Day Care Determined

It's official - we've signed a contract and paid a deposit on a day care for little Hartman. We didn't want to have to worry about the stress of being on a waiting list, and we were happy with the amount of day care research that we did.

We decided to go with a place that was close to our home.  If my last day care post wasn't enough to convince me of all of the reasons why "close to our home" was a good idea, the fact that we could be guaranteed a space at this place compared to having to wait until the following August at the other place close to my job basically sealed the deal.  They claim that we "got the last infant" spot, and although I have no sense as to how day cares make sure that they're full and operating with enough income to support themselves, it seems crazy to think our November reservation was really the last spot!

Anyway, the place we decided on is about 8 minutes from our house.  We realized that staying close to home makes a ton of sense.  One person doesn't have to bare the majority of the responsibility for both drop-off and pick-up.  If I ever want to take a day off and just stay home but still take the little one to day care, I can do that without having to drive into the city.  DH can just stop on his way home from work to do pick-up, or if he needs to stay late for some reason, I'll stop by on my way home from work.  Likewise, even though it would be terrible early, if there was a reason that I couldn't do drop-off in the morning, DH could do that as well.  No one is terribly inconvenienced no matter what the scenario is for any given day and baby Hartman won't have to deal with stupid rush hour traffic.  Plus, if one of us - for whatever reason - decides to change jobs, having a day care situation linked to a place of employment would mean panic and scrambling to find a new place.

One of the downsides is that taking my child to work with me every day means that I would get to take the HOV lanes, which could potentially save me a lot of driving time on a normal day.  But on bad weather days, I'm not sure how much time that would actually save me, since I have to drive quite a ways to get to the HOV anyway, and I usually get hung up in traffic long before I can actually get onto the HOV.  (HOV stands for High Occupancy Vehicle lane, for those who aren't familiar, and one of the only HOV's in Pittsburgh happens to be on my route home, but I've never been eligible to use it.)

I am still trying to make peace with the fact that my child will have to go to daycare at all, and that I can't be there to watch him grow up during those early months.  I makes me sad to think (realize, really) that the first steps or first words might happen when I'm not around.  Although we'll do everything we can to make our child's home life fabulous, I can't help but be saddened by the fact that he/she will spend nearly 50 hours a week being raised by someone other his parents or family.

But I also know that daycares can be amazing places for kids to develop amazing socialization skills, become used to other people, and give them an opportunity to learn in a structured environment with other kids their age.  I know I would do a great job at home, but I'm not an early childhood educator, so I find solace in the fact that our kid will start learning in "school" from age 3 months, and hopefully that will prove to be a benefit.

In anyway case - decision made on the day care front, and we both feel good about it.


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