Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Why We Pulled Mia Out of Daycare

This whole pandemic thing - it's kind of crazy, huh?! If you have kids, what are you doing with them? Is it back to school or daycare or camp as usual, or are you keeping them home?

Just wanted to start out by saying that this is a judgement-free zone. No judgements here in what you've decided in terms of your own childcare or school choices, I just wanted to share our story.

Omgggg this photo is from March and how freaking cute is that squish?!?!! 

I had in my brain that Mia was going to be a daycare kid until she went to kindergarten. And then two weeks ago, we decided to officially pull her out of school.

Our daycare closed on March 13th, and initially I was shocked. At the time there were less than a hundred cases of COVID-19 being reported every day, and the general consensus was that COVID wasn't affecting kids. Some of my coworkers in California had their daycares close the week before, and I really didn't think it would happen to us.

Having Mia at home at first was hard. If you have kids, you know. If you don't have kids, you've seen the memes. I had wanted to figure out how to spend more time with Mia, but trying to work full time while taking care of her wasn't quite what I had in mind.

It turns out though, we're lucky. Jeff and I both have bosses who are very understanding, and my company in particular has been very accommodating. March was impossible, April was hard, but now we've fallen into a rhythm of splitting our days and taking turns working and parenting.

My job has been amazing about scheduling "fun" meetings, this is the actress who played Angelica Schuyler in Hamilton doing a singalong! And yes this is what our kitchen usually looks like 🙈

Our daycare reopened in mid-June, and initially we said Mia would definitely be going back, but not for a couple of weeks. We were expecting cases to keep falling in Illinois, but instead since mid-June they've rebounded. The date was getting closer to when we thought we'd send Mia back, and suddenly cases in Illinois were worse than they had been since May.

Our daycare has 32 children plus 15+ staff members, which means sending her back to daycare, no matter how careful the staff are at cleaning and wearing masks, we have to trust that 32 other families are all social distancing and being as careful as we'd like them to be. We know some of the parents, but even in Mia's classroom of eight kids we haven't met all of them. It's a level of trust that I just didn't have, especially with case numbers continuing to increase.

Jeff and I sat down and talked everything through, and since we couldn't figure out when we'd be comfortable sending Mia back to daycare, it would be better just to pull her out rather than basically paying college tuition to hold her space indefinitely.

So what's our plan?

Basically, we're winging it 😂. Jeff's mom and brother are taking Mia when they can, and we're trying to arrange a weekly playdate or "preschool" situation between Mia and her Aunt Izzy (in case you're new around here, Aunt Izzy is Jeff's (almost) two year old half sister). And besides that, we're going to keep on keeping on with our crazy split schedule of work and parenting. I also put Mia on the list for the feeder daycare that ours goes into when the kids turn two with the hopes that she'll be able to go back to daycare in March.

So there's our little story! I hope you're hanging in there with this whole quarantine thing. I tend to waver between weirdly loving the situation and the extra time with Mia, and being totally overwhelmed and anxious about the future. If you're struggling, just know that even if I share rainbows and sunshine over here, we're all having a hard time.

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