A quick recap of our wannabe childcare journey: I got Jackson on the 2 CDC (Childcare Development Center) lists for Charleston - one on the Air Force base & the other on the Naval base. Both original tentative dates were to start August 1 because if there was a spot soon after we got out here, we'd want him to get adjusted before Miles got here & didn't have to worry about the transition with a newborn.
I got notified that a spot on the Air Force base had opened but we didn't want it NOW because 1. It's like 30 min the opposite direction of where Matt will be working & 2. Matt will have the month of August off & he wants to spend it J, not have him in childcare. Makes sense - we just didn't expect there to be an opening so quickly. So now I've adjusted both lists tentative dates to Sept 1 (the month I'm due & Matt returns to work).
At the same time, we have a friend out here that we know from both living in WA who is running her own childcare out of her home. [& to clarify - it's not like she has 30 kids in her house & everything is under the table. She has a teaching degree & watches her friends kids. Legit AF]
A couple weeks ago, J pulled my computer cord twice while I was working, resulting in me loosing work. Again. (Yes, I'm saving but DAMN - now I have to wait for my computer to come back on, load my programs, etc.) Like wtf dude. I had NO intentions of putting J in any kind of childcare before Matt got here. What reason would I need to have someone else watch him for the month? Hmm maybe being offline (& not getting paid) for almost a month from my job & needing to get back in the swing of things before #2 makes his appearance in 2 months & I drop off for another month again? Sounds like a good reason.
Thankfully, our friend from WA is more than willing to take J on, not like he's a hassle or anything. He will be the youngest & 1 of 2 still in diapers but she's totally fine with it - BLESS HER! Her kids (7 & 9) are obviously older & help a little so I don't feel like I'm burdening her with another kid. Plus, Matt & I want/need J to socialize more so a few hours a day with people we know & trust as well as their kids is like the best case scenario.
More about Jackson not verbally communicating HERE
Depending on how things work out with this arrangement (my schedule, their schedules, etc) we'll see if we even want to stay on the CDC list. A friend actually just brought it up to me that they may not accept cloth diapers so THAT would also be a deciding factor.
OUR REASONS/BENEFITS TO STARTING DAYCARE
Up until now, J has had very limited exposure to other kids his age & in turn, we believe it’s affected his verbal development. Not to put all our eggs in the daycare basket but it can only help us & him.
TIME FOR ME TO GET WORK DONE
I am 7 months pregnant & still attempting to work. J is only getting older & wanting to do more but I HAVE to work. Now that I’m finally settled in SC with my office, I need to dive back into work before I disappear in 2 months for another month with a newborn.
7 MONTHS PREGNANT
I AM TIRED! Besides worrying about J’s socializing & trying to get work done, I am also exhausted & need a break. Obviously, I’ll get a break when Matt gets here in a couple weeks but I’ve already been doing this for about a month solo 24/7 - Momma needs help now.
THINGS THAT HELPED ME DROP JACKSON OFF
STARTING WITH A FRIEND
We are aware with how lucky we are in this scenario. Jackson is going to a friends house, not a separate building or a complete stranger. I'm sure he would have been fine in that scenario but it is a lot easier on my conscious to know he's with someone I trust completely & know previously. If that's an option for you, I'd highly recommend it.
Ask every single question you have - don't leave any "what if" scenarios in your head because they will slowly eat at you while you're apart. Let the provider know this is your first time so you may contact more than other parents for the first couple days for peace of mind (basically give them a warning before you blow their phone up). This will also come in handy if you're running late for a drop off or pick up - having an open line of communication helps the entire act not feel like a burden.
I have a sensitive nose when it comes to J's ammonia smelling diapers so I go through them & as a result, I may have packed WAY too many diapers & outfit changes for his first few days. After a couple days, I'm seeing they don't even make it to the diapers at the bottom of the bag so that gives me some relieve that they are prepared. Same with snacks. Learn as you go.
PICTURES THROUGHOUT THE DAY
Falls in with the 'open communication' part. If you feel better actually seeing your kid at the location (short of FTing), ask for a picture throughout the day. Brittany randomly sent me one the other day (featured above) of Jackson holding her son's ear & it seriously made me feel WORLDS better because I could see how comfortable he was.
Thankfully, Jackson has always been an independent child we didn't have any big crying sessions. He hid behind my legs until he saw a familiar face then took off to her. & that was that - I dipped out right after. If we would have had that dramatic session, I still would have left him there because I'd remind myself this is needed for reasons listed above. Same mindset as sleep training - first few days will be rough but it will be worth it afterwards. Can't crack under the pressure because it's easy in the moment.
More about how we sleep trained Jackson HERE
So far, Jackson has been in childcare for this past week & it couldn't have gone any smoother! We started on a Tuesday & it was just for a few hours - I picked him up before nap-time. Wed - Fri, he stayed the whole day (730am-230pm) without a fuss. We plan to continue with childcare for following week then put it on pause for the month of August because Matt will finally be getting to SC & obviously wants to spend time with Jackson. He'll still go over & hangout with the kids (socializing factor) but we will pick back up full weeks in September when Matt goes back to work & it's Miles' birth month!