This is the stuff that has consumed my ever active brain all day today. I kid you not. Can you believe that I am only seven months pregnant and we already need to be thinking about child care for what happens when I go back to work in the summer of 2011?! I haven’t even organized my mat leave yet, but somehow I am managing to organize or at least THINK about my RETURN from mat leave. Welcome to Toronto. The child care wait list capital of Canada.
When I became pregnant and it was evident a move back to Ottawa to be closer to my mom wasn’t going to be an option for us in the near future, I was given two pieces of advice. (1) start looking for a pediatrician. Immediately. (2) start looking for child care. Immediately. I was barely showing. So I did what any responsible newlywed and newly pregnant woman would do, I mostly dismissed both of these pieces of advice as crazy.
Fast forward to today... and countless more pieces of strong encouragement to start thinking about childcare. We have our pediatrician (YAY!) and today was our first visit to one of many child care facilities that we’re going to be checking out, putting our names on waiting lists, and waiting patiently for the next 14 months to find out if we get in or not. Crazy.
So.... Our first visit was ok. But JUST ok. I mean, come on, we don’t know what we’re doing. We don't even know our baby's name yet... let alone what questions to ask about child care. We don't know what’s going to be important to us down the road. Until we're down the road! But, I will tell you this... I almost broke down in tears a dozen times. I welled up at least three times as the friendly women showed us where the kids eat, play, sleep, are changed. I don’t even have a baby yet (so to speak) and I am already heartsick over the idea of leaving him to be cared for by strangers. I did make a few interesting observations today though;
(1) kids only cry for the first minute after their parents leave. Really. I witnessed it three time this morning. I bet the crying stopped long before the keys hit the ignition of their parents car. I felt so bad for the parents though that I almost ran after a couple of them to tell them myself. You know... Being impartial and all.
(2) There are way more dads that do drops off than moms. This has me curious. Maybe like me, other moms find this way tougher than dads. Actually... The one amusing moment this morning was when there were three blue pin strip suits in the drop off room at one time (Peter’s was one of them). It made me smile. I like the thought of Peter dropping of our little boy. He will be better at this than me. Without a doubt.
Anyway, just another hill on the rollercoaster right? And one more thing to cross off my list. Although, we’re seeing like 8 of these places in the next 8 weeks. So hang on tight.