We’ve been having some problems at Riley’s daycare lately. Nothing overly traumatic, just some ongoing things neither of us are happy about. Like the fact that he never seems to consistently be in the same classroom, the classes always seem chaotic and bursting with kids while only one or two teachers are present to try and manage everyone, and the last two days in a row he’s had a massively neglected poop-filled diaper at pickup time.

I’ve been told that the center is short staffed at the moment, and I guess I can cut them some slack for that. But our experiences over the last couple weeks are adding up to an uneasy feeling. Sometimes when I drop him off in the morning, I feel like I’m just tossing him into this completely disorganized environment where he’s left to fend for himself all day. On the one hand, I like that the kids are usually enmeshed in some sort of activity—drawing, doing crafts, being read to—but on the other, I don’t know if I can trust that he’s getting the attention he should. I settle Riley at a table with what seems like fifty other children, kiss him goodbye, and walk away. Who is left in that room to care for my child? I know those teachers are all good people, but oh, there are just so many kids now. It was different in the infant room, and the early toddler room—now it’s like he’s at a kindergarten, only he’s just two years old.

We are going to talk with the center manager and I’m hopeful I’ll get a better understanding of what’s going on: are they really understaffed and hence unusually distracted, and if so what’s the timeline for improving that situation? Are all the teachers suffering from olfactory disorders and unable to detect when a diaper has been filled with shit for hours on end? OR WHAT.

As part of the whole worrying-about-daycare thing, we’ve talked a bit about hiring a nanny. I see a LOT of upsides to going that route, downsides being the trust issue, the fact that you have to rely on one person, and the potential lack of social interaction for the kids (although I think that could be addressed). Nannies are expensive, though. But hell, so is daycare.

Even if I wanted to be a full time stay-at-home mom, I couldn’t in our current situation. Our mortgage, car payments, insurance, savings, and basic bills are too much for one salary. For the most part we have chosen a lifestyle that requires a certain income level, and my salary—reduced as it is by my part time schedule—is a necessity. Even when I subtract the costs of childcare for two kids.

It’s not just about the budget, though, there are lots of reasons I like having an office job. I don’t think I’d be happy staying at home full time. Unless I could hire a nanny to watch the kids for part of the day while I do freelance work, but I don’t have enough freelance work to make up for that lost salary. JB thinks I should try and work for Workplace from home, but at the moment there’s no way I could make that happen in a manner that’s beneficial to my office or me. Oh, and there’s the issue of Workplace moving in a couple months, potentially transforming my commute into something utterly unmanageable.

We’re experiencing some glitches in our previously-smooth system right now, and I don’t know what the long term effects are going to be. I want to do the right thing for my boy. I want to do the right thing for me. I want to do the right thing for our family as a whole. I’m just not sure what the right thing is. Or if there ever is an answer that feels completely, 100% right.

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Naomi
Naomi
16 years ago

Get hold of a couple books by Steve Biddulph. Raising Happy Kids and Raising Boys I think. He has some really positive views on how to manage the daycare situation

Kym
Kym
16 years ago

8 months pregnant with my first, these are some of the issues that are flying around my head at the moment.
I too, will not really have the option of staying home full time even I did want to, but I lie awake at night wondering how this is all going to work?
Will I WANT to come back to work? Will it make me a “BAD MOMMY” if I DO?
How can a nanny ever love/care for my child the way I will?
Isn’t interaction with other kids GOOD for them etc etc etc
I think there will always be a little voice in your head somewhere wondering if you’re doing the “right thing”. It’s just part of being responsible for the life and well-being of another person. It would be unnatural NOT to doubt yourself.

Josh
Josh
16 years ago

Ok, this may be a bit of a stretch, but check this shit. I just found out the cops are currently hunting me down over a warrant that was issued due to their improperly filed paperwork srew up, not me breaking the law. And they are doing it for the second time, I already went to court and had it fixed once. And I can’t get in touch with the clerk-holes who might or might not get off their fat, lazy, stupid asses to keep an innocent man out of jail by making one simple phone call. Long story short, sometimes you worry about shit you can’t control. The only thing you can do is roll with the punches. That and hire a really young and buxom Brittish nanny who has to wear a skimpy school girl uniform and post pictures of her washing your car up on this blog. You know, for Riley’s sake, cause daycare is dangerous or whatever.

