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As the two-parent income becomes more of
a necessity than ever and maternity/paternity leave is often a matter of
weeks, parents have to make start making childcare arrangements even
before their baby is born. Yet the idea of handing off your tiny newborn
to strangers is one that can be scary for any parent, me included.
I knew from experience that placing my baby in daycare would ultimately
be a good experience for her, I was still hesitant to do so when she
was so tiny. What childcare solutions did you find that worked best
for your family? How did you deal with your decision to leave your child
in the care of others?
With my daughter it was a lot easier to leave her because my mom was willing to watch her. I'm not sure yet what's going to happen when the new baby comes along. My mom is tired of babysitting anyway and she doesn't want to watch both. My boyfriend and I have discussed working different shifts. I'm pretty much stuck on 2nd but he has some flexibility there.
We are fortunate enough that my wife actually works at a preschool, the owners of which are amazing people and who run a top notch institution. Because of this we feel very safe sending our daughter their, and are always telling other people about the preschool (we're practically a walking advertisement for them). We're both really glad she started working there and look forward to sending our next child there as well.
When I was pregnant with my son I researched daycare and thought I would go back to nursing full time. As soon as he arrived I knew I couldn't do it. I went to 2 days a week and arranged for an older lady from church to keep him. I do not know what I would have done if I hadn't found someone I knew well. Even with her keeping him I felt sick and depressed all the time. The day I was able to work from home was one of the best days of my life.
I am currently on maternity leave and will be taking my son to a daycare in early March. I have yet to pinpoint which daycare (the ones I have checked out either will have no openings come March, or won't let me reserve a spot until mid-February). I know it will be hard the first time I have to leave my son at daycare, but like you, we need to maintain out two incomes. Also, I cannot imagine giving up my job that I worked so hard to get. A good daycare will nurture your child as he/she grows.