PARENTS

The Newborn Diaries: Talking About Childcare

09/03/2011 18:07 | Updated 22 May 2015

One day a couple of weeks ago, my husband came home from work and asked me what I'd done that day.

"Baby D and I made up a song about poo," I responded happily before singing the lyrics to him (it's about how Diana likes banana goo, needs to use the loo and has just done a poo and I was pretty impressed with my songwriting abilities).

My husband, less so.

In fact, after this conversation he started floating around the c-word: Childcare. (Am I an unfit parent because I made up a song about excrement? Thank goodness he hasn't witnessed my attempts at breakdancing to Blondie to get Diana to eat her lunch).

Apparently, I may be suffering from TMBT - too much baby time. And coupled with zero alone time, I may be losing it a bit.

We'd both agreed originally that I would be a full-time mother who also worked from home, and because of the flexibility of my work this has been feasible with everyone more or less happy with the status quo.

Except once we started discussing it, having a childcare alternative made so much sense. And I started having fantasies about what it would be like to go to a yoga class where I didn't need to change my baby halfway through my first vinyasa...

On a less selfish note, since I am also the main person looking after Diana 24/7, I am conscious that this is creating a somewhat damaging pattern: as I start to control everything (changing her, mealtimes, etc.), I become more controlling, and as a result get irritated when anyone else messes with my disorganised-yet-somehow-functional operation.

So while I don't want baby D to become totally co-dependent on only me, I am sort of creating a situation which makes it difficult for her not to be and I'd like to change this before it becomes another disaster (Can you imagine the day when my still-breastfeeding and manic dummy-suckling four-year-old refuses to go to nursery because I won't be there? I can and it's scary).

Back to the selfish note: now that Diana's six months old, I am starting to think about how nice it would be to slowly rebuild myself into a human being again. It will take lots of time and lots of grooming (think Sandra Bullock in "Miss Congeniality"), but I am starting to believe it can happen.

Clueless person in need of some sort of local daycare? Help! I don't even know where to start.

The nanny thing didn't seem like a great option (um, I'm supposed to pay someone else's maternity benefit when I can't even get any myself? I don't think so), and the truth is, the nanny would ideally need to be a trained animal behaviourist to deal with the lovable but overly excitable Bolshy.

So that leaves childminders and nurseries. The idea of a nursery appeals to me more – other kids to play with, lots of stimulation and activities – but I'd heard that they were so competitive in London I needed to book a place about three years before conceiving my first baby.

Happily, I've found that this isn't the case – at least in February. And after hearing a recommendation from a mother that one of the mums in my NCT group is friends with, checking out a few places myself and doing a trial run, I am happy to report that baby D is now enrolled in a nursery once a week.

I'm hoping she can make some friends of the non-bulldog variety.

As for me, with all the grooming and yoga and errands and napping I need to do on my "day off," it's now the busiest day of my week.

For more musings on new motherhood, follow me on Twitter @JenBNYC.

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