Anyway, I am happy to report that I'm mostly pleased with how our childcare arrangements have turned out - we have a babysitter come to the house to tend Sterling while I go to work. About half the time, Sterling cries (ok, screams) when I leave and I just have to trust that the babysitter will be able to distract him out of it sooner rather than later. Those days, I feel really bad the whole bike ride to work and I sometimes wonder what I am doing there in that classroom when my baby is crying without his mama there to comfort him.
The other half of the time, I leave and he doesn't care (ok, he doesn't notice because I am able to sneak away). Those days, I feel a little better about the choice to go back to work, and it's as fulfilling as it should be.
Fortunately, the babysitter really does have good skills at calming Sterling down. She does light tidying up or laundry folding while she's at the house, and she takes out the trash when she leaves. I was especially gratified today after work when I came home and saw that they were outside watching the street sweeper growl up and down our lane. The babysitter said they heard it from inside and she took Sterling out so he could watch it do its work.
I almost got tears in my eyes, because you know what? That is exactly what I would have been doing with Sterling at that moment if I'd been home - watching the street sweeper with my son.
Part of finding good childcare is finding someone who will take care of your baby as well as you would, if you were there with him. I was so happy today to see that happening.