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.
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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