Jennifer
16 years ago

I wish I had some sage mother-to-mother advice for you… I think the whole balancing act you described above is what’s been keeping us from officially trying for a baby – I have no idea how we’d manage the situation.

Even though my very own Workplace has what I’m told to be an incredible daycare, it still scares me to death. No one can love and care for your child like you can, but my staying at home is out of the question for us (unless we whore out the Walrus or rob a bank.)

I’d like to think that I am pretty understanding on certain logistical matters -staffing and what have you – but the unchanged diaper thing just makes my blood boil. Poor Riley!

I hope you and JB are able to get the answers you deserve and see some positive changes pronto!

Liz in Australia
Liz in Australia
16 years ago

The lack of attention to the pooey diaper would be a bit of a red flag for me. Sounds like talking to the director would be a good idea – but maybe checking out childcare options closer to New Workplace Location might also be worth doing. Good luck with it.

Jon Bell
Jon Bell
16 years ago

I’d start looking for work closer to home. If the salary is in the same range as your current one, you’ll dodge the unmanageable commute thing.

If you get that part of the plan moving, other things may fall into place. For example, a new job may pay more and make paying a nanny seem less stressful.

Jennifer
Jennifer
16 years ago

You’ve wrestled with the issues before… and look at Sunday’s post, you were relieved to get outta the house and to your office job after the IKEA weekend with that loveable “midgety person.” You like being the part-work/home mom, so keep on with that. Perhaps rather than daycare you can find some other neighborhood moms and you can take turns babysitting each others’ children (you could handle sitting for 4 kids once a week on one of your days-home, right? :-) …While you start working up some clientele for your freelance business that you WILL be able to swing someday.

Jennifer
Jennifer
16 years ago

… although with Workplace moving (practically to the Olympic Peninsula?), maybe searching for something closer to home would help your sanity… could you find something at “that company that shall not be named?” Even though they’re the company everyone loves to hate, they’re also the company that everyone is dying to work for. And I’m sure they would let you keep your Mac (at home only, though!)

Jem
Jem
16 years ago

Theres never a correct answer when it comes to difficult decisions, otherwise the answer would be obvious :) I’m sure whatever you choose to do will work out for you.

Super Sarah
16 years ago

Yup, I have to agree with Liz on this one, I have a real problem with the dirty nappy. I can’t articulate why this is such a deal breaker for me because god knows I have played the ignore game with my daughter’s dirty nappies on a few occasions! Its only fair for the Director of the centre to give you some kind of timeline on the staffing issues. This is such a contentious issue, one that I find hard to talk about, even with close friends because everyone has such a personal opinion about whats right for their situation. We have done our sums and it looks like the nanny option is out of the question until we have a second child.

Zoot
Zoot
16 years ago

We stuck it out with our daycare after some, um, “bad moments” and eventually everything did get better. We’re back to loving it dearly. (Aside from a few annoying business issues.) I just wanted to give you hope. Ours went through some HUGE transitions (evidently our area had quite a baby boom last year) but they settled back fine. Hang in there.

Bunny
16 years ago

I am a stay-at-home mom and I really admire you for working part-time and having a balance between your work and family lives. I think you are doing an amazing job. I think I would have done well to keep something going part-time instead of completely losing myself in my children and family. But…I hated my job before I had kids and have no idea what I would do now. So there’s that. Anyhoo…it sounds like changes are on your horizon. It always seems that when things are ready fro a change they start to make themselves known. Otherwise we would never get the hint that we need something different.

Sorry, it’s early and apparently I am chatty.

Eric's Mommy
Eric's Mommy
16 years ago

I don’t think thee is ever an answer that is 100 percent right. You do what you have to do, we are in the same boat, not with the daycare thing but the whole work schedule so somebody can be around for Eric, it sucks.

Deanna
Deanna
16 years ago

I am a big fan of in home day cares. When I was a baby/kid I was watched by a family and they had high school kids and I was treated like a little sister by all.
When it came time for childcare for baby#1 I looked around and found that I was most comfortable with in home care. I visited several (be tricky, show up early) and fell in love with one. The lady was just wonderful and common sense, had been doing it for 15 years (so she could be a SAHM).

