Wednesday, September 05, 2007


One of the reasons I was able to quit my decent paying job and take a part-time job to have more time with my daughter was free childcare two mornings a week from my elderly MIL, and my neighbor's willingness to watch her two afternoons a week (for free). He and she have gotten along great since she was months old, and we've been neighbors with this family for 8 years so I have no worries about her care. The last 2-3 weeks he's been unavailable, with varying degrees of notice and I've used my back-up person.

Yesterday afternoon he informed me that he couldn't watch her any longer. It wasn't as direct as that, God forbid, but that was the bottom line, beginning this afternoon. Another neighbor wanted to start watching her on one of the afternoons, but can't start until next week. My back-up person doesn't want to commit to every Friday afternoon. So I made four phone calls last night, none of which were returned by the time I went to bed. (My MIL is not an option because she also babysits my niece's daughter once a week and then has her own life the other two days.) This morning my husband thought of another person, the teenager we use from time to time when we have a date night. It turns out she's home schooled so that's a very likely possibility, and one I'm very comfortable with, too.

Having to find reliable, trustworthy, convenient and affordable daycare for any portion of my work schedule is very stressful. And on one level, to have someone back out, especially with no notice, just seems like a rejection and so there are those emotions to deal with. Clearly her well being is not as paramount to him as I thought. I entertained thoughts of asking for my old job, I searched the on-line classifieds and local websites to see if there were any better paying part-time jobs available. (There weren't.)

The job I have now barely pays the bills and I have never, ever been relaxed when finances aren't secure, so I've been fighting off a case of panic as it is. All kinds of thoughts ran through my head last night - would I have to drop Friday afternoons and how would that affect my current job? I don't feel all that attached to my current job anyway. She naps for most of the afternoon so why should it be so hard to find someone to sit with her? Is not being able to find childcare a poor reflection on my parenting? Why do I have to live in a rural area where jobs and daycare are both so hard to find?

I went in to check on her last night as she slept. I found myself saying, "They're not going to take you away from me just because I can't find childcare." So that apparently was one of my underlying fears because articulating it unlocked my real source of all the negative emotions. If childcare jeopardizes my job, I won't be able to afford to parent. I'm no better now than I was at 19 and 20. The line separating me from a good, worthy mother and an unworthy one is so easy to cross.

I took some deep breaths and tried to think of the big picture, to convince myself that something will work itself out, that it's not all gloom and doom. I just wish that someone backing out of a daycare commitment (and this isn't the first time) didn't send me into an emotional tailspin.


Blogger Tammy said...

Are you living my life??? SIgh... I could have written this post. I deal with the stress of all that uncertainty and constant worry the same way and it felt like our saga to find childcare would never end. For now, we're on hiatus and hoping things work out with our present arrangement for awhile.

Hugs to you... it is so tough when it's your baby and you... I hope things get worked out...

11:09 PM  

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