Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Whose the lucky person that gets to raise my child? Is it me?

Gary and I looked at our first daycare center last night. It’s absolutely perfect, but at $215 a week a bit pricey for the area. But all of the rooms were nice and clean, the children all looked happy, it is less than a quarter mile from our house and it has come to use highly recommended. If I was for some reason to go back to work fulltime, this place would be perfect. They don’t have an opening until Sept though.

I think about my job and going back to work constantly. It keeps me awake at night. I hate that I really can’t talk to my employer about part time right now. From what I have been advised by 2 of my friends that are in HR, I must wait until I am out on maternity leave. If I don’t I have no leverage. If I bring it up and they tell me no now, they might just go find someone else to take my place. If I bring it up when they are expecting me back in 2 weeks, they are kind of stuck and if I give them an ultimatum, they might have no choice. However, that being said, no one at my company works part time except for 2 people who were grandfathered in when our company was bought out. We do not have flex time, all new employees have to work the same hours. I was grandfathered in to an earlier schedule so I leave at 5, as opposed to 5:30 like a lot of people. The company that bought us out has slowly taken away any employee perk that existed here, so I have maybe a 25% chance of getting part time. What I have going for me is that my bosses love me, my clients love me and I truly believe they would hate to see me go. Corporate isn’t here though and doesn’t know me from eve. One other thing is we are bare bones skeleton crew right now with a hiring freeze, losing me would really put a hurt on my team. So part of me wonders with the tough economy if I can’t score part time for at least 6 months b/c they don’t want to lose me and don’t want to hire someone new. I just don’t know…I wish I did! Ideally I want to come back to work part time after my 12 weeks off. If I had my choice, I would work part time for 3 -4 years until my daughter was in preschool. But we live in a country with few choices for moms. If this job tells me that I cannot have part time, then I will have to decide if I am quitting. I will cross that bridge when the time comes. So, anyway in my mind when I am looking at daycare I am thinking that I will be working part time b/c it’ll probably be that or I am staying at home, in which case I don’t need daycare. So, if that’s the case $215 a week is steep. I’ll need to find something $100ish, which from the people I have talked to is do-able.

I circled 15 daycare centers in the yellow pages that are in close proximity to our house. I guess I will drive by them first and take a peek. If they seem okay from the outside, I’ll then call them and ask a few questions – how many infants do you have at once, teacher/infant ratio, sick child policy, pricing. Most won’t give pricing over the phone, so I guess we’ll have to visit the ones that look okay from the outside. But really should I be judging based on the looks of the building? Probably not… but I have little to go on! This is such a big decision and I am totally lost I hate it. I wish I could just stay home. My mom stayed home with us and it was the best. But my dad ran his own lucrative business and my mom did all the books for it. Finding a stay at home job is next to impossible. But I certainly keep my eyes and ears open.

6 comments:

jessica said...

sigh... this country could be so much better if moms weren't forced to go all or nothing. you'd think employers would realize that highly skilled part-time employees can be mighty efficient labor.

i'm such an antisocial recluse, but i do wish all of these piddly suburban mommy groups could be more of a community resource -- instead of just a social club, moms could share childcare, work out a group schedule, and take turns working.

for now, i suppose i should be happy that at least my husband has a good job.

Clare said...

i understand completely. but play the game with HR, it'll be worth it if they agree, even if you feel a little bad about putting them in a bind...your daughter is more important!! we all get it...

N.D. said...

THis is by far one of the most stressful things I think. I would be up at night all the time worrying about it. Hopefully something will come through and like you said, you can cross the bridge when it comes along. Try not to go nuts over it. Can you get any recommendations from friends/family for daycare places by you in the meantime?

justjoshfunk1 said...

Don't fret over all these decisions. In the long run they are all going to work out for themselves anyway - you know how it works. Good luck with the daycare!

Angela said...

Wow, I wish we could find that price around here. Infant room prices for a 5 star place here are $250/week and up. Most are more around $300. We waited till our first son was 1 yr. old to put him in day care, the cost goes down significantly here.

Now with two, I work part-time to cut back on child care costs. I completely understand your situation. Good luck and be patient. It will work out!

Angela and David Kidd said...

I won't tell you what we pay a month for daycare here but it's a lot (I'm outside of Chicago). $215 a month would be amazing. But no matter what make sure you are comfortable with the daycare. It's hard enough to go back to work, it would be next to impossible if you weren't completely confident in your caregivers.

I don't know what you do for a living but can you telecommute? I telecommute two days a week and go see Zach at lunch on those days and drop him off late and pick him up early. It helps a lot.

I feel your pain. I was toying with asking for part time but we were in the midst of lay offs. It's not an easy decision and I second guess my decision every day.