Better Living Through Day Care


It is not my intention to drink margaritas every time that every time our son goes to day care, that's just how it worked out on the first day we tried it.

I wish I had spent more time before our son was born considering child care options.  I did not engage in any kind of serious search since I did not intend to start working in the time immediately following his birth.  I was planning to start making some lists of possibilities in the eighth month, but his early arrival trumped that plan.  To be honest, I wasn't sure what I needed or wanted, or if I needed any help at all. 
It is still a little bit unclear to me what would be perfect, but what is clear to me is that in Houston, anything in or near perfect, or really even adequate, requires a bit of a wait.  Every pre-school or day care in which I have been even remotely interested has a waiting list.  My preferred school has a waiting list so long that people get on it when they get pregnant and sometimes still do not get in until their child is old enough for the toddler group.  Their non-refundable wait list fee of $150 is also a little hard to stomach, so we haven't gone down that road yet.

My less-impressive-but-adequate-and-more-affordable choice school had an unexpected opening for two days a week starting this week, so we went for it.  At the very least, even though I'm still unsure how I feel about day care in general, and this place specifically, it gives me two days a week in which to have a breather and get things done while my husband is overseas.  We thought about a nanny, but so far I haven't been into the idea of someone in the house all the time.  We tried a babysitting service but were not impressed with the quality of care for the cost.  

So, now we are dabbling in day care, and I am hoping to leverage it to keep working towards that elusive feeling of balance.  The powerful feeling of guilt and the strong emotions I felt when we left him there surprised me; I thought that I would be so thrilled for help and so secure in the knowledge that it is good for kids to get to know other people in a setting outside of our home, that I wouldn't struggle to leave him in the capable hands of others.  Wrong.  I cried at several points during the day and picked him up forty-five minutes earlier than necessary at the end of it.

However, maybe I'm making progress in my quest for balance because I managed to only have one cucumber-jalapeno margarita when we went out to lunch that day, even though it is my favorite drink in Houston and I would have preferred to have at least four.