I’ve gone dark. I think the last post you heard from me was expressing my desire to go on vacation. Guess what? I still want to go on vacation—but I still haven’t firmed up plans. (Yes, I’m a bit of a procrastinator.)
It was actually something other than planning a vacation consumed my days and nights for the latter part of May and some of June. It was the dreaded CAREGIVER SEARCH.
You see, O had been going to daycare/preschool two full days a week for the past year and a half or so. In late May, the director informed me they would no longer be offering at part-time option. We don’t need, and can’t afford, full-time care right now, so O’s father and I had to figure out what to do for the summer. (O is scheduled to start preschool in the fall at a local Montessori school.)
So, should O’s father give up a promising, part-time gig to take care of O full-time at home? It was going to be summer after all—that’s when kids should be footloose and fancy-free, right? Or instead of juggling two part-time jobs, should he try to get a full-time job, and we put O in daycare full-time five days a week? But it was summer after all—that’s when kids should be footloose and fancy-free!
Those damn questions fueled hours of “discussion time.” We finally decided that we should try to find someplace where we could send O two days a week, but try not to pay too much more than we were paying.
Yeah right, right? Like it’s just that easy.
It’s not. It’s damn hard. Trying to find a place that’s convenient to both workplaces, does part-time, doesn’t cost too much, has openings, yadda yadda yadda. I was in major stress-fest mode for about three weeks trying to juggle work and meetings and life, while running around interviewing and visiting potential caregivers.
We finally ended up with a summer sitter. A former preschool teacher, she has two boys of her own—just one and two years older than O, and she lives practically down the road. O spends his days playing, outside, with a few kids his age, in a home environment. He’ll spend the summer there, then start preschool in the fall, with two days of aftercare.
I honestly never thought I would go the sitter route—I’m fond of the more structured, daycare-type environment. I like the buzzer on the daycare door, and the fact that there are many trusted eyes watching over my kid. But this summer, something changed for me. First of all, it’s summer. A time when I feel structure isn’t as necessary, and kids should spend time outside playing, not cooped up a building. I remember my summers off of school fondly. I want my son to have the same sorts of memories. Secondly, O’s old enough to tell me if something’s wackadoodle. So, this mom is changing her mind yet again.
I tell ya, this childraising thing? There’s always something new to learn, and my thoughts about things are constantly shifting. I kind of love it—it’s the best, most challenging job I’ve ever had.