The clincher for me- and I know this will sound odd to non-pet people – was when her big fat cat casually strolls through the kids while I was there!
It was the deciding factor for me. Cats do not venture out in chaos and I knew she kept it calm and happy.
I liked that she said she was not a teacher and she was pretty strict about no sick kids coming to her house. I liked that I was paying a person and not a company and that she kept a daily routine.

I found her through a database of state registered childcare homes and she was close to my house.

Sorry about the long comment- childcare is such a hard thing. Follow your gut- always.

Christine
16 years ago

I wish I could offer advice, but this situation is one of the things that has happened to us with Wren (almost 2). And that, and the fact that I realize I dislike my job (actually, my career choice, too) has prompted me to become a stay-at-home mom and do some temp work in my field (the money’s good). Now that we are having our third child this month, it just feels like something I need to do. Wren likes her daycare, for the most part, but the chaos and the shifting kids around and all that really bugs me. I’m terrified of not having a ‘real job’, but I’m also looking forward to the challenge of two kids under three and a school-ager. Yikes. I’ll probably go insane. I hope you find a solution that works for you, and I would definitely address the diapering issue with them, also the seeming lack of supervision and chaos. THAT is what scares me — a big bunch of two year olds in the care of only one or two adults. Good luck.

Kristin H
Kristin H
16 years ago

I am also a fan of in-home, state-licensed daycare. My two kids have been at the place we chose since they were 10 weeks old and it’s worked out well for us. Heather, who owns it, has two helpers, and they keep the number of kids managable. Maybe a different daycare center would work for you? I’m like you; I don’t think I’d like to be home full-time.

Sarah
Sarah
16 years ago

I’d second the in-home daycare suggestion. We have a daycare center behind our house, and an in-home daycare in front of our house. We visited both, chose the in-home one, and have been thrilled since. William has been there for 3 months now, and I feel so comfortable dropping him off. There are only about 4-5 children there, he gets to do everything the other kids do, and Nikki loves him to pieces. In fact, I was kinda bummed at HOW happy he was when I’d drop him off!
Does your town have a resource for licensed in-home daycares? Also, probably less likely to see a high turnover rate if it’s just 1-2 people running it.
The poopy diaper – yuck. I have to admit to being a bad mom this past weekend though – two days I totally forgot to change him and he leaked pee, and one day we couldn’t understand why he was being fussy – turns out he doesn’t so much like poop smooshed up against his butt – here’s me: “Oh, maybe he’s teething”….or maybe he’d rather not have poop smoosh! I felt terrible.
Sorry, long and rambling. Check out in-home daycares.

biodtl
16 years ago

My son started at a daycare center and we had some issues too. Basically the same as you have. Eventually, we took him out, but not really because we were unhappy there – we simply found something that worked better for us. One thing though – being “understaffed” is really not acceptable. I don’t know how it is in your state, but most states have adult/child ratios that must be met. You should fine out what yours are and chack to see if the daycare is complying.

Jeanette
16 years ago

When my kids were young and I worked part time I also used private in home day care. I highly recommend it. Of course, looking back now I wish I would have dome something to generate income and be a stay at home mom. Then maybe I’d still be doing that thing and not having to go to work every frigging morning!!

Barb
Barb
16 years ago

Both of our kids were in a church-run day care from 6 wks to k’garten. It wasn’t particularly convenient but they loved it and we loved it. Very caring and thoughtful staff…..that stayed. The first thing I always tell young moms is to ask about the retention rate of their staff and then the class sizes. Our kids were never in a class larger than 10 kids. Our daughter has a life-long friend that started there at 6 wks, too, and they are both 27 years old now. Cool.

I had an in-home licensed day care for awhile back when I was between career-type jobs. I loved it, but it was a lot of physical work and my back issues finally forced me to give it up. I had one little fella who started with me at 10 months and boy did I cry when I had to give him up. I felt like he was mine, y’know? I was picky about who I took, spent a lot of time talking with the parents and seeing how the child interacted with my other ones. I vote that you check that out, too. You can find a good one by checking references, talking with the other parents, and visiting with Riley before committing. Being licensed is a must! That regulates the number of kids by age group and also gives you – and her – protection if something goes amiss.

Jenn
Jenn
16 years ago

Read “And Nanny Makes Three” before you dive in to the nanny thing. I was a nanny for several years and I WISH the moms and I all had read this book first!

