i'm counting down the days tonight

there are only sixty nine days left before i go back to work. may 28th is the day. it looms around the edges of the room lately, it is something i try not to think about. a friend of mine, thea, offered up some advice on the activity of "going back to work" and it was this, don't let the worry and fear ruin the last bit of time you have together, it will all work out and everyone will be fine. she had only recently gone back and felt that her pre-return anxiety was ill founded. i saw the logic, but also thought it was fine for her to say, she had childcare!

for me the single biggest worry i have is daycare. this city has a serious shortage of facilities, with many having waiting lists two and three years long to get in. oh sure, i got on the lists as soon as we conceived, but i knew there wouldn't be space by the time i had to go back. so then what? i would hear rumours that you needed to look at least three months ahead of time, that you need to be phoning around all the time. diligence is what will prevail. however, i am not so great at the diligence and i hate phoning around, so instead i put word out with everyone i knew asking them to keep their ears open and letting them know i would welcome suggestions. the messages coming back were clear, be worried and hope for some good luck. however, it was in a reply that i first heard about nanny sharing, and the writer told me that this may be the best way to secure a decent place, albeit slightly more expensive. the idea behind nanny sharing is that one family has a nanny that cares for their child in their home (sometimes live in, sometimes not), and they choose to take in one more child to help lessen their financial burden.

so i began checking craigslist daily looking for something that might work. i wasn't married to a nanny share, but admitted that it sounded like a best case scenario. for almost two weeks there was nothing and then one morning i saw this and got more than a little excited. so i wrote back and hoped that not too many others would respond. it couldn't have been more perfect, only five blocks from our house and on marko's way to work and a boy close in age!

as it turns out she did have four responses, but she would love to meet us, and so we all went over on saturday morning to say hello. their son dante was incredibly cute and developmentally similar to cohen, the two of them hit it off right away each banging away on a toy drum and staring pensively out the window. the apartment itself was a beautiful loft in a building that boasts an enormous courtyard complete with a garden. the energy in the apartment was so positive and bright with 16 foot ceilings and windows from top to bottom, wood floors and big play mats. we knew right away that this would be a good fit (they even have a tropical fish tank with the same fish as us!), and hoped they felt the same. luckily for us they were taken with cohen and told us straight out that they would like for us to be the ones to enter in the nanny share! the nanny lives out so we have not met her yet but from everything we are told she sounds amazing. her and dante go to music class every week and walks everyday (they even have a double stroller just waiting for cohen), so we will meet her sometime next week and then sometime in may we will slowly get cohen used to leaving home during the day (although he is likely going to love it, it is me that is going to need the getting used to).

as the ad indicates, it is part time, which is what we were looking for as my mom has been hired to come and be with cohen two days a week (mon-tue). i wish i didn't have to go back to work, and hopefully one day soon i won't need to anymore, but in the meantime this is one less thing to worry about, which means i can go back to enjoying these last sixty nine days without interruption. so i guess she was right, things do have a way or working out, sometimes sooner than we expect.


Mathias (and my entourage) said...

I know your worries. I haven't found a daycare for Mathias yet either. I have been picky on where I call too as I don't want to drive all the way to Langley to pick him up. With my schedule Nick will be dropping off and I'll be doing pick-up. So location is also very important. I haven't even figured out when I have to go back to work yet either...which poses a bit of a start date problem with the daycares. Also I only want part time and then that is a problem....you know my headaches! I'm glad that you've found something that works for your family! Congratulations.

Anonymous said...

We've been amazed at how much Duncan is thriving at nursery. There's no way I can wallow in any mummy-guilt because he's plainly happy (he loves the other kids, the excitement, the toys) and overall it's been easier than we expected.

Aberdeen's much easier than Vancouver for childcare though. All of our friends and family in Vancouver have ended up going the nanny-route too - so I hope this works well for you! (Nannies here are too expensive, and as an underpaid government employee, my salary doesn't go a long way!)

I hope Cohen will settle in well and enjoy himself and that your return to work wont be as stressful as you think!

(Trish - spiritofplace.com)

libragal said...

this sounds perfect. I am glad to hear that cohen will be spending the majority of his time in such a positive environment. and music lessons to boot! could you ask for anything more?

t said...

good luck on finding somewhere! i will cross my fingers that it goes as smoothly for you as it seems to have for us. i forget, where do you guys live? in the valley somewhere right?

trish - it is true, the nanny route is a little pricey but sharing is about the same as a group. i debated over the benefits of a group and hadn't made up my mind, there is a lot of value in that experience i think. ultimately availability made the decision for me, we will see what the future holds. it is funny because i don't feel guilty about going back, mostly just sad for myself as i have a less than satisfying job and would much prefer to stay home and play! i have no doubt that cohen will love it, if he has been one thing it has been adaptable.

cat - i could ask to have you back in the city!

Kleja said...

Congratulations on the nanny share. I heard from Laish that daycare is a problem in Vancouver. I hope that Cohen enjoys this new adventure.

Here, in the nasty US, the Mat leave is 6 weeks, 6 more if your Doc thinks you need more time to recover, roll that into whatever vacation you may have left (depending on the time of year because you can't roll it over) and you might end up with 15 weeks off to have your baby and get it in daycare ASAP! Oh how I dread that.

Anyway, I hope you can enjoy this time before you head back to work especially now that you have the nanny share. Walks and music lessons, sounds divine!

Kleja said...

ps. I love the photo of your cat.

m said...

A woman I used to work for has two children. Once we had lunch together during her last few weeks of mat. leave with her second child. She told me that she had enjoyed mat leave so much more the second time around because for her first child, from very early on, she had begun to dread going back to work, worried about child care, etc. instead of just being in the present with her child, enjoying the time they had together.

For the second child, she knew that she only had this time together, had learned her lessons from the first time (even though she didn't have child care figured out until after we had lunch together).

Hopefully now that you have your childcare figured out, you can stop thinking about when you have to go back to work. Don't do the countdown, it'll only make you sick.

Tara said...

I have never heard of this nanny share before, but what a great idea.. Cohen will have a friend and that interaction and it seems like they do alot of the same things you do with Cohen so he will continue.

Im sure it is going to be a wonderful experience for Cohen and peace of mind for you.