Oh, our childcare journey has been our biggest ground-up DIY project yet. Second only to just having a child in the first place. And I’m sure many would agree with that. For his first 19 months of life I somehow made do with occasional babysitters and was able to basically be a stay-at-home-work-until-the-wee-hours-after-baby-bedtime-mom. (That’s a thing). He blessedly started sleeping 12 hours at night at 11 weeks old making those shenanigans possible. After over a year and a half of that I can officially say that caring for a baby/toddler from 7am-7pm, then rolling up my sleeves to work from 7pm-1am is pretty damn exhausting. But I have yet to hear of a version of parenthood that isn’t exhausting…
At 19 months I completely lucked into finding a truly amazing preschool and it happened to be only two blocks from us. Still can’t believe the luck. He started going two days per week and it has been amazing for our relationship, for my work and also for helping build a really cool community among the families and teachers I have met there. On a third day per week he spent six hours with another mom and toddler in the neighborhood and in return we had her toddler with us for six hours another day per week. It was really sweet having that special friend in his life for an entire year. Four beautiful seasons mostly spent in our community garden. I loved it. That 2.5 days per week of childcare was really a sweet spot for us.
Alas, that mom and toddler we swapped care with recently moved back to good ol’ NYC and shortly after that his preschool teacher announced that after 8 lovely years she would be closing her doors this winter. Just recently, I had increased his time at preschool from two days to four and while it was long awaited – it felt like a huge leap in hours apart. Though it feels like one day per week to much (for me), he thrives in the group and the friendships we have both made among the kids, staff and the other families has been priceless. It’s the community I wish I had from the day he was born. Better late than never and we are relishing it now!
So, our next preschool chapter is about to begin. I’m excited to expand our community even more. This has been quite the journey and I can see our next step but I wonder what will come after that. It remains to be seen but I know that it will be beautiful and vibrant for both of us.