As anyone with young children knows, childcare is a huge stressor. Finding care you’re comfortable with, has an opening when you need it, and is affordable can be a nightmare. We have been extraordinarily lucky to have been able to cobble together care for Darwin and reduce work hours so that we have not had to put her in any situations we haven’t been completely happy about.
When Darwin was about 6 months old Leah was told her hours were going to be cut significantly, as the woman she had originally been hired to cover for on maternity leave was returning to work. The following week we found out that a spot had opened up in the infant care room in the daycare facility that we had signed up for. This facility is one of the best in town, and has a discount for faculty where I work, so we had been excited about a spot that was adorable. Until Leah’s hours were cut. Suddenly we not only didn’t need care, but couldn’t afford it either. So we had to pass on the spot. Then the day the woman was supposed to return from leave…she resigned. That left Leah with hours, but us in the same childcare bind as before. I had some choice words about the whole thing.
Anyway, since then we have been trying to figure out how we’re going to balance childcare as Leah starts her PhD program (tomorrow!) and I continue to work. Then the best opportunity ever fell into our laps. One of Leah’s fellow students and a friend posted on Facebook that they were looking for childcare. We talked and our schedules worked perfectly. We have similar approaches to parenting, and they have a three and a half year old and a 15 month old. Their older kiddo is in preschool while I have both wobblers, then the kids are with her in the afternoon.
Friends, childcare share is amazing. I get to spend three mornings a week playing with two babies, watching them interact and grow. They have fun (mostly), we go to the park, the library, or just on walks. They play on the little slide at our friend’s house. They’re both still nursing so we’re each able to nurse rather than bottle feed (hello less pumping, hooray!) And Darwin is now copying things that her little buddy does. Like easy with a spoon. Or climb the slide and slide down.
I feel like we hit the jackpot.