Thursday, August 23, 2012

My Love/Hate Relationship With Daycare

Toward the end of May, I had to enroll my girls in daycare. I was offered a position making a decent salary and for my sanity, I could no longer be a stay at home mom. Not just for my sanity, but my fiance and I were barely making ends meet (still struggling with that as well). I knew that I had to get back into the workforce. No one forced me and I was still receiving unemployment, but the money was not enough. At the time I did not realize how luck I was to be able to stay home with my girls for 10 months (now I do). However, I had to find a daycare in three weeks.

Provider or Daycare?

My mother works for an organization that helps mothers (like myself) find a daycare or provider in the area, assist those in developing a daycare and assist those to become certified. I say this because my mother has trained me as to what to look for while searching for a provider or daycare. What is the difference between a provider and daycare? A provider is one who has a daycare in her or his home. Daycare is in a daycare center. As I began my process, I wasn't sure where I wanted my girls to stay; a provider or daycare? It came down to three things, reference, cost, and quality.

Researched equals Frustration 

My first tip is locate your local child care referral agency. In New York, there is the Day Care Council of New York and Center for Children's Initiatives. In New Jersey, it depends on what county your located. I unfortunately had the "pleasure" of working with the four C's. After contacting the agency, they emailed me a list of licensed providers. However, most of them spoke Spanish. I then contacted NACCRA, now called ChildCare Aware Of America. They were able to email me a list of daycare centers in New Jersey. I called every single one that was close to my area or in my area and I found one that was affordable, friendly and only 10 minutes away from my house.

When Visiting a Daycare 

Do not be fooled by the charming teachers and executive director. As a new mom, you must take a closer look at what is in front of you. Here are two great lists that I found on the four C's website and Center for Children's Initiatives website that I used to help narrow down the daycare centers.

Pros about Daycare 

It is never easy to leave your children with someone else for over 7 hours a day. I complained when I stayed home with them but now I wish I could stay home with them all the time. I miss them so much and I wonder what they are doing during the day. However, daycare has it perks:

  • Your child (children) will socialize and interact with others 
  • Your child will pick on new skills to add to their development: My girls would not hold the bottle, a week into daycare, my girls were able to hold their bottle, say "Mama" and "Dada", standing up and trying to walk. They learned to crawl in daycare as well. 
  • Undivided attention: The teachers love my daughters. When I was home with them, I could not give them all of my attention because I had stuff that I needed to finish. 
Cons about Daycare 

Daycare is not all rainbows and glitter. There are some set backs of taking your child into daycare:

  • Be prepared for your child to get sick more often: When my girls were home, they rarely were sick. Now that they have been exposed to other children; they have runny noses and coughs. The good thing is that it makes their immune system to work harder. 
  • Staff does not work like a mother: I already created a routine with my girls and now that they are in daycare, they have a whole different schedule. I constantly wondering if they are getting fed everything, are they taken naps. However, the staff is wonderful so I stop worrying so much. 

The best part of daycare is picking my girls up and seeing them smile or crawl to me with excitement. It is the best feeling in the world! Any questions for us? Contact us at

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Has Been Pregnant Before

It is a question that most doctors ask mothers to be. It is a question that most mothers to be answer without hesitation. It is only when they give birth and their bundle or bundles of joy comes home that their answer sometimes change from the sure yes to the I do not think I can do this.

Breastfeeding. A word that when asked, the answer seems like a no brainier, until mothers have to deal with crying, screaming and every other headache of taken care of a newborn. My doctor asked me if I was going to breastfeed around my second trimester, like most, I did not hesitate. "Of course, Dr. R!" I exclaimed as if his question was ridiculous.

Then, my twins were born. The hospital made sure that a nurse came into the room and explained from breastfeeding, how to use the pump, the pros of giving your children breast milk to at least 6 months, etc. In my situation, I had an advantage. My girls had to stay in the NICU, which gave me plenty of time to pump milk and bring it to them. Every two hours of uninterrupted pumping I was able to do. In the NICU, I also did Kangaroo care as well as latch on, which didn't work out so well.

It wasn't until the girls came home my uninterrupted flow of producing breast milk came to a halt. It was hard to pump milk when one twin would start crying because they were hungry. I couldn't catch up to produce enough milk so that I would have some in the freezer ready and waiting.

When the girls turned four months, my milk supply went completely dry. I tried most of the tricks, looking at pictures of my girls to become emotional, drank tea and ginger. Nothing worked. After the four months, I turned to Similac formula and have not turned back. Now, my girls are 12 months and healthy.

This goes into my headline for the blog; Mayor Bloomberg of New York City who wants to crack down on mothers using formula for their babies and force them to breastfeed. Mayor Bloomberg has even gone as far as to have several hospitals in the city hide the formula from site in order to advocate for breastfeeding.

Yes, this is the same Mayor that wants to tell us fat New Yorkers that we are drinking too much soda and to get rid of the large size cups. I am all for breastfeeding; it is better for your little one when a mother is able to. Mayor Bloomberg speaks as if he knows what is like to be pregnant, as if he knows what it takes to breastfeed. It is more work than most think. Some mothers cannot produce enough milk for their children and therefore have to rely on formula.

What Mayor Bloomberg does not realize is that WE AS MOTHERS who carried our children for how ever many months can decide what we are going to give to our baby. Mayor Bloomberg, you are not the father of any of these children nor do you put food in their mouths. Mayor Bloomberg, you do not have the right nor the credentials to tell mothers what they can feed their babies.

Here is the catch. If mothers BEG for formula, the hospital is allowed to give it to them, but not without their last two cents on how breast milk is best. If mothers can breastfeed their children for a year, go for it. If you can't, that does not make you a bad mother. This is what formula is here for as a substitute with the nutritional substance that your children need. Specifically, my twins were born premature and if I could not supply them with milk while they were in the NICU, I knew they would drink Similiac Neosure. Why? They had chooses. Mayor Bloomberg, WE have choices!

I am not against breastfeeding, I have done it. I am against a MAN who has not carried any baby telling mothers what to do. Here is an article about the LatchOnNYC initiative .

What are you thoughts?