When I found out I was pregnant I started thinking about daycare almost immediately. There was no question I was going back to work after my leave, and I’ve heard horror stories of costs and waiting lists and I was terrified of not being able to find the right person to take care of our baby.
I also spent some time crying about the mere thought of leaving my child with someone else day after day, but there is no choice.
When I started searching for answers on daycare I soon found out about Ontario’s Centralized Waiting List. You put your name on this list and you’re supposed to get phone calls from daycares in your area with your specified preferences in the months leading up to your return to work.
And then we hit October – three months before my return to work – and we hadn’t heard anything and I started asking questions online and at playdates about how other moms were finding daycare. And I started hearing stories about the Centralized Waiting List being almost useless and that I really needed to start looking on my own.
And then I started to panic.
I thought this was one thing I had under control. Our name had been on that list since before I hit four months in my pregnancy. I thought that’s all I needed to do. Now I started searching the web again, looking through online ads, checking bulletin boards when I went out and wondering how I was ever going to find the right person to care for my baby?
My biggest fear was not that we wouldn’t find anyone, my biggest fear was that we would settle for someone we weren’t entirely comfortable with because of the panic we were feeling.
And then we got a phone call.
In my frantic web searches I had signed up with a service for home care. They called back about an opening they had and at first I said no because I thought it was too far out of the way for Joe, who would be dropping the baby girl off on his way to work and picking her up on his way home, but after I talked to him and he said it was fine if it was the right place, I called back and scheduled a meeting.
We met her, toured the house, watched her with the baby and left feeling relieved and very, very comfortable.
And when I talked to our lady at the service again she said the caretaker had also felt very comfortable with us.
And so I start taking the baby girl to daycare on January 3 before my return to work on the 10, and I’m relieved that people warned me not to wait for a phone call and to take matters into my own hands.
But I’m going to miss her so very, very much.