I've been at a crossroads with daycare, for a little while now. On one hand, I think it's great for Marlowe, really, really great. She's growing, she's socializing, and most importantly: she loves it. On the other hand, daycare is roughly double the price of my mortgage each month (thats crazy to even think about, but that gives you an idea of how cheap my mortgage is. THANK YOU SHORT SALE, I'm still in awe.) But, let me rewind a bit, or this post won't make much sense at all. (Things seldom do with mostly pictures, and only bits and pieces shared). I've been lucky enough to be able to work and support myself and the kiddo from home, for a few months now. I didn't jump into talking about it on the blog, because well, let's be honest, some people (luckily for most of us, not all) get judgey about these sorts of things. So many questions, disbelief, and just overall, pessimistic 'she must be getting help somewhere- bullshit'. But yeah, I've been doing it, and it's been working (...again, thank you short sale ...and wise decision making) by way of this blog (thank you readers, sponsors, supporters), writing here and there, some random (but a lot of fun) side jobs, and don't forget the biggest: mobiles up the wazoo (I'm a tiny, one person factory). I'm at the point where I like what I'm doing, I really do, but sometimes, I do wish to leave the house a bit more. I've had job offers (not a lot, but a few), and I've had to learn to stop taking on everything, and pick and choose what to work on next. I'm still a bit overwhelmed by everything, but it's working.
So let's move forward... when I stopped working on the truck, Alex and I sat down to figure out what would be the next step. Would Marlowe stay in daycare full time or part time? What could we (I) afford? We decided it would be in everyones best interest to keep her in, not lose her spot, and not have to pay a registration fee later. Money was a bit tight for a while... but he pushed for her to stay in, and helped pick up an extra week of daycare payment, here and there (thank you). I started taking more on at home, and less on outside the home (I miss you outside world), but even with me at home, most (read: all) of the time, she continued to stay in daycare. At first Alex, pushed to keep her in, while I was about 50/50. Now, I'm pretty certain we're at a place where we both aren't sure what to do.
So yes, on one hand: she loves it, she's growing, learning, making tiny friends, at times she's not even wanting to come home, and on days home (she only goes three days a week), is asking "go see Kira? Play slide?" I don't want to take that away from her, neither of us do. But on the other hand, I'm wondering if I can find a way to juggle it all, while having her here. Can I make a schedule, allowing for park time, playtime, reading time, but still allow the much needed time, that I need to work? Is it possible? I'm not sure, but maybe. I mean, how do mothers of multiple children do it? Or home-schooling moms? I can't imagine. It seems impossible--- yet it's not. Another issue with daycare (one of the reasons I forced myself to find a much-needed way to create income from my home, is: sickness happens. There is no way around it. You have a kid, who is around other kids, in a closed room, sharing toys, books, and crayons? The snot is everywhere. Everywhere. I hate the weeks that she brings home a cold, and we're left paying for a week of daycare, and she isn't even going. The last time she got sick, I kept her home an extra few days, just to be sure every sick germ had left her body, and her immunity would be up before sending her back into stuffy nosed toddler room. Three daycare days later, she wakes up, full of snot, whining, "I'm sick, mama. I'm sick." Well, she's not sick, (she just says she is when she sniffles. For example, after a good tantrum cry), but the snot and the constant congestion and nose blowing, it's back. (Crap) Alex and I decided last week, that this week would be a trial run, and if she got sick again, we would put in our two weeks notice at the daycare. Well, she's not sick, but she's not 100% either. So, I'm still at this crossroads.
I really, really love her daycare. Two days ago, after daycare, we took our walk through the zoo. While we were there, she wanted to climb into the giant nest, but two girls were playing inside. She walked up to it, stood next to it, held her hand to her chest and said "I wait my turn." I was so proud of her, and even more grateful for her daycare experiences. I'm able to teach her a lot at home, but things like sharing and turn waiting are difficult with just the two of us, and no one else trying to steal her toys. And I'm still dead-set on no more babies in my life. I would still prefer something different for M, because it'd be nice for her to have a buddy, but for me? I know the timing isn't right. There are too many good things, and things are working far too smoothly for me to stop, and raise another baby. I love M with all my heart and soul, but mothering a baby, did not come easy to me, and it won't the second time around either. Daycare can give her the daytime companionships, that children (and most adults) so desperately need. Another perk with her daycare? Remember my resolution list? Well, I've been keeping up with all of them, expect that speaking more spanish one, that one flew out the window within the week. But at daycare? The supervisors all speak spanish, and most of the children do too. To turn around one day, because you hear your kid counting in spanish? Amazing.
I'm torn. Keep her in daycare, without her needing to be, just because it benefits her (trust me, I realize how lucky we are that we can even have this work as an option. Most parents aren't so lucky) or save a lot of money, that can be put away, saved for emergencies, luxuries, and life in general, while finding a way to thrive at home, with a little one by my side? (We'd save a lot of sick germs too). I've thought it out, where if we took her out of daycare, we'd enroll her in some other activities, like soccer or gymnastics, but would that really be enough? Could it work? All the other decisions I've had to make recently have been mostly easy, though some of tugged my heart a bit (letting go of a really fun and different -for me- job opportunity), but I am very certain in everything I've done. I do know whats best for me, my family, and my life, but this?... I'm letting time go by and by without having the courage to make a choice. I know I don't write a lot about Marlowe these day, it's sometimes intentional, but now here I am rambling on and on... because well, I'm not secure in either decision, when both will affect her little life so much.