My son is 4 months old now, and since he was born my husband has been staying at home with him. For a working mom, that is a great situation. You’re still able to go to work, but you know that your baby is with someone you trust. However, babies are expensive, and we’ve reached a point where my husband needs to go back to work. We don’t have any family that lives close enough, so we’re in the process of investigating the dreaded daycare center.
The first issue for me has been how surprisingly hard it is for me to deal with the idea of leaving my son with somebody else. When I went back to work I had a harder time than I thought I would, and that just meant leaving my son with his dad. I never thought that having a baby would really change me, and I’m still not sure that I would ever make a good stay-at-home mom, but the idea of it has crossed my mind more than once since giving birth. Unfortunately though, that’s not even a thought that can be seriously contemplated in my world. I just graduated from law school last year and have a whole pile of student loans to payoff, so working is just a necessary part of my world. So when we decided that my husband had to go back to work too, I once again had to deal with the nagging idea at the back of my mind that I wish I could be the one taking care of my son.
The second issue is the rest all rolled into one: quality, price, and availability of daycare. I want to be able to leave my kid with the best people and in the most fun and stimulating place that I can. The problem is that not only is daycare crazy expensive, but it’s hard to find a place that has an opening….especially for an infant. So far I’ve visited two locations, a Goddard School and a Primrose School. Both seemed great. The kids are happy, have lots of education opportunities, and the people that work there seem nice and like they genuinely like what they do. But believe me, you really pay for all that stuff. I’ve also called around to various places in the area to see who has an opening and how much it will cost me. Best I can tell, the average in my neighborhood is $1300/month or $320/week. Some are a little more, some a little less, but most fall right in that area. Now lets think about that price….that’s a mortgage/rent for most of us, and we’re expected to pay that just for the ability to go out and earn a living.
Now, there is the option of in-home day care providers, but I’ve got to be honest….that makes me a little nervous. It’s a lot harder to control someone’s home where they might have pets and their own children. I’m sure that option would be a little less expensive, but I’m not sure it’s worth it.
From what I’ve read elsewhere on the net, it seems like Denver may be on the higher end of daycare expenses. Lucky me right? For now I’m still looking, and hoping that my first choice doesn’t fill up its availabilities before I make a decision.