Contemplating the life of my offspring

Brent doesn’t really like the idea of daycare. To him it’s just a waste of money for something we could do ourselves. (We both know this is not always the case). If we want to keep our house, I’m sure I’ll have to go back to work, plus I’m pretty sure I’ll want to since Brent works from home and we’ll probably be all sick of each other being home all the time.

He’s suggested that he take care of the kid at home. He’s sure it will work since a lot of his work can be done in off-hours and for the stuff that requires travel or scheduled conference calls, I can either take some time off or his mom could babysit for an hour or two.

What worries me about this is that he might find it too stressful and just freak the fuck out. He disagrees. He’s actually done way more kid taking care of in his life than I have so I’ll have to trust him on this.

Just to have a back up plan I looked into local day cares to see what’s what.

  • The subsidized day cares have big waiting lists but the private ones do not.
  • They run from $130-$200 per week.
  • They take children starting from 6 months to a year up until school age (5).
  • The cost seems to include lunch and snacks.
  • All the ones I’ve seen seem to stipulate that the care giver gets x number of days off for which I would still be paying but would have to make alternate care arrangements.
  • Many of them have immediate availability which means that I won’t have to worry about waiting lists.
  • Many of the care givers have training in early childhood education

My issues:

  • I plan on raising a vegetarian until they can decide for themselves if they want to eat meat.
    In addition to this I plan on feeding them only home made foods and I worry that include meals would be hot dogs and Kraft Dinner
  • I don’t like the idea of paying for a week of vacation and possibly having to pay someone else for day care at the same time. I also don’t like that the other alternative is that I take my vacation at the same time they do. I want to be free to choose my own vacation time I want to pay for the services I receive, no more, no less.
  • I plan on using cloth diapers but I have heard of some day cares not using them and the parents being forced to switch

So anyways, I figure we’ll try out Brent’s plan. I know some people have successfully done it (Dooce for example) so we can probably make it work. I don’t work long hours to begin with and they are reduced for half the year. I might even be able to work out some kind of half day schedule for a little while until preschool kicks in. If it really doesn’t work, then we can sign up for a local day care. Even half days of day care might just be the bit of help we’ll need.

With all that said, we’ll just have to wait and see and try stuff and hope for the best.

Crossposted to


On this day:

In 2007 – I ate the sourest orange in the world
In 2005 – head explosion

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31 Comments on “Contemplating the life of my offspring”

  1. rachaeldoss says:

    That sounds really good. I mean, you are taking into consideration a lot of things, which makes you far more prepared than some people I know.

  2. rachaeldoss says:

    That sounds really good. I mean, you are taking into consideration a lot of things, which makes you far more prepared than some people I know.

  3. metahara says:

    I’m in support of the stay at home dad idea. As a stay at home mom who worked “off hours” I could handle it, so, judging by this journal, I’d guess your hubby is as capable as I was.
    I chose to take in children to my home when my son was 2 and I became a single mother. I was certified and licensed, vegetarian (mostly vegan actually)…Maybe during toddler years, Brett can baby sit another child once or twice a week to bring in some money and a friend for the toddler…
    It all works out one day at a time. Most sane, healthy, intelligent parents who desire children and plan them as you two have, figure it out pretty well.

    • metahara says:

      and at first, the baby is on bottled breast milk or formula, followed by simply steamed and purred (anyone can puree) veggies and fruit or smashed ripe bananas…I have a feeling your hubby would take those things on like an art project- just figure it out, then do it with style.

    • metahara says:

      and at first, the baby is on bottled breast milk or formula, followed by simply steamed and purred (anyone can puree) veggies and fruit or smashed ripe bananas…I have a feeling your hubby would take those things on like an art project- just figure it out, then do it with style.

  4. metahara says:

    I’m in support of the stay at home dad idea. As a stay at home mom who worked “off hours” I could handle it, so, judging by this journal, I’d guess your hubby is as capable as I was.
    I chose to take in children to my home when my son was 2 and I became a single mother. I was certified and licensed, vegetarian (mostly vegan actually)…Maybe during toddler years, Brett can baby sit another child once or twice a week to bring in some money and a friend for the toddler…
    It all works out one day at a time. Most sane, healthy, intelligent parents who desire children and plan them as you two have, figure it out pretty well.

