Let me set a scene for you…
You are at your OB/GYN’s office, anxiously waiting with your significant other as the doctor maneuvers the ultrasound machine. Your mind is racing. You wonder: is all OK? And then, you hear the thump-thump-thump on the ultrasound, and you know, there is a heartbeat… You are officially pregnant!
You are ecstatic and thankful that the double blue line on the pregnancy test has turned into something more. You want to tell the world, shout it from the rooftop of your apartment building or home. But, you take an oath with your partner to not tell anyone until week 12. You both determine it is better to be ‘safe than sorry’ and err on the side of caution.
Instead, you go straight to all of the full-day care programs in a 5-mile radius of your house and tell each Director to put your ‘baby-to-be’ on their infant list.
Yes, you read that correctly, you go straight from your ultrasound to daycares. You tell the Directors about your growing family before you tell your mother, boss, best friend or neighbor. Why you may wonder? I’ll tell you why… Because if you don’t, there may not be a spot for your child in the infant class, and you will be forced to come up with an alternative childcare solution before your maternity leave is up.
For better or worse, almost all of the popular full-day programs in Charlotte including Myers Park Presbyterian Church, Providence Preparatory School, First Presbyterian Church, Sharon Academy, Selwyn Presbyterian Child Development Center and oh, so many more, have over a year-long waiting list for their infant room(s). That year-long list, though, often does not take into account sibling or Church membership preferences. So, the likelihood that your 3-month-old baby has a spot in a full-day program, even when you go from your ultrasound to the Director’s office, is slim solely based on the fact that human gestation is less than 12 months long!
Crazy to think about, isn’t it?
In the end, if you are dead set on your 3-month-old child starting in the infant room of a particular daycare, you should probably put its name (because you will not know if it is a ‘his’ or a ‘her’ name) on the waiting list before you even begin trying to conceive. Some might consider this counting your chickens before they hatch or assuming you will have the good fortune of becoming pregnant quickly and easily. Yes, they are right. There is always the chance of your having difficulty getting pregnant. Infertility affects about 10% of women between ages 15 and 44. Unfortunately, there is often no way to know if you are part of the 1 in 10 statistic before you start trying to conceive. As such, you might chose to view registering for day-cares in the same way that you do taking a pre-natal vitamin and reducing your alcohol intake: it is just something that goes along with the goal getting pregnant.
I wish all of the to-be moms out there the best of luck with finding the right childcare solution for their families. Deciding whether or not to try to conceive is difficult enough; the added pressure of day-care of a ‘to-be-child’ is only icing on the cake.
Rebecca Glavin, MBA, MSW, LCSWA is a therapist in Charlotte who specializes in working with women with infertility, body image and self-esteem concerns as well as eating disorders. Rebecca also works with women who struggle with infertility, women who have miscarried, and women who have terminated a pregnancy. Rebecca lives in the Cotswold area with her husband, young daughter and new baby. To learn more about Rebecca, visit her website http://www.rebeccaglavin.com, or find her profile and information on the Psychology Today website here.