Before I became pregnant, I never really realized how difficult it is to find daycare. I started searching a few months before Liam was born. Everybody I called was either full or not taking babies. Two weeks before I had to go back to work, I desperately started calling people who I had already talked to before. I finally found somebody who was willing to take Liam, but not until mid-September. I had to return to work in mid-June. I still had no idea what I was going to do with him for the three months until that spot opened up. So I called Mae.
"Alright," she said. "I'll take him until you can find somebody else."
"I found somebody who is willing to take him in September," I proceeded nervously. "Will that be too long?"
"Well, we'll have to see how he does," she said.
While I felt a little better knowing I had somebody, I still wasn't completely at ease. It was pretty apparent to me that Mae wasn't all that excited about taking Liam.
The first day I went back to work, I left Liam at home with his daddy. He manages a local resort and can't take weekends off, so he usually takes Mondays or Tuesdays off to stay home with Liam. That night, Liam stayed up all night. As I stayed awake trying to comfort him, the thoughts began to race through my head. "What are you doing? Your kid obviously needs you at home. You can't send him to daycare tomorrow. She's a complete stranger, and she doesn't even want him."
Slowly, I grew accustomed to taking Liam to Mae's. We soon discovered that he actually slept better when he'd been there all day. It's obvious the other kids like him, too. When I come to pick him up after work, I'm greeted with four-year-olds hollering to let Mae know that "Little One's Mom is here" and telling me, "I got to play with your baby today." When I walk into the living room, I usually find Mae holding him, talking to him, and he's usually cooing right back. "We're just telling fish stories," she says.
I didn't want to give her up. "Remember when we first started bringing Liam here, and you told me..." I started one day.
"Oh, it's okay. We'll keep him," she jumped in before I could even finish my sentence.
While I obviously wish I could stay home and spend more time with my baby, I'm happy to have Mae watching him. It makes returning to work that much easier.