(Forgive me if this is a repeat post - it disappeared?)
I have just started back at work full time (much to my dismay
) Despite my desperately searching for an alternative, DH and I both have to work full time. We have worked out with our employers that we can each be home with our 5 mo old baby boy one day a week, but the other three days he is in a daycare center.
The good: Daycare is right next door to my office. I can get to him in a second if I need to. I go in every day and spend a full hour with him at lunch. He spends less time there, because as soon as I am done with my workday, I'm with him - I don't have to drive far away to get to him. The caregivers are friendly, and from what I gather he plays happily most of the day.
The bad: It's a big corporate daycare center. There are as many as 14 infants and 4 caregivers on the busiest days. Although I've seen very loving interactions with the babies, there are times, I know, when they can't immediately attend to my crying infant. When I dropped him off this morning I was horrified to hear a baby crying alone in her crib while the caregivers were busy with everyone else.
We've already determined that we can't afford a nanny. And any other daycare option would be much further away, so I wouldn't get my lunchtime reunions everyday.
Have I made a dangerous tradeoff? The guilt of having to go back to work was bad enough. Leaving him in a situation that I don't feel wonderful about is worse. But it's so important to have the opportunity to reconnect with him during the day - and he always seems very happy and connected to me when I see him.
Am I a bad mommy?