Niki P.
Niki P.
16 years ago

If you could find a stay at home mom who was looking for a little extra cash to care for the boy(s) that might be the best fit. Ask around- ask at your bank, the post office- you will be amazed where you can find information when you ask a few open ended questions. A little local grocery store maybe??
I live in Smallville USA and folks are just wonderful!
You will figure it out.

julie Boyce
julie Boyce
16 years ago

I’m with Deanna and Sarah – a home daycare situation is the way to go… I’ve now had mine for 10 years! She only does school drop off in the mornings now, but she started off with us when my kids were small, 2 years for one and 7 months for the other. The kids regard her place as just another home away from home. It’s structured and organized and fun and much easier to lay the ground rules when there’s a primary caregiver and only a few other kids. My girls still went to preschool and got plenty of socialization, but still had the balance of a comfortable homey situation in between. It’s cheaper too! I placed an ad in our local community paper and asked people in the neighbourhood for suggestions and then just interviewed a bunch of people. Might be worth a try. Good luck!

Jean
Jean
16 years ago

I completely agree with Jeanette. My daughter is in a private in-home daycare a mile from my home. It is the best of both worlds. Our sitter has only 4 children (2 are her own)and they really get the perfect amount of “mommy-type” attention and the perfect amount of socialization. She even drove to pick my daughter up every day the week my husband’s back went out. She is like our family. This is much cheaper than a nanny, and less messy for your home. We used a babysitter in our home for quite a while and while that worked in infancy, I really appreciate the mess being somewhere else!! Plus, she loves playing with other kids. I think Riley would miss that.

Beth
Beth
16 years ago

Before you talk to the management at the day care center, check out the National Assoc. for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) website to find out what the accreditation standards are as far as #of kids per room. Handy chart from them: http://www.naeyc.org/academy/criteria/teacher_child_ratios.html
It’s generous to be patient when they have staffing issues, but not at the expense of your child. The diaper issue is also not cool as far as accreditation goes, by the way, it’s as a minor a thing as we parents make it out to be. As a mom I can let my 2 year hang out with her poops for 10 minutes while I get out of the shower, but that’s my choice – for any accredited center, changing kids as soon as they need it is one of the health code standards they must attend to. I’m not trying to preach here, I’m just sayin’ we should all be educated about what to expect for the gobs of money we spend on our children’s care.

Beth
Beth
16 years ago

Erm.. that should say “it’s not as minor a thing”. That’ll teach me for posting before my morning coffee….

Tessie
16 years ago

I’ll echo Zoot and say that we’ve weathered some stuff at daycare that gave me the nervous tummy, but we are back to loving it now. I agree that there’s hope and it may be worth it to hang in there if you address it with the center.

Claire
16 years ago

Elliot has yet to even go to daycare but the issues you describe are exactly why I felt uneasy each time I thought about going back to work. We found a woman who has been doing in-home childcare for 30 years and only takes 6 kids at a time. I also found some people who have had their kids there and they couldn’t say enough nice things. Perhaps this is a route to take. She charges 67 dollars less than the place I really wanted to send my son so it may work out in the end.

Kristie
16 years ago

Trust your gut when it comes to daycare. No matter how busy the staff is, they should have the time to change a diaper.

Good luck on working it all out, I’m in the a smililar boat. Need to work, hate the daycare option..blah blah.

H
H
16 years ago

I am the main bread winner in my family, so I had no choice but to work at my well paying (and health insurance-providing job.) Fortunately, my employer sent us all home to work about 10 years ago but the nature of my job didn’t allow me to have the kids at home so they continued to go to daycare. In all my experiences with daycares, and there were good, bad and ugly ones, I don’t think you can assume one option (nanny, home daycare, etc.) is necessarily better than another — it just depends on the individuals/rules/circumstances for each situation. The most important thing of all is to trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, if you’re uncomfortable, make sure you take action, whether that be talking to the center or moving Riley somewhere else.

kendra!
16 years ago

I hope you get a satisfactory answer from the center directors. Speaking up for your child and his interests and clean bum will be in the best interest of everyone (other parents, instructors, chilluns, etc.). I admire you.

