So I already talked about my efforts to apply for daycare practically shortly after conception.
There is one thing I could not have predicted and that I did not know about:
Being a mother.
I am aware that I am only talking about myself here and that it is not the same for every woman and we all have different experiences. This is only mine . I am also aware that there are many women out there who have no other chance than get back to work asap and that there are as many who want to, I didn’t and I hadn’t. It was possible to give us the time together – money wise and that’s why I did it. After a very short while I noticed that even if I would have gotten a place at daycare I wouldn’t have had the heart to take here there and leave her with other people from 8 am to 4 or 5 pm. I would not have been able to give away my 6 month old baby. It would have killed me. That’s what would have been necessary to continue my job as it was before and honestly 5 pm would not even have been enough in many cases.
Let me make one thing very clear, I am not fatuous. If I would have noticed that we did not have enough money to afford our living I would have acted differently!
As I told you, Mr. M. slide into (relatively) save waters job wise and we did not run the risk to impoverish.
The first time I heard anything back from the daycare waitinglist was in June 2013. Our daughter was almost exactly one year old then.
Maybe other moms out there would agree with me if I told you: A one year old is very mobile and plays with stuff, plays in the sand, makes noises and babbles etc but a one year old ( or my one year old) does not yet interact with other children. Not like we would imagine if we think about daycare or Kindergarten with lots of kids playing together. A one year old is not capable to do so and does not play with others. She was still a baby!
So I had to decide if I wanted to give my one year old baby into daycare 5 days a week 8 hours a day!
The premise was still to do this to be able to work again! Meaning, less then 8 or 7 hours daycare would not fulfill this plan. If I wanted it I had to do it the whole day. I did ask nonetheless if they also had the possibility to only book part time. No, completely or not at all was the answer.
I knew in my heart that I did not want that at this point. I knew she would not have „fun“ there because she was not old enough to have fun with other children. She would just sit there be fed and diapered and otherwise play for herself sometimes and hopefully have a nice day carer who would pic her up and watch after her. If you know the reality of what happens in these facilities especially if they are not privately run you know that it is some times better not to know what happens there with your child during the day.
In addition the facility that called me was in a part of town we both had not the best experiences with to put it politely. I told Mr. M that I did not feel good about giving away my child for so long and about the part of town. I told him everything I told you, that she was too small to play with others etc. I mean his daughter was right there in front of him, he knew she did not yet interact with children. He told me that he was alright. If I did not want to do it he can understand that. I knew the answer was not honest and not heartfelt (remember the money situation!!!) but the most important thing for me was to follow my feelings about this and so I just took it.
When she was around 1,5 year old I recognized that she started to be very interested in other children, she started to approach other children on the playground and tried to get in touch.
That was the signal for me to think about daycare again. As I already told you the public institutions only offered 5 days a week the entire day. To be honest they told me that in my vicinity there where two public institutions that offered half day but that did not solve the problem, that I did not get a free place there. Remember I was on the list for almost 2 years now. If I applied anew it would only be the same procedure. Go there, get on the list, wait for one or two years. That did not make very much sense.
I found the private daycare facilities that -of course!!!- offered part time and contacted them just to see what would happen. I got a call from one of them within only a few days. They could offer me 2 days a week for my child.
As I mentioned before: Booking full time at a private facility was far to expensive! Two days a week was still expensive but doable and now, that I knew my daughter would love to be with other children it made me feel much better about that.
When I visited the daycare center I immediately knew the difference between public and private institutions. It was very nice equipped, clean, calm and the personal was friendly. They did not look like the completely frustrated, stressed out and fed up people I knew from the public institutions.
( I am aware that I am generalizing and that for sure this is completely biased and only my own opinion. I am sure there are very very nice and loving public facilities and staff out there and I apologize to everyone I am doing wrong here)
In a few words: I fell in love with the place and I knew my daughter would like it there and be well cared for.
So we booked 2 days there and I am convinced it was a good decision for her.
Yes, I know this step was not any longer with the premise to be able to work again. This was only to fulfill her need to be with other children an have two days away from home with new impressions etc.
Of course it only worsened the steady and ever-present, unspoken but almost palpable accusation of me wasting his money.