Today marks the two week countdown until my maternity leave is up and I have to leave this little face!
Originally I had planned on taking 12 weeks, the maximum amount allowed by FMLA. When Whitlee needed to be delivered 6 weeks early, the neonatologist suggested I ask to take more if I could because it would be best to delay her exposure to daycare until she was at least 3 months old.
Thankfully, I have been blessed to work for an amazing family owned company and I have a wonderful boss (who also had a preemie baby once upon a time!) and they completely understood and allowed me to take all the time I needed, just as long as I ultimately come back. I’m not tooting my own horn, but I play a pretty important part to a major project. My replacement has been doing well, but a coworker told me my boss is dying without me there, so we set the return date for March 16th, when Whitlee is a day shy of 16 weeks old.
We decided to split Whitlee’s time away from me a few different ways. Hopefully it works out to help her be a well rounded, social baby as opposed to totally freaking her out to be all over the place. My work schedule is what they call a 9/80 schedule where we work 4 days a week, 9 hours a day, and on Fridays, we alternate between working 8 hours and being off. Basically I’m off every other Friday and the Fridays that I do work, I get off an hour early.
Nolan’s parents asked to keep her full time when I go back, but we decided we wanted her to go to daycare, at least a couple days a week. There’s not a daycare in our town that takes babies under a year, so I toured one near Nolan’s work about 30 minutes away and I loved it. There were so many things I thought were really great about it.
-It’s all baby girls in Whitlee’s “class” and the class is small. There are only 5 other babies. I like the smaller class so she’ll get plenty of attention.
-They are all CPR certified. One of her “teachers” is actually an RN also. And all of the employees have been there for a very long time.
-You can’t even get into the facility without being buzzed in. Love that!
-It’s literally within walking distance of Nolan’s work. He can get to her very very quickly in case of an emergency.
-They send home a report card each day telling how much she ate, how many dirty diapers, how much she slept, and if there was anything noteworthy that we need to know (sickness, accidents, milestones, etc.)
So Mondays and Wednesdays, she’ll be going there. Nolan will do drop off and pick up and will probably go down and check on her at lunch the first couple of times. Tuesdays and Thursdays, she’ll go to my mother in laws, which is on the way of my 10 minute drive to work, so I’ll do drop off and pick up and probably visit at lunch every chance I get. And every other Friday that I work, she’ll be staying with my mom. She’ll be getting plenty of interaction with other kids her age and plenty of grandparent time. I’m really hoping it works out well, because this was the only thing that felt okay to me.
If it works out, we’ll continue this until she’s about 18 months old, then she’ll start going to a preschool on our street and she’ll go there until she starts real school. We’ll probably still do Mondays with my mother in law, and Fridays with my mom, and preschool Tues, Wed, Thurs. Everyone in our town loves this preschool and there is usually a waiting list. Thankfully, I’m that insane mom who’s had her kid on the waiting list since before she was born… 🙂
So here’s to hoping my last two weeks at home go by extremely slow. I love spending every single minute with our girl!