Lately, I’ve been feeling so inward about daycare and dayjobs, etc. In Boston, people seem to start scoping out options the second they conceive. I’m just trying to put one 7 month pregnant foot in front of the other and hope the moment of illumination arrives. Never will I judge another parent on this matter. It has to be the hardest thing this side of blowing out your vagina for the love of a child.

jen
jen
16 years ago

Not all centers are the same!
Have JB post a question on big employers dad’s list to ask for recommendations. I LOVE our center. The child-to-teacher ratio is low, the turnover is very low, my daughter loves the school (she’s been there just over three years now). Or email me and I’ll tell you my school. Just because your place is not feeling right to you, doesn’t mean there isn’t a center that will.

Ashley B
16 years ago

I know it’s gotta be really trying with the daycare issues, but I doubt that you’d regret taking Riley out and putting him somewhere new that has better kid/teacher ratios. There’s really no excuse for neglect. My oldest who is now 10, had problems at daycare with them not watching the kids while they were outside playing on the playground and he ended up getting 2 sets of stitches in less than a year.

The new workplace situation seems like it’s gonna be a really big issue though. Have you looked for a different job that’s closer to home? Or maybe a different position in your current job that would lend itself to letting you work from home?

Regardless, and I know it’s cliche, but it’ll work out whether you worry about it or not. So don’t, if you can avoid it. You may not be religious and if you’re not I won’t talk about it again (cause I haven’t been to church in forever) but when I have issues like this I say in my mind- hey God, I need you to handle this for me cause I don’t know what to do. It seems to work ok.

Tammy
Tammy
16 years ago

I always felt more comfortable with the day care situation. Staff are accountable to other staff members/other parents, so it’s less likely that you are throwing your child into a dodgy place.. plus the whole social thing. Riley seems like the kind of child who would thrive in an environment with lots of other kids.
Nanny’s always scared me. In an interview situation they could seem like sweetness and light but who’s to say they wouldn’t be leaving their charge to fend for themselves while they watched Days of our lives and sucked on Bon Bons all day. I’m sure there are Nanny’s that are wonderful but I would be more comfortable knowing their were other staff members watching the staff..if that makes sense..
But YES, the diaper thing..would definately warrant a stern ‘WTF are you doing?’ conversation.

Jennifer
Jennifer
16 years ago

Go to the daycare to see for yourself. It’s really worth it, because then you’re not speculating as to what kind of daily care Riley’s getting. I had my Sophia in a daycare from 4 months on, and when problems started escalating this year I tried to explain them away because a)it was walking distance from my apartment and b)it had seemed so great when she was younger. She would say, “I don’t want to go to school!” every day …but I chalked it up to being two. I talked to the director, who was very cheerful and dismissive, and chalked it up to Sophia being two.

What turned the corner for me was going to visit for 30-45 minutes for a few mornings to see what it was really like. I saw immediately that she wasn’t getting what she needed — not abuse, and honestly I’m finding it hard to distill down without fourteen examples, but I just knew it when I saw it. Most telling was that once I had specific concerns, I couldn’t get the director on the phone. I literally never saw her again (except for two times when she scuttled away like a roach — oops! did I say that out loud?) for the two month’s notice I had to give. Excruciating.

After I took Sophia to visit a new school, she then asked every morning (for six weeks!) if she could go to the new school today. She barely looked back when she left the old place, and her typical demeanor is that of the mayor — having to say hello and goodbye to everyone. She has never said she didn’t want to go to the new school, and I visit often to make sure that she’s in a good place now.

I am pretty sure that the old daycare was in a major transition, but I also know that my kid shouldn’t suffer because of that. Daycares and preschools better get used to transition — they don’t pay enough to keep anyone forever, unless they’re really spectacular, and the little witnesses to all the chaos shouldn’t have to deal with it. “Understaffed” explains why you don’t get service in a restaurant; if it’s used to explain daycare experience then take a closer look at what else is happening.

Maura
Maura
16 years ago

When my two sons were small I worked part-time and I did both the daycare center experience and the home daycare provider. I have to say especially in the newborn to toddler phase the home day care situation was a godsend. I found a licensed home daycare provider, checked her references, visited the home and I couldn’t have been happier with how it all turned out. That little boy is 13 now and still remembers hanging out at Jan’s house, is still friends with the her son. She offered a warm, loving nuturing home environment, got the kids out to play all the time, read to them, fed them and instilled nap time.