  5. I guess it depends on where you live but all the good daycares on this side of town have big waiting lists and the good privates ones are full. We got very lucky after looking for 6 months straight to find a spot for our first one. We got even luckier with the second one starting in a month or so, he managed to take the spot of someone who was leaving but we had to pay to reserve his spot for a few months. The $200 per week is low for the high side, many institution daycares run $1200-1400/month and the price changes a lot for a 6-18 month old compared to 18 months to 3 years. We pay $37/day for our 2 year old which we found was on the cheaper end of the spectrum. There is a centralized waiting list in the city for public daycares. I would strongly recommend you at least register the child once it is born so you have the option to choose a public daycare just in case.
    For public daycares I seriously doubt you will be able to find one that will accommodate your vegetarian and cloth diaper requirements. The vegetarian might be fine if you provide all the meals yourself. Private daycares are much more flexible (and usually cheaper) depending on the person you who find, some are willing and other are not. There is where things get tough, finding a good daycare that meets all your expectations and needs that has space. There are many more kids and daycare spaces in Ottawa so you have to ask yourself why a place would have spots available immediately, unless someone just recently left.
    As for food, it varies greatly between daycares. We have an amazing daycare provider who makes organic food, always has fresh fruits and vegetables. Our kids actually eat better at her place than at our own house many times. I’m sure others do make KD and hot dogs, you have to be careful. Another thing to watch out of is do they let the kids watch TV? Some places will do that to give themselves a break, ours has a no-TV policy which was one of our criteria. She also takes them out on many day-trips to farms, apple orchards, parks, museums, plays, musical events. That kind of thing is good to ask about to see how much learning and stimulation your child will get at daycare. We kept ours home until they were 1 and then put them in daycare. I can tell you that depending how well your child naps and sleeps during the night, it is a lot of working staying home to look after them and Brent might not have the energy/desire to work after hours. It would literally be like having 2 full-time jobs. Just things to keep in mind.
    The vacation thing sucks, but I’m guessing your employer doesn’t like paying you to take time off when you aren’t getting any work done either. 😉 It is just one of those things that you have to deal with. Sometimes it works out that we want to take our vacation at the same time, otherwise we either have to take some days off or hope that grandma/grandpa can come visit for a few days.

    • tianadargent says:

      My employer doesn’t have to pay someone else to do my job while I’m on vacation…

      • But they still have to pay you while you are not there. Everyone is entitled to vacation time. You won’t find any daycare providers that are willing to work year-round without getting any vacation just like you won’t find many people willing to work for employers who won’t give any vacation. It is unfortunate for us that we either have to take time off on top of that or pay someone else to look after the kids.
        Just like the new Family Day is a big rip-off for my family. Neither of us get Family Day off from work, but schools are closed and the daycare is closed so we have to use up one of our vacation days to stay home with the kids or pay someone else to look after them.

        • tianadargent says:

          This is the first job I have ever had where vacation time is paid. And this is not my first “career” type of job. So yes, everyone is entitled to vacation time. It being paid or not is another issue. I don’t want to have to pay for someone else’s vacation time and then pay for the service I am missing on top of that. And I don’t have to. I can choose not to use their services.

          • Wow, that is too bad about not getting paid vacation time since I’m pretty sure that is illegal, even part-time workers have to be given a percentage of their pay as vacation time even if they don’t get the time off. Even my minimum-wage part-time job in high school paid vacation time. It seems that only professionals such as lawyers and farm/produces pickers are not covered under Ontario law for vacation: http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/factsheets/fs_vacation.html
            But yes, you are absolutely right, you don’t have to user their service. You can easily choose not to use daycare and have someone stay home with the child instead.

          • Wow, that is too bad about not getting paid vacation time since I’m pretty sure that is illegal, even part-time workers have to be given a percentage of their pay as vacation time even if they don’t get the time off. Even my minimum-wage part-time job in high school paid vacation time. It seems that only professionals such as lawyers and farm/produces pickers are not covered under Ontario law for vacation: http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/factsheets/fs_vacation.html
            But yes, you are absolutely right, you don’t have to user their service. You can easily choose not to use daycare and have someone stay home with the child instead.

        • tianadargent says:

          This is the first job I have ever had where vacation time is paid. And this is not my first “career” type of job. So yes, everyone is entitled to vacation time. It being paid or not is another issue. I don’t want to have to pay for someone else’s vacation time and then pay for the service I am missing on top of that. And I don’t have to. I can choose not to use their services.

      • But they still have to pay you while you are not there. Everyone is entitled to vacation time. You won’t find any daycare providers that are willing to work year-round without getting any vacation just like you won’t find many people willing to work for employers who won’t give any vacation. It is unfortunate for us that we either have to take time off on top of that or pay someone else to look after the kids.
        Just like the new Family Day is a big rip-off for my family. Neither of us get Family Day off from work, but schools are closed and the daycare is closed so we have to use up one of our vacation days to stay home with the kids or pay someone else to look after them.

