This past Monday, CJ had his first day at daycare. I’d always said that I would stay home for the first year of his life so even returning to work at eleven months felt like breaking a promise to myself. But the fact remains that we need me to be earning money to achieve the goals that we set for ourselves this year, and (if I’m being perfectly honest with myself) CJ needs more stimulation in his days than I can necessarily offer him at home, and especially in our current house. This certainly wouldn’t be the same for all families and I give stay-at-home-mums a huge thumbs up.
I decided to go back to work as a substitute teacher this year for several reasons – most of them outlined in this post. This left me with the challenge of finding day care to suit as we’re not lucky enough to have family members available to look after CJ on a casual basis. I looked at a traditional daycare centre and decided that the environment wasn’t right for CJ, at least not at this point in time. We then looked into at-home day cares; in New Zealand these are quite highly regulated by umbrella companies so we didn’t have the same qualms as some of my American readers and friends. We were very lucky to be matched quite quickly with a carer that has a lot of the same views as we do about raising children and a visit to her home and to meet the other children in her care seemed like a perfect fit.
Already in the couple of days that CJ has spent at daycare he has flourished. He loves the social interaction – his naps haven’t been as long as usual and I suspect that’s because he doesn’t want to miss out on anything! He’s already learnt a couple of cheeky tricks and is now climbing up on things to reach the items that he wants. He is SO excited when I grab his backpack off the bench because he seems to just click that it means a day at L’s house. He’s totally lapping up the attention from the older kids when I get there in the afternoon and is in no rush to leave with Mummy at all.
But back in the keeping it real zone: it is hard finding the money to pay for daycare when you haven’t earned anything yet. It’s even harder when you haven’t had any calls into work yet – damn this warm summer climate and people’s rude health! It’s especially hard when you are combining all of this with finding the funds for a first birthday party, two new tires and a car Warrant of Fitness. In times like this it can be hard to hold onto that abundance mindset but I need to tell myself to be patient; people will get sick, the work will come and Papa M and I will look back on this time and laugh. While things are tight, we are certainly blessed with a lot more than others and articles like this one in Metro Magazine make me appreciative for what we have. And funnily enough, in the weirdest ways, God/The Universe has provided for everything we need so far.
This year is looking to be one of huge change for us all and I’m excited about what it will bring. I’m trying to reframe this time as the warm-up zone, a quiet time of productivity that I will appreciate in times to come. Or at least that’s the plan!