This post is part of the ‘Tales From The Other Side Of …’ series. There are so many stages, achievements, milestones and heartbreaks we go through as parents and whatever we are experiencing, whether good, bad, exciting or terrifying, it’s always nice to know someone else has already done it and come through the other side. To find out how you can get involved and share your story/tips and tricks click here.
Today we have the lovely Ellen from E L Feelgood’s Vintage sharing the challenge she had finding childcare for her son when she returned to work..
Every other month, I try to have a clear out or tidy up of my wardrobe. It really is just too big for the room but then again, I have a lot of stuff that I really don’t need! Each time I do this, I am faced with the reminder of a time when I felt so helpless and frustrated. It was the challenge of finding childcare for my son when I was about to return to work after 9 months pregnancy leave.
What is it that reminds me of it? The daily notes that the childcare workers wrote, detailing my son’s activities, what he ate and how he got on and the amount of times they used Calpol to try and stop him crying!
I knew when I decided to go back to work that finding childcare would be a challenge, but I never thought it would be the most difficult and guilt-ridden decision as a mummy I would make. Finding quality, accessible, and cost-effective childcare is hard but when you get a gut feeling about a place but can’t put your finger on it but go ahead as you think you are being paranoid is yet another challenge.
My son was 9 months old, I wanted to find a place for him where he could play and learn in a supportive and nurturing environment. I wanted him stimulated as at 9 months he still wasn’t sleeping through the night.
After making a list of places that seemed appropriate, we opted for one that was close to where we lived. I still had a gut feeling that I couldn’t shake but put it down to me feeling guilt about leaving him and going back to work. Unfortunately, this was not the issue at all as I was soon to find out.
I started to get phone calls from the nursery daily saying he wasn’t settling, that they thought he was teething and could they give him Calpol. I agreed but it started to become more frequent. I got out of work early one day as they phoned to say he wasn’t settling. When I entered the baby room of the nursery there he was in a little rocking seat sitting facing the corner!
I could not believe my eyes. I already felt like a bad mommy for going back to work and leaving him in childcare, so to witness this and have that bad gut feeling authenticated, was yet another blow. I immediately pulled my son out of that nursery. They must have known they were in the wrong as they never asked for the one month I was due to give them in lieu of notice.
I am thinking now of all those times that gut feeling came to me. However, as a family we did overcome this parenting challenge. We sought out a social enterprise childcare provider a bit further out. As they were a social enterprise their bottom line was not profit but about supporting and nurturing children.
If there is one message I would like to share, it is that as a mummy we must have inbuilt gut feelings when it comes to our children. It’s important to listen to that. I just wish I would have listened sooner to mine. Thankfully we as a family managed to overcome this parenting challenge.
Thank you Ellen for sharing your story. Finding good childcare is such a struggle for so many of us and Ellen’s tale proves that trusting your instincts and following your intuition is so important.