    • tianadargent says:

      My employer doesn’t have to pay someone else to do my job while I’m on vacation…

  6. I guess it depends on where you live but all the good daycares on this side of town have big waiting lists and the good privates ones are full. We got very lucky after looking for 6 months straight to find a spot for our first one. We got even luckier with the second one starting in a month or so, he managed to take the spot of someone who was leaving but we had to pay to reserve his spot for a few months. The $200 per week is low for the high side, many institution daycares run $1200-1400/month and the price changes a lot for a 6-18 month old compared to 18 months to 3 years. We pay $37/day for our 2 year old which we found was on the cheaper end of the spectrum. There is a centralized waiting list in the city for public daycares. I would strongly recommend you at least register the child once it is born so you have the option to choose a public daycare just in case.
    For public daycares I seriously doubt you will be able to find one that will accommodate your vegetarian and cloth diaper requirements. The vegetarian might be fine if you provide all the meals yourself. Private daycares are much more flexible (and usually cheaper) depending on the person you who find, some are willing and other are not. There is where things get tough, finding a good daycare that meets all your expectations and needs that has space. There are many more kids and daycare spaces in Ottawa so you have to ask yourself why a place would have spots available immediately, unless someone just recently left.
    As for food, it varies greatly between daycares. We have an amazing daycare provider who makes organic food, always has fresh fruits and vegetables. Our kids actually eat better at her place than at our own house many times. I’m sure others do make KD and hot dogs, you have to be careful. Another thing to watch out of is do they let the kids watch TV? Some places will do that to give themselves a break, ours has a no-TV policy which was one of our criteria. She also takes them out on many day-trips to farms, apple orchards, parks, museums, plays, musical events. That kind of thing is good to ask about to see how much learning and stimulation your child will get at daycare. We kept ours home until they were 1 and then put them in daycare. I can tell you that depending how well your child naps and sleeps during the night, it is a lot of working staying home to look after them and Brent might not have the energy/desire to work after hours. It would literally be like having 2 full-time jobs. Just things to keep in mind.
    The vacation thing sucks, but I’m guessing your employer doesn’t like paying you to take time off when you aren’t getting any work done either. 😉 It is just one of those things that you have to deal with. Sometimes it works out that we want to take our vacation at the same time, otherwise we either have to take some days off or hope that grandma/grandpa can come visit for a few days.

  7. Anonymous says:

    YES!
    I have exactly the same concerns. I don’t plan to have kids for another few years, but I would be curious to know how your situation works out. My concerns about the quality of the food are the same too… I don’t want my future kid eating hamburger helper or some shit like that. I wonder if there are veggie daycares… ?
    Andrea @ nomoredecorators.blogspot.com

  8. Anonymous says:

    YES!
    I have exactly the same concerns. I don’t plan to have kids for another few years, but I would be curious to know how your situation works out. My concerns about the quality of the food are the same too… I don’t want my future kid eating hamburger helper or some shit like that. I wonder if there are veggie daycares… ?
    Andrea @ nomoredecorators.blogspot.com

  9. pinkpiper222 says:

    Definitely try and do it yourselves for as long as you can, and if you find you need to send the baby/toddler for a few days a week later on down the road, it won’t break the bank…I was immediately turned off from daycare when they told me I had to pay for a bunch of days my child wouldn’t be there! And I don’t think they are open on any Monday holidays..lame.

  10. pinkpiper222 says:

    Definitely try and do it yourselves for as long as you can, and if you find you need to send the baby/toddler for a few days a week later on down the road, it won’t break the bank…I was immediately turned off from daycare when they told me I had to pay for a bunch of days my child wouldn’t be there! And I don’t think they are open on any Monday holidays..lame.

  11. clivec says:

    I highly commend your fully worked out plan.
    I don’t think he’ll freak out.

  12. clivec says:

    I highly commend your fully worked out plan.
    I don’t think he’ll freak out.

  13. if the daycare’s only sometimes i vote yes. i know that personally i would have loved to have had more friends in my childhood (as early as possible), but my mom raised me as a loner which sucks.
    i vote yes for the daycare so that the kid can get out more. y’know?

  14. if the daycare’s only sometimes i vote yes. i know that personally i would have loved to have had more friends in my childhood (as early as possible), but my mom raised me as a loner which sucks.
    i vote yes for the daycare so that the kid can get out more. y’know?

  15. Anonymous says:

    oh man
    When daughter #2 was born I took 9 months of mat leave and my husband took the rest. I highly recommend getting the guy to do some portion of childcare early on… for a host of reasons… but it was a great decision and I’m glad we went that route.
    When she was a year old we found a caregiver via Mothercraft. It was about $30/day and included snacks and lunch. She was matched up with an older Italian lady and it was awesome. The kid ate better than we did… all homemade stuff, all the time. The homecare option is great for really small kids.
    But when she got a little older we moved her to daycare – the Children’s Place on Hilson Ave. We decided she needed a more stimulating environment and more peeps to hang around with. It’s not cheap (we didn’t qualify for subsidized day care) but they were wonderful people who truly love what they do.
    – they’ll deal with allergies, but I don’t think they make special veg-only meals. The meals are vetted by nutritionists, most everything is made from scratch and menus are posted for all to see. The teachers eat the same food as the kids (that’s gotta tell you something)
    – the teacher/kid ratio is great and they’re all ECE educated
    Personally, I think you might have trouble finding a daycare centre that do cloth diapers. You might have to consider doing the cloth diaper thing during mat leave and switching when your child leaves home.
    Good luck! It’s good you’re thinking about it now…
    andrea from the fishbowl


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