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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

"Fall"ing into place

One big item on my to-do list for this summer has been to find care for Charlie for the time when I head back to school this fall. As a full time student, I find that I do a lot more piecing together of my schedule than I would if I were working the same amount of hours at a job. School is good in that it does allow some flexibility with when I study, and how I work out my out-of-class time. Still, my load is full, and my school days are jam packed this coming semester. I'll be leaving the house at 7:30 a.m., and not getting home until 9:30 p.m., with very few breaks between classes. Ugh...I am definitely NOT looking forward to two entire days where I won't see my little boy at all when he's awake.

However, I am well aware that it could be much worse. My sister is a full-time working mom, and I see how hard it can be for her at times during the school year, especially when she's just going back. Plus, that's my future...the life of a FT working mom, and I know there are aspects of it that are not going to be easy.

Having said all that, I am feeling very comfortable with our arrangement this fall, and very thankful that it's worked out the way it has. One of my oldest (length of friendship, not age of person) friends, Nancy, lives only two houses down from us. She and her mom, Sharon, were among the first people to meet little Charlie after he came home. I could tell immediately that Sharon was enamored with the little guy as soon as she saw him. A baby person definitely knows another baby person when she sees one! When my friend told me a few weeks later that her mom had been offered an early retirement package from her full-time job, and that she had mentioned possibly watching Charlie for us...well, I breathed a huge sigh of relief. A few weeks after that, I called Sharon, and sure enough...she wants to keep Charlie for us!

I can't even begin to tell you the feeling of peace that came over me as I talked to her. She's even willing to come to our house so he can still be in his own environment, which was not something I was counting on. She sounds thrilled to be able to be spending some of her time with a little one...she sounds the way I used to feel when I would be asked to care for my friend's babies, or for my nephew/nieces. I will miss my sweet boy on the days he's with Sharon, but I will not worry about his well being, and that is truly priceless!

On top of having worked in one for two-and-a-half years, I went to one daycare center back in June, and I just can't do that. I always said I would never leave a baby in a daycare center when I worked there myself, but as a parent...it's completely different! I'm not making any judgments about people who use daycare centers, own them, or work in them...but that arrangement is simply not for us at this point in time. I could envision when Charlie is a little older/more able to be self-sufficient and tell me about his days that we might do that, but I wouldn't feel at peace at all if I had to leave him at a daycare center this fall. I'm certain there are some excellent centers out there, but my heart just isn't in it while Charlie is this young.

It's also working out nicely because Michael was able to work out his job #2 schedule so that he can be home on the evenings I'm in class, and he has a fair amount of flexibility with his day job as well. They are letting him work from home one day per week, which means Wednesday afternoons when I go to my practicum class, Charlie's Daddy will be at home with him. Now if I can only get the boy on a schedule that includes regular afternoon naps (right now he is still sleeping in shorter spurts throughout the day) we will be golden! Oh, and we will definitely have to find some way to work in time for Charlie's Mommy and Daddy to see each other as well...yikes!

Summer is quickly coming to an end. To spice up this boring post a little, I shall leave you with a couple more pictures of Mr. Baby. He is growing SO MUCH right now...every single day he looks bigger to me, and he seems to learn something new every day too. Such a tremendous blessing!!!


Charlie and Cousin L. out for an evening walk to the park!



12 comments:

TXMom2B said...

What a blessing that you found such a good childcare arrangement! I, too, hesitate to put Andrew in a full-time daycare. I found a 10 hour per week Mother's Day Out class, and even that has me nervous. I hope you have a great semester!

BB said...

Well, I am jealous!! Especially about the in-home thing! You can't beat that! I LOVE the woman we take Riley to, but it would love her even more if she came to my house!!

Don't worry about those two days. I would guess you will find that it just makes you pour yourself into him more when you DO get to see him!

Now, Hubbs and I fight over who gets to feed and bathe Riley. The changing is still anyones JOB though! :)

Debbie B said...

So great that you have someone close that is going to watch Mr Baby. And at your house which is amazing.

If it hadn't been for my friend watching Isabel for my first 2 months back at work I never would have been able to put her in daycare. It prepared me for leaving her with someone I trusted 100% before having to leave her someplace new. But she also didn't start daycare until after she turned one. Again if it had been before I don't think I would have been able to do it. Anyhow, all that to say I UNDERSTAND!
Very happy it's all working out. And from someone who rarely gets to see her hubby make sure you make time to see each other. I know you have a great relationship and will but it's going to be hard I'm sure. I had to drop a night working at Kids Klub because Dave was off that night because it was more important to see each other then make a few extra $$.

