(picture of Grace at day care---doesnt she look so happy there!?!?!?)
I have decided to call Grace's day care provider her "Day Care-ista", inspired by Starbucks which is my lifeline, because she is my family's lifeline.
My maternity leave was 3 mo nths long, just long enough to get into a groove at home and then be thrust into the working world again. I started the day care search late according to some, when Grace was 4 weeks old. I knew i needed to do it but just couldnt bring myself to plan who I was leaving my baby with before I even had a baby!!! I called a great program in the county called I.F.F.D.C. and they were magic! I went to an orientation lasting an hour and they gave me the names, address, and general information about 5 in-home providers that had enrolled in their program. Through their program, the providers get education, certification, insurance, etc and I get the piece of mind that there are home checks at least once a month by the program, in addition to random state checks. LOVE it!
The first 5 providers I didnt feel any connection with and (this sounds so silly but....), when I went to meet and interview them, none of them asked to hold Grace or really even acknowledged her sitting there with me. That annoyed me and I was determined to find someone who would love my baby and take care of her just as I would if I could be a SAHM.
Then I met Afghani. And I fell in love immediately. I wasnt even through the front door and she was gushing about Grace. She was so loving and understanding and open and I loved her before I even sat down on her couch to talk! All the questions I had prepared didnt need to be asked; just watching her with Grace the very first meeting, I knew that Grace would be held, kissed, hugged, adored, and loved all day long.
Afghani has made my life as a working mom so much better than I could have expected. There have been days when the tears fall as I drop my baby girl off at her house but they are because Grace cant wait to ditch Mom at the door to get inside to play! Yes, I wish my baby girl would give me one more hug every morning (I already get 5 so I dont really know why 1 more is so critical to me!) but in my heart, it makes me so happy that she acts this way every morning. Afghani provides her with so much love. Grace talks about "Ghani" and "Sara" (Afghani's 22 year old daughter works with her as well) all weekend long and gets so excited on Monday morning when I tell her we are going to Ghani's house again.
(picture of Afghani and a few of the day care "regulars")
Do I ever feel like Grace confuses Afghani and Mommy? Nope. Well, there are times that I think about "someone else raising my child" but I dont really buy into all that crap (emotionally I do sometimes but mentally I know better). Afghani has 3 kids of her own (all grown and all great kids!) and has been in the day care business for 14 years. I have 1 child and have been in the parenting "business" for 2 years. Based on those numbers, Afghani isnt raising my child for me; she is helping me raise my child. Anytime I need parenting advice, she is there to help and is always so non-judgemental! In fact, I am thrilled to have her now that potty training is on the horizon----I have NO idea how to do it but I have the greatest resource in the world to help me through it; I have Afghani!!!
Afghani has become a part of our family. She is Grace's Day Care-ista and I am so proud to have her in our life.
Happy Mother's Day to all those Day Care-istas out there!