will not whine near as much as I did and I am sure there will be tears when I leave my baby girl with someone those early first days but I also know I am stronger and better by working (for me.)

We are slowly beginning the process again. We are placing an ad in the local news and a couple of websites that offer us some exposure. We need to change our phone message to screen for people who might call. We are planning to sign up on a nanny site to see if we can find anyone that way. I am hopeful we will find the right thing for Baby Pancake right away. I am scared that we might not. But until we try we will not know. Mostly I am just trying to be hopeful, peaceful and strong about it all, I am trying to keep on smiling no matter what because in the end everything works out.


AndreAnna said...

It will all work out.

Personally, I have absolutely no desire to be a SAHM and have wonderful childcare set up, so at least I have that weight off my shoulders. It definitely makes a difference in stress level to know that this new guy will be taken care of as well as CHarlotte has been.

It must suck to have that added worry toward the end of a pregnancy.

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

Welcome to our World said...

Andreanna~ Thanks! I love my job and I think the thing that scares me most is feeling a bleak as I did with Matthew during the early months after I went back to work. We are so happy now we just do not want to get back into a negative situation again. If I can find the right thing it will be all good. It is our own fault for waiting because we have known for a long time we needed to find someone to look after this baby! Mostly it just feels good to get my worries out into the open because then I move from stewing about it to getting something done!

Pickles & Dimes said...

I totally understand about the working with a child part. If we have kids, there is no way I could afford to stay at home, and I wouldn't want to. On the negative side, we have no relatives nearby and we both work later hours, so it's going to be tough.

But what I get out of working recharges me so much it can only help any relationship I might have with my children.

I can only imagine the hassle/cost that is childcare. I hope you find someone fabulous for Baby Pancake/Rose. :)

Jen said...

Good luck with the childcare hunt. I hope that you are able to find a great nanny! It's nice that you are able to keep baby Pancake in the home with care there. I wish that we could do that for Evan.

Working and having kiddos is tough, I find! I wonder if it's a feeling you'll always have no matter what. Torn between wanting to stay home and wanting to work. And it seems the grass is always greener on the other side!

Swistle said...

Ohhhhhh, I wish I were local! I would take care of her! I would lovvvvvve to have a newborn to snuffle! I used to work in the infant room of a daycare, and I miss it! All those nice babies!

el-e-e said...

OH! I so relate to this post. Like you, I really struggled with the realization that I am, in fact, a working mom, and I don't get a lot of support from DH about finding ways for me to stay home. I don't blame him for that, he just has no idea how it feels to be a woman and be biologically connected to a child for 9 months and then have to leave them, etc.

But also like you, now that AJ's 3 I'm finally feeling like I need to work -- I like it, in some ways -- and I know I wouldn't be as good a mother without it.

Here's hoping you find the perfect solution for your baby girl. I know you will. Have faith.