Note: This blog is in response to an earlier post from Mom Appetit blogger here on Shine, regarding her childcare troubles and decision to fire a nanny.
If you have a blog-or have ever considered mom blogging-you've probably pondered the experience of reading people's comments. On your life. I relish the comments I get on this blog, because they make me feel like I'm part of a larger community, like I'm not just writing for my own benefit, and because I have, since I first embarked on this motherhood experience, embraced the idea that whatever we are as moms, we're not alone.
Then, last week, my blog met a new, very opinionated audience. Fit Pregnancy syndicates selected articles on Shine, Yahoo!'s destination site for women, and the post I wrote two weeks ago about firing our nanny ran there. And the comments just keep coming. I can't possibly sum up the diversity of reaction this post elicited, but I will touch on some of the extremes:
"Your child's life is in danger, you can't be too careful!"
"You should have driven that nanny directly to a hospital."
"Why have kids if you don't want to take care of them?"
"You're a snob/complete jerk/wimp…"
You get the idea. Of course, every single commenter is right. I know people who feel pretty good about their childcare providers, and people who stay at home with their kids because they believe it's the best option, and yet there is no one right way to handle childcare, and the families where it's not really an issue are in the minority. Childcare. Is. An. Issue.
At the end of last week we decided, out of necessity (I'll be full-time starting next week!), to send Leo to the preschool located minutes from our house. Here's why: They had an opening. I like the director and the teachers in the two's classroom. I like the activities the kids do, and the way the teachers interact with and guide them. We can afford it. It's really convenient. It's flexible enough for my weird working patterns.
I won't however give you the endless list of my hesitations and concerns. This list includes things that I don't really know enough about (the other boys in the class seem too tough!), things that matter to me but not Leo (the food isn't organic and they give too much juice), and things that I hope will soon be nonissues (My baby! Who will understand what he's talking about! Who will encourage his every interest and and and…). So for this week, I'll keep that stuff to myself.
There will never be a right and wrong to this choice, and I just dearly, desperately hope that this school will turn out to be pretty good for us all. And soon! As a mom and blogger, I appreciate so much the involvement, concern, wisdom, and willingness to share, and to think this out together, that I've experienced from other moms online and off around this issue. And I would welcome encouraging words as we make this very hard transition with Leo. Leo who wants what he wants when he wants it. Leo who wants us to be around him, supplying what he wants, whenever he wants us.
I'm writing after the third 'transition' morning we spent with him at school, and it has been so draining just being there, and feeling how intense the experience is for Leo-even though so far he mostly loves it-that it's hard to imagine how we'll get from here to him spending all day all week there, without us. But somehow, that's what he'll be doing in just a few more days. All I can do is make soup and try not to worry about any day other than today.
I haven't run long distance in quite some time, but I may need to get back into that mindset to handle the next few weeks. And like my fellow mom blogger, I think I'm going to need a mantra. Any suggestions?