Today I completed my first real parental act: I booked daycare for my child. This is something that has been weighing on my mind since we first found out that I'm pregnant. You see, I'm a bit of an overplanner, I hate the feeling of not having all of my proverbial ducks in a row. Year-long waiting lists scare me! I couldn't escape the scary image that we would totally fail to be prompt about finding quality care, and our baby would be stuck watching Blues Clues reruns and drinking Pepsi out of his bottle, while his "daycare provider" chain-smoked in the next room. So as soon as we hit the 12 week mark of this pregnancy Gez and I started doing our research. We had a conversation about what type of care we were both comfortable with, and decided that we wanted a center, rather than any type of in-home carers. Now, I'm sure that there are some really really great in-home daycares out there, but for me it just wasn't something I wanted to consider. I personally feel that centers are a bit more regulated, tend to have a stronger educational base, and are better able to provide fun and enriching experiences (field trips, outings , etc). We did have to make some compromises, though. For example, we were really hoping to find a Welsh-Language nursery, but out of the acceptable ones that we found one was wayyy outside the city and the other never returned my calls, which totally turned me off.
But we're so happy with our final choice. Upon our initial visit we were greeted warmly by the staff, the babies seemed to be either playing or sleeping happily. We were pleased with the level of interaction, as well as the quality of the facilities. I was duly impressed when they showed us the food-prep area (I was going to ask to see it anyway, but was pleased that I didn't have to reveal the level of my paranoia), which was clean and sanitary. It's a bright, colorful, cheerful place, and I know that our son will really enjoy it there.
None of this, however, makes it any easier to think about. Although I'm lucky that I'll have 5 months at home with my baby before he starts at the nursery, I don't like thinking about having to leave him. And yes, I know it'll be harder on me than it will be for the little guy- he'll be having tons of fun playing with all of his new buddies, singing songs, and fingerpainting while I have to leave my baby and go to dumb ol' work! I just keep reminding myself how much harder it would be if I wasn't 100% comfortable with the care he was receiving. And anyway, now that it's taken care of, I don't need to think beyond those wonderful first 5 months, for now anyway!