I started back at work two days ago and Samantha started at daycare.
The last six months were surreal. My daughter is to put it simply, the most. The most adorable. The most joyous. The most hilarious. The most loving. I can't even being to start with how my life will always be pre-Samantha and post-Samantha.
Niblet is adjusting to her new normal too, and I think with some grace. She had a few rough months there. "Mom, you spend all of your time with Samantha." I think you should look at it like Mom is keeping the baby alive. Most of this time was spent with her nursing (boy could girlfriend feed on demand). I totally get how our lives were upended with this living breathing creature that was either latched on to me or burrowed into me like a baby kangaroo. Totally get it Niblet.
Today, I can finally get out of the house a bit sans baby. She HATED her father for months, now she tolerates him and even flashes him some smiles now and again. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't flattered. As a result, Niblet is more confident with her too. She picks her up more, changes diapers and plays with her more regularly. It's the most beautiful thing to see, these two girls, who look so much a like, nearly ten years apart.
Daycare was indeed harder on me than Samantha. But due to some crazy scheduling in Niblet's school year that has her taking on so many extracurricular activities, we are looking at hiring a nanny. Insanely Bourgie, I know. But right now the universe has Samantha at Daycare, Niblet at aftercare, and then potentially a third baby sitter to reliably get her to all of her after school stuff. Our childcare is like a very shaky house of cards.
And as the universe would have it, she plopped a nanny in front of me. Literally, at Niblet's school. I met her when picking Niblet up every day, she was picking up some of her school mates. For four months she and I would stand in the school parking lot and talk about everything under the sun - from the latest Ali Wong netflix special to why organizing closets is so hard. I liked her a lot, and asked her if she ever had free time to babysit.
Well, the last day of school she came up to me ( "So, this is sort of awkward...") and asked if we would ever consider hiring a nanny. Geez, it wasn't something we ever thought we could afford, but sure let's talk. Turns out her family is only employing her until Labor Day. I talked to her current family, and a few others - she's reliable, kind, their kids love her and she made their lives a million times easier. Think a slightly punk rock Mary Poppins. We'd end up pretty broke for a few years, but we'd be close to broke regardless with the daycare costs. I've perfected recipes with rice and beans these last few months on unpaid leave.
Everything about babies involves second guessing.
-Conceiving (Should we? If so, when?)
-Fertility (Can we? Should we be doing something different? IVF? New doctor? Pills and supplements? )
-Pregnancy (Is this safe? Is there risk? Will I have regrets?)
-Childbirth (midwife? hospital? High risk OB?)
-Infant care (Nursing? Formula? everything else that's frightening on Dr Google)
-Childcare (Do I stay home unpaid? Daycare? Home daycare? Nanny? Pray?)
I am among the fortunate. Niblet's grandmother watched her for a YEAR after I went back to work with her. This go around I have had sleepless nights thinking about childcare (well, she's not sleeping through the night anyways). But I also was recently promoted, so I have a little more flexibility and disposable income. So many mamas in my country don't. It's a fucking heartache.