A Christmas and a New Years separate me from going back to work after nine months of being a full time mum. I have proper anxiety and on top of it all I had to start looking for a nursery. Last minute. I know. Who the hell does that? The answer is simple: ME. I have to arrange viewings, check prices, availability, locations, staff, fill in forms, take pictures and decide on one in just few days so she can start beginning of January.
It’s not easy as once all this is done, we have a trial period as well and this means I actually have less time than any of you can imagine.
As my luck goes it’s end of the week and on top of it all most nurseries are closed for the Christmas period so again it is all postponed for after New Years. But how? When will I get the transition period? My baby needs to get into a place exactly after New Years. More precisely on the third of the month. I am not sure how long the transition will take. Depends on the baby. Some take a little time and some take longer. It probably depends on me as well. I never been away from my little monkey for more than few hours and now I am facing two straight days of absence. I know it’s not the end of the world and some may say I am too sensitive but truth be told she is my first and I wanted her so much. I cannot imagine myself being apart from her. Couple of hours yes but more? Missing two full days of her life? This is a lot. I am not ready at all. But like all say, just rip the band aid. It will hurt but eventually the pain will go away.
Today I called a nursery about three times. Once to ask if I can drop Ruby before 8 am, second time to ask if it is necessary to have three emergency contacts, third time to ask if I can go register on Monday morning as I don’t have the pictures for my contacts yet. I would have called many times more but I decided on not to as I still need a space there and I don’t want them to think I am so desperate (although we know I am).
Few days ago I thought someone will take care of my little one while I work (would have been more convenient for me as I would have had more peace of mind), three days ago I was viewing nurseries and yesterday I got to the point where I had to decide between two of them. One I loved. So structured, so many happy babies, good price, friendly staff, extremely clean and providing all baby needs. They are so committed and keep count of each and every baby routine, helping them not to feel lonely. They assign you a key person for your munchkin so he/she can bond and form a relationship with them. This way they have someone who they want to cuddle in mums absence. What can I say. I loved the place and I could feel Ruby as well. Although we went to visit at 10 am when she normally takes a nap she was not grumpy at all. She smiled and giggled, she danced and laughed at everyone.
Downside? It takes me twenty minutes to get there and another twenty to get to the train station in the morning. They open at eight and my train is at eight twenty three. This will leave me with a very fat chance of missing the train and the next one will get me to work late. Not very good. I can’t afford to be late.
Now, second nursery is only four minutes walk from my house and it happens to be exactly on my way to the station not on the opposite way as the first one. Perfect. I have time to drop her off in the morning at eight when they open and get to the station in proper time. While walking there I kept thinking about how I liked the first place. I managed to convince myself that I have to give a chance to this one as it is so conveniently placed. I mean all nurseries are the same. They all have nice people making efforts to make you think that they are the best in all they do, they take care of your precious baby better than anyone else and they have the best conditions and educational programs on the market.
I thought: common. Few days ago you were desperate and look at you now. You have options. Be happy and stop stressing.
Easier said than done. We all been there.
When you are doing it for the first time it feels like you losing it. You got no control and pray you make the right decision.
Now, the down side for the second nursery. The moment I walked in I hated the smell. Kitchen is right next to the reception and there are no windows. Bad. Very bad. I am already put off by this. I am welcomed by a lady I forgot her name and title right when she was introducing herself. She keeps saying they are getting ready for a Christmas party like I care that much. She takes me to the baby room and introduces me to another woman who is appointed to talk to me about all there is. I am told about the routine – not mentioning anything about individuals. Babies don’t have the same routine so I am not liking this. Just behind me there is a half wall that separates the play room from the sleeping room. It is basically a box room with nine or ten cribs. Set as bunk beds. Really? No shit. I don’t want my baby to sleep like this. Moving on, in front of me there is another half wall that separates the play room from the kitchen area. They do provide formula milk but only Aptamil. What if my baby is allergic? She is not but she drinks a different milk. I ask what is there to do?
I am supposed to pay £73 a day and bring my own milk. No concessions here. Either I bring my own either I just change the milk for Ruby.
BIG FREAKING MINUS
After we talk about all there is I am taken to the next room with babies aged between 16 months and three years old. I am passed to another woman and so this happened on all rooms up to preschoolers. I don’t remember any faces and I am left with such a bad taste in my mouth. Even babies looked a bit dirty. (They might not but for me it is all dark now)
So I come home thinking what the hell will I do? I can’t be late for work but in the same time I literally don’t want to leave Ruby to a place I hate. I am trying to figure out a solution.
I barely slept and at eight in the morning today I rang the nursery I liked. I asked if I can drop Ruby fifteen minutes earlier than the opening time. I have been told I can just drop her off starting half seven but to mention to the manager so they know to have staff available. I have to pay a small fee for this but I couldn’t care less. The one I liked was cheaper than the freaky one so it works out just about the same financially speaking.
I can’t wait for Monday to give them my forms and papers so I register my munchkin.I am sad and I do have anxiety, I am no way ready for this, I am freaking out but in the same time at least I know she will be safe and she will be taken care of properly.
Finding the right place for your child can be exhausting and nerve racking, can take ages and is most definitely expensive in London but it is the price we all pay in the end. I wish I could stay home and take care of my little one but 2016 didn’t bring me the winning lottery ticket so I’ll hope for the lucky one in 2017. And if it happens, I swear I will want another little cheeky monkey of my own.