Maura

emily
emily
16 years ago

Good luck and as others have said, trust your gut. I have no advice as I am in a constant internal battle over the same issues. We have our daughter in an in-home daycare where there are only 4 kids – maybe an option? We still have issues though…

BTW: Your pumpkin muffins (just ate two for bkfst) inspired me to get my oven fixed and THANK YOU – I don’t know how I survived so long without. I keep meaning to send pics, hopefully this will force a commitment by me.

Anyways, good luck.

bananafana
16 years ago

We had the same issue when we switched classrooms at my son’s daycare. We went and spoke with director with some ideas in mind of things we thought could be better. We told her the things that were making us uncomfortable and the things that we really loved as well since we had previously been really happy there. In the end, the tried to make changes but they weren’t everything we needed to be comfortable. I couldn’t leave my son where I wasn’t 100% sure it was good for him to be so we started looking at other options. Finding daycare is the biggest pain in the world and horribly hard decision but I decided, even if I was wrong and the place he was at was wonderful, there was no harm in looking and we ended up finding some place that was a million times better. Trust your gut, talk to them and if it doesn’t get better start looking.

diane
diane
16 years ago

It does sound to me like they may be ignoring the staff to children ratio laws. When I worked in daycare, that was the single most important rule we followed. Second was a dirty diaper was changed immediately. Even if they are understaffed, the director has a responsibilty to make provisions for that. And always trust your gut!

Liz
Liz
16 years ago

Recently when we were hiring a new caregiver one of the nanny’s we interviewed said she had daycare experience. In her room there were 16 two year olds to 2 caregivers. That was the legal limit. She said they had 2 diaper changing times per day (good I guess if your kid poops on their schedule!). We recently changed from a 4 day to a 3 day schedule and I’ve had a much easier time finding quality people who want a more flexible schedule. Also, you might think about starting to look into part time preschools for Riley. We take our son to a 2 1/2 day a week program and it allows for some socialization. He loves it, and the ratios are much better and the teachers much less burnt out.

Joanne
16 years ago

I have a friend who is having similar issues at her daycare – also blamed on a staff shortage. Also, her son, who is only 18 months old, has been put in rooms with 3 year old children and they are surprised and ‘punish’ him by not letting him ‘go outside and play’ when he bites a kid. Personally, I don’t think 18 month old children should be punished when they react to a bad situation badly but my friend is having a hard time communicating that to her daycare.

I am a SAHM, and am about to have a second baby but I am seriously considering getting someone in here next spring like two days a week, and having one of those days be Friday and be a late day so I can go out with my husband. We are really getting into a situation here where we are becoming roommates with a *difficult* third roommate that we talk about A LOT. So if you got a nanny, that might be one benefit – that you can also get some movie/dinner/shopping time with JB.

I’ve said this before, but I just don’t think there are many women who are 100% happy with their choice regarding child care and working. It’s so freaking hard no matter what you do. A poster above asked does it make her a ‘bad mommy’ to want to go back to work and I just think, I doubt it, but I worry it makes me a ‘bad mommy’ to think 1,000 times a day ‘I’d rather be digging ditches sometimes than dealing with this child 24 hours a day’. I’m sick of wondering if I’m a bad mom, or a good mom, or (God help me) a SUPER mom. We’re all just doing the best that we can and I think the way that you’re doing your best right now is to wonder what is going on at that day care. You are paying them good money and they should at least change the kid’s diaper!

I only know two people IRL that have nannies but they are both great situations. I hope something works out, I’m sure it will. It’s amazing how strict we have to be in our beliefs about what we want for our kids but how flexible we have to be in order to get it. Amazing and CRAZY.

Christina
16 years ago

We have been through it all. In home day care, nanny, & a huge daycare center. We are back to in home day care.

The 1st three options were okay. They were just not a good fit for us. The personality fit was not there with the 1st in home situation (and she let our teeny tiny baby sit in his shit diaper too…) so we were glad when she gave us notice to go back to work.

The nanny was nice but OMG it was flippin’ expensive. My husband had a crappy job at the time so we basically paid any extra money to her that we had and we were totally underpaying her in comparison to what a regular nanny might make and again the personality mix was horrible.

