I’d just returned to work from maternity leave. I was starting in a new position and my brand new 12-week-old was starting at daycare (I won’t even go into the emotional roller-coaster that is leaving your first baby at daycare for the first time). We were about 3 weeks in when my husband got a call around 10am.
“First of all, Margaux is fine,” the woman on the phone said. “However, we need you to come get her by 1pm. We’re closing.”
Closing. As in forever. In the middle of the day. On a Tuesday.
After a bit of panic, my husband picked up my daughter. What were we going to do? We both had to work (remember, I’d just started a new job a few weeks earlier) and we had to find a new daycare for an infant. We’d also just paid for a full month of daycare and had no extra money! So, we did what parents do day-in and day-out; we figured it out. With help from family and a lot of luck, we found a new daycare that we absolutely love.
During this crash-course in new parenting, we picked up a few lessons about dealing with disasters.
You can’t put a price on the value of friends and family.
So many people came to our aide that week to help with childcare. As cliche as it sounds, it really does take a village.
People are more understanding than you expect.
As a woman, I didn’t want to ask for special accommodations in general; especially my third week on the job. What I found out was that my boss was shocked that I was so calm and that I already had a plan in place. She was happy to let me work from home for a couple of days while we waited for my daughter to start at her new daycare. I just needed to ask.
Within 24 hours, we’d toured 3 new daycares and signed my daughter up. This meant that I already had a plan in place when I spoke to my boss. It also meant that we were able to grab one of the few open spots for an infant in the area that all of the parents from our now defunct center were vying for.
It will be okay, because that’s the only option.
We have a tiny human depending on us now. When the unexpected happens, we can take a few minutes to freak out, but then we have to use the rest of the time to figure it out. There is no other option. Accepting that fact has actually been empowering.
What didn’t we learn through this whole ordeal? Why the daycare closed.