Your little guy is such a cutie. I wish we lived closer so I could bring Isabel by for a playdate.

Jessica said...

I am SO glad you found a solution that you feel good about and that is the perfect fit! There will be A LOT of stress and emotions you'll go through (especially cramming for midterms when all you really want is to play patty-cake!) and to know you don't have to worry about the care he's receiving...it's such a blessing.

As a full-time (um, what do you call MORE than full-time?) working mom, I struggle with a lot of guilt, wishes, wants...but it's all about ME and MY time, I never ever worry about the care Colt is receiving. We did happen to find an amazing daycare center, but it took a long time and a lot of research.

I am just so happy you can mark that off your list. It will be hard in the beginning (as it should be!) but you'll fall into the routine and you'll find that you're making the most out of the time that you guys are together, and you'll think less of the times you're not. Congrats!

Jamie said...

what a wonderful feeling knowing your little charlie will be in the best hands possible (besides yours) while you have to be away. :) i thought about working part-time and literally went into a panic attack the night before my interview thinking about having to be away from milo for any amount of time right now. :) i can completely understand what your heart might be feeling right now. balance is good though and what your doing (school) is nurturing what your soul needs right now. you will be a better person because of this.....ALL of this....being charlie's mommy, knowing what you need as a seperate person and you will find the balance in the midst of it. :) you are brave and strong and thank goodness for people like your friends mom who know what the heart's of mommies need! :)

Tracey said...

In home care is the way to go...so happy for you...you'll love it! I do! and so does Sam.

M. said...

Ah, yes... sounds like it's back to school for both of us :)

So glad you found a situation for that ADORABLE little guy that will work out! He'll be in good hands!

Kymberli said...

I just cannot believe how big he's getting!

Denver Jen said...

I'm so happy for you that you have your child care situation all worked out. That's so stressful!

He's so precious! I love his big, beautiful eyes. Thanks for all the new photos!

Patti said...

Charlie, Charlie, Charlie is really growing up .. and so adorable!! I could just snuggle him so!

SO glad things are working out for you!!!

Makes me a little sad to hear day care referred to as less than suitable situation. I've operated mine for 23 years and in my opinion, it's wonderful. Classes are small, staff turnover rate it low, there's plenty of love to go around and it's dependable.. always there, always open. Unfortunately, the media has painted a not so pretty picture of day care..when in fact, if a parent does their research there are some absolutely wonderful programs out there. I am proud of my Samuel's day care experience. He LOVES his buddies, his teachers, everything about it. He's smiles all the time when he's there! Of course, I am in the room next door, and peek in several times throughout each day. Most of all, I am happy he's with more than 1 caregiver at all times. Makes me feel better about his care.

Hoping for a Miracle~~ said...

So glad you were able to work out Charlie's child care situation. I know we were lucky from the beginning knowing that family was going to be watching N and what makes it great is they are only 5 minutes from out house!!!

I too understand what you are saying about daycare - I don't have anything against it (I worked in them when I was younger) but its not what I wanted for N right now. I was and still am (ALOT) struggling with leaving N everday while I work full-time, so for me family was the only option I would have felt comfortable with.

I won't lie - your 2 days away from Charlie are going to be hard, but you are a strong person and will get through it and it will make the time you do have with him so much better!! I can't wait to leave work and come home to my son - he lights up my day - I leave work at work and he is my world when I come home - even housework and whatnot waits until the weekends - my time is with him during the week.

I appreaciate all your encouraging comments - they do help, its nice have bloggy friend who understand our feelings!

Good luck with starting school!!!!

Melba said...

Patti,

just wanted to make sure you know my daycare comments were PERSONAL...not about you or your daycare center, or any of the other countless wonderful ones that certainly DO exist!! I was so happy yo see you comment on my blog, but then it seemed you had taken what I said as though I was negatively blanketing daycare centers in general, which isn't the case. The one I worked in happened to fall more into the media stereotype where babies are left to cry because the caregiver to child ratio is too high, etc. I LOVED every single baby I ever cared for, and still...sometimes there just wasn't enough of me to go around. I guess my own personal experiences spoke much more loudly than any research I could have done if my heart had been in it.

Melba