Moving is very moving, in a bad way
May 21, 2012 2:48 PM   Subscribe

Husband has taken his dream job which requires us to move back to Louisiana. I was initially enthusiastic about the move which would also put me back in my office. But, now I'm getting discouraged and concerned that we're moving a third world country and our toddler and new baby on the way will suffer. Help me get some perspective.

Due to respective commutes, we're in Slidell, on the northshore of Lake Pontchartrain. It also has the added bonus of pretty good public schools and pretty decent amount of house for the money. We found a wonderful house about which we are very excited and it has access to great schools.

The problem is that our kid is only just 2 and we have another on the way and so far the day care options SUCK. Our child is currently at a NAYEC accredited facility that I cannot hope to duplicate anywhere in the new area. This is making me incredibly depressed and anxious and is beginning to color my whole view of the move. Thoughts such as "I'm going to permanently screw up my kid because he will be in sub-par daycare" and "He's going to be terribly unhappy no matter where I put him" are running pretty much non-stop through my head. I'm also getting weepy everytime I think about leaving our current arrangement. They love, love, love my child and he loves them right back.

Add to this that I am in the second trimester of a new pregnancy and pretty hormonal.

We're looking into other options for daycare in more populated areas (Mandeville) but I'm terrified that we won't find anything remotely acceptable. I'm sending husband out to do more reviews because I was seriously weeping in the middle of one location at the thought of my child being there.

Please help me get some perspective here and stop getting so emotional about the whole thing. I want to be happy about this move but I'm having a really hard time due to this one issue - or maybe, it's really hitting me that we're moving and leaving what we've built here over the past 6 years.

Any tips on coping? Anecdotes? Words of wisdom? Slaps?
posted by Leezie to Grab Bag (17 answers total)
I don't have kids so can't speak to the practical side of this, but when you can't stop ruminating on negative thoughts like this, a bit of CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) can be a big help in interrupting the thoughts and restoring some perspective. Maybe not full-on sessions with a therapist, but learning some techniques from a book might be useful (David Burns' Feeling Good is recommended a lot on here). Also: never underestimate the power of hormones, which will eventually subside. *Hugs*
posted by penguin pie at 3:02 PM on May 21, 2012

Have you thought of hiring someone to watch your little one in your home? Sometimes that can be very cost-effective.
posted by Isadorady at 3:10 PM on May 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

First, there is good daycare everywhere. There is. It might be a different type of situation -- small in-home daycare or a SAHM who just wants to care for one kid, instead of a center -- but you will find good care.

Second, leaving a good care situation is hard no matter what. My husband quit his job to stay home with our son last summer, and it was still SO HARD to let our babysitter go because she was great and our son loved her. Even though he was leaving to be with his dad -- which is ideal, right, being home with a parent? -- I still had to grieve the loss of awesome daycare.

It will be fine.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 3:13 PM on May 21, 2012 [3 favorites]

I agree with rabbitrabbit, you will find someone good. Over the years I've known a bunch of highly experienced early childhood and elementary teachers who have done home day care in order to stay home with their own young children. If there is any local licensing of home day care providers get a list of providers close to your home or close to your job and then check them out. Here's a link to a checklist for evaluating home daycare providers.
posted by mareli at 3:26 PM on May 21, 2012

We had an au pair (through one of the State Department sanctioned agencies) for many years, and it was the best possible arrangement for us. It brought a multicultural aspect to our daughter's life, gave us lifelong friends, and was very cost-effective and extremely convenient and flexible. I can't recommend this option enough.

We went through both cultural care and au pair in america, and were very pleased with both agencies. If this is an option for you, you can interview their local representatives and learn a lot about the program.
posted by Capri at 3:30 PM on May 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

To help put it in perspective...did you have such awesome daycare when you were little? How about your husband? What about your friends? I bet there's quite a range of daycare (or lack of daycare) experience among everyone's childhoods, and they all turned out OK.

Your children will be OK too.
posted by jpeacock at 3:31 PM on May 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Nthing rabbitrabbit. You're being a little overwrought. There are a couple of Montessori schools in the area, take a look at those. But whatever you decide will be fine and you can change places/people if something is unsuitable or if you find better options.

Change is hard. Instead of fighting it, try to embrace it. This is a chance for your child to make new friends. He'll adapt. Be sure that you don't push your fears on to him. You'll make new friends too. Children, dogs and pregnancy are conversation starters. Let people know that you're looking for a good place or person to watch your little one and you'll get feedback.
posted by shoesietart at 3:37 PM on May 21, 2012 [2 favorites]

When my two special needs kids were little, I learned that a tall glass of water, bite to eat, and/or ten minute nap could be the difference between suicidal depression and singing "the sun will come out tomorrow...".

I am guessing that with an active toddler, advanced pregnancy and upcoming move, you are probably pretty frazzled. Stop. Take a breather. Take care of yourself. Revisit your concerns with a full belly and clear head and see if they look better then. If they still look dire, start listing your options and having heart-to-heart talks with hubby.

Best of luck.
posted by Michele in California at 3:39 PM on May 21, 2012 [3 favorites]

Nthing rabbitrabbit.

Plus, all those kids in the really great school system, they have all the same day care options you have. They seem to turn out all right.
posted by China Grover at 4:28 PM on May 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Thank you all. This was just the perspective I was looking for. Keep it coming!
posted by Leezie at 4:42 PM on May 21, 2012

My cousins had an au pair as well. They loved having her, and she could help out with food shopping and later homework as well.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:03 PM on May 21, 2012

My wife is the Director of a NAC accredited daycare, which is the competing accrediting agency to NAYEC. NAYEC accreditation is expensive. The lack of it means little. The only thing accreditation really tells you is that some minimum standard was met when the accreditation was awarded. The only thing that really matters in a daycare is the Director. If she is good, your kid will be just fine. And there are plenty of lousy Directors running accredited daycares.
posted by COD at 5:06 PM on May 21, 2012

I remember crying a lot when I was looking for daycare for my first kid, so I could get back to work. Even though we have very fancy daycares here, nothing seemed right to me. So I totally hear you.
But the reality is that there IS good daycare available anywhere there's a population who demands it, and you'll find it just like I did.

Are there any local parents' online forums you could sign up for? My life got a lot easier when I found one in my city - any question I had about anything kid-related in the area, I could get recommendations from similarly situated parents within hours. It's been a godsend.
posted by fingersandtoes at 5:06 PM on May 21, 2012

I live just across the lake in New Orleans, and have worked in childcare off and on. What I've noticed is that the NOLA area has way more childcare professionals than it does children, which puts you in a good position to be choosy. Check out New Orleans Craigslist, and you'll see a ton of nannies and daycares advertising their services. If you can't find a daycare that suits you, a nanny or au pair may be the answer.
posted by Nibbly Fang at 6:21 PM on May 21, 2012

I found this searching for Montessori schools in Slidell - are you opposed to them for some reason? I have always heard they run really good preschools.
posted by nakedmolerats at 6:38 PM on May 21, 2012

If you can't find a daycare you like, why not a nanny?
posted by k8t at 7:50 PM on May 21, 2012

I went to plenty of daycares of varying quality. It did not traumatize me. As long as nobody there is abusive, your child can live with not-perfect daycare. (She says, optimistically.)
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:23 PM on May 21, 2012

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