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The Daycare Dilemma

 |  Parenting

By which I obviously mean nursery, but that doesn’t sound as alliteration-y.

All being well, I finish work to start my maternity leave for beansprout on the 24th May. The first week or so is holiday allowance, weekends and bank holiday which should tide me over until 6th June (unless I give birth before then, in which case my maternity leave automatically starts).

Anyway, so the current question on my mind is… what do I do with Isabel?

In the ideal crunchy world, she would be removed from nursery (which we have no choice but to use as working parents) and thus at home with me in “SAHM” glory. However, this idea presents several potential issues:

  • The early days of nursing are hard enough work without a toddler underfoot
  • Isabel enjoys nursery now and frequently asks to go in on Fridays (our day off)
  • There would be no guarantee we’d be able to secure her a place when I inevitably go back after leave with #2
  • If removed, all her friends will be a year older when she needs to start again, and she’d have to reintegrate with carers and children

Conversely, if we leave her in, we have to contend with:

  • The financial burden of childcare on only one and a little bit salary (Karl’s + statutory maternity pay, which you only get for 9 months anyway); childcare is our biggest expense at over £100 more than the mortgage per month
  • The question of how many days we send her in for… she won’t need to go for the full 4, but again if we reduce down too far the nursery will not be able to guarantee a full placement again after a year
  • The ridiculous judgement of those mums who think that daycare and/or working is for common folk who don’t love their children (and the inevitable guilt it will bring me even when I pretend I don’t care)

Tough choices to make.

Jem Turner +44(0)7521056376

4 comments so far

  1. Thingy said:

    Sponsor my Visa application to live in the UK and I will watch Izzy while you’re with #2 and when you go back to work I will watch both of them.

    All I require is a small shed to live in and a meal a day. :P

    Plan B: since she likes it so much, I’d work out how many days you can afford. Everyone is so anti-daycare, but I imagine it’s a good way for kids to be social (my mom was a SAHM so I never did daycare so I don’t really know… but I think my mom took us to playschool for that reason?). I mean even with those uppity moms, if she LIKES it and she does well there, why the hell not? Just be like “Izzy is off having her own experiences.” I was a sheltered kid and I can only imagine how many situations that could have been avoided when I was older if I was allowed some controlled “independence” when I was younger… but my mother took me everywhere. :P I couldn’t walk to the store alone until I was in jr. high school.

    So yeah I don’t see why there can’t be a best of both worlds kind of thing. In my imaginary “if I were a parent…” mind, I’d feel comforted to know that my child has a safe place that she enjoys where she can go and be herself and have familiarity during a time that will involve a lot of adjustment in all of your lives. And you can focus on #2 knowing that Izzy is off having a good time and perhaps you will worry less (but probably not because you’re you ;) ).

  2. Amelie said:

    ^ I’d agree with this – especially this:

    “[…] familiarity during a time that will involve a lot of adjustment in all of your lives”

    Plus, it would give you a good chance to bond with #2 in the way that you did with Izz without distractions and such.

    Then again, you may find Izz doesn’t adjust so well to the changes and wants to be nearer you and thus no longer wants to go to nursery once #2 is here. Play it by ear and see how it goes, I guess…

  3. Karl said:

    Oh, I can’t see Izz wanting to NOT go to nursery…there’s a little person there called Lily-May, and her and Izz are thick as thieves…they’d miss each other far too much..heh.

  4. Mumblies said:

    I agree totally with Amelie here, I too think that if you can scrape the pennies up then I’d leave her in nursery as she is now. I would indeed make it easier for you to bond with number 2 and keep her with her friends at the same time. Although she may not be aware I am sure her ‘Jovi Jovi’ moments with Daddy mean a great deal to her and removing her from that could well be the trigger to some hefty jealousy aimed at both you and the new baby. Just play it ear… if she’s happy staying with her friends then leave it as such and should she kick off and demand to stay home then I think the best bet there would be to take her out of nursery. At least you don’t have to worry about buying anything baby wise so your financial situation is not quite as scary as you might think.

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