Finally the big day care center which was by far the worst experience yet. Yours sounds like ours. Unlike a PP, we stuck it out and it just got worse (we talked to these people 3-4 times before leaving.) We would likely still be there had a friend (who has a degree in Early Childhood Deve) not started her own little dc from her house. Kelly rocks.

I think if we do decide to have a second and Kelly did not have room, I would likely look into a real nanny service and hire a nanny for the 2nd one.

Also, the suggestions of looking into dc options closer to your new work or else finding another job closer to home are good ones if these are options for you!

Nannies do rock because you do not have to spend the extra time dropping your child off, etc… I loved having a nanny for that fact plus my son was home all the time with his stuff but he totally wanted to be around other kids. It is a hard place to be.

I am sure you know this but do not wait to figure this out until after the baby comes. It is 900 million times harder to think straight about this kind of thing when you have a baby! GL!

JennB
JennB
16 years ago

I totally know where you’re coming from. We’re expecting our 2nd in May and already I’m freaking about how to afford daycare, can I take a real maternity leave, what about life insurance (for G and I – we’re at the bare bones now)…. when this kind of stuff happens all I can do is remember to breathe and trust that it’s all going to work out. Also, P has started to whine like a baby – she’s almost 3! – and that in and of itself makes for a stressful morning. How the hell am I going to manage 2 kids, the dogs, the cats, make our lunches, get breakfast ready, and be out the door by 8 so that I can be to work by 9:15???

We can all just practice our breathing I guess, and hope that it smoothes out over time. Glitches are a natural thing…. and, often, the anticipation is worse than the actual glitch. You’ll do just fine.

stacy
stacy
16 years ago

As others have mentioned above, child care centers often do go through periods of transition with regards to staffing. However, the center should have a plan in place to handle that. As a former child care director I know that is one of the biggest challenges they face. I also know that the legal requirements in Washington state for children Riley’s age are a staff to child ratio of 1:7, and the maximum group size is 14 children with 2 staff members. If they haven’t been meeting that requirement they should have a plan in place ASAP to do so. Even if it means the center director is in the classroom, helping meet their minimum licensing requirements. And possibly changing a few diapers.

superblondgirl
16 years ago

This is one of those hard-ass things that you always feel like you can’t be 100% happy with. Because you’d like to be the sort of mom who can stay home all day with her kids and be happy and content with that. And sometimes you’d like to run screaming from your kids and never return, so you need someone else to watch them. And the whole thing just generally sucks, having to decide and compromise and never feel totally satisfied with any of it. I hope that you come up with something 99% satisfying, though, and are all settled before the new Suctopus arrives.

Banana
16 years ago

Oh man – what a tough tough issue. I don’t have kids yet, but I will soon and I think about this all the time. I won’t be able to be a SAHM either. I’ve worked in several daycares and some of them, while clean and great on paper, weren’t quite the supportive and encouraging enviornment I would hope for my kids. On the other hand, some of them have been great.
Also, I’ve mentioned this before, but I was a nanny while in college and it was a wonderful experience for both the family I worked for and myself. I had a very similar child raising philosophy as the parents and we became very, very close. I learned a lot about the kind of parent I want to be from them and I formed a close bond with the entire family. I haven’t worked for them in almost four years and I still see them on a semi-regular basis. I think the trick is finding someone who shares your ideas about child-care, is someone you get along with and more importantly is someone you like as a person.

Christine
Christine
16 years ago

Daycare choices are incredibly personal and only you and JB know what’s best for your kid(s). However, the diaper thing should not be tollerated. You should tell the director immediately that you expect Riley to be clean when you pick him up. Staffing and basic hygene are state mandated; if your child’s most basic needs are not being met, the center is not within legal bounds.

She Likes Purple
16 years ago

I understand (to a degree) the desire to do what’s right, what your gut says, but feeling conflicted because what’s right is always gray (never black and white) and your gut whispers or constantly changes its mind.

I hope you come a peaceful decision, that you are comfortable with.

Until then, here’s some virtual positive thoughts.

Amanda
16 years ago

Some advice about working from home with a nanny – it’s really distracting for both my son and me. Even if I lock myself in the office he knows I’m in there and wants to come say hello. And if I get up to go make lunch for myself I kind of throw off whatever he and the nanny are playing with at the moment just by walking through the living room. It worked out really well until he hit about 18 months…. but now he goes to a daycare a few days a week so that I can actually get work done at home.