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A mothers Loneliness

I am lying in bed wondering when the next feed will be.  It is usually around this time so it feels almost pointless to go to sleep before he wakes.  It's in these moments I dare to let my thoughts loose.  The ones I have been too busy all day with my baby to listen to.  It's in these moments I hold back the tears and try to push the welling grief down.  I am led right next to my husband, he is sleeping, and although I could just put my hand out and touch him - he feels further away than ever.I am lying here knowing I am lonelier than ever. My baby is asleep in the adjoining room, he has a cold and I can hear his nose whistling as he sleeps soundly.  In that room is my whole heart, my reason for going on, my reason for living.I have never had many friends, I came from a military family so we moved so many times friendships were fleeting and even in my adult life I have also remained nomadic! Maybe it's a learnt behaviour, not holding onto friendships because I always leave…

The trials and tribulations of choosing a nursery

It has come far too quickly! Everybody told me it would fly by and it has done.  I cannot believe that I am fst neqring the end of my maternity leave and as the SMP runs out I have to go bck to work!  Yes I would rather stay at home with my baby boy, but sadly for me that is just not a viable option. I could weep and break my heart over this but instead I am trying to focus on the positive that I only have to go back part time.  What this has led to is the trauma of deciding which nursery to send my most prized treasure too!  Something I was not anticipating to be quite as difficult as it was. For me geographical poximty was kind of irrelevant as I live in a rural village in a rural area so the local town is really the only option; any nursery would require a car journey so this factored quite low on the priority list. Which opened up about 6 possibilities. People told me I would have a gut feeling abour a nursery and it didn't matter what anyone else told you, you would know which one was right for you.  How true this turned out to be! The very first nursery I visited was my favourite on paper. It read beautifully on their website, it was reasonably priced and they had a baby room and seperate sleep room which was just what I needed.  One of my closest mummy friends was sending her child there and so I went full of confidence and as I pulled up I was certain I would love it.  Admittedly alarm bells rang a little when after even calling beforehand to say I wouod visit I was left standing in the foyer for about 10 mins, but I was going to love this nursery so I just ignored that niggling feeling that she was making sure everything was a-ok and everyone knew there was a visit. But as I walked round I felt my heart drop. I couldn't see my little boy there.  It just didn't appeal to me at all.  It wasn't horrible, it wasn't the staff or the facilities. It just wasn't right for me.  From the sleeping areangements to the play area it just didn't give me a warm happy feeling. In fact as I left the nursery a lump formed in my throat and by the time I had buckled Charlie into his car seat the tears were falling. I messaged my husband and said "well our favourite is out so I am going to have to resign and stay at home."  It took all my composure to not just go home and instead I decided to go to the one I had already written off because I had heard bad things about it, I decided to visit the one I expected to be awful to see how bad these nurseries could get. SomI did what evryone says you should do; just rock up and knock on the door.  And thank goodness I did. Instantly I was greeted with a warm welcome taken straight into the nursery to see everything I had worried about in the last one was exactly how I had imagined it to be.  It was perfect! And yet this one was the one I had heard gossip about! Gossip about a lot of staff leaving and it being in turmoil. I loved the nursery, the manager was lovely, the staff interaction appearred to be lovely, everyone was happy and friendly. So I was about to leave thinking this is perfect but what about all the crap I have heard can I just ignore it, no. So I did something I would never have done before I was a mum, I said to the manager as I was going "I love the feel here but I am a bit apprehensive because I am sure you are aware that there has been some negative talk about this nursery and the staff turnover and children leaving." I was prepared for the blag, or denial, but she just told me exactly what had been happening, that she had been brought in to improve things and had made many changes; what the problems had been and how they had tackled them.  And in that moment I knew that this is the nursery for me.   I visited some other nurseries just for completion and in case I was missing something and still nothing compared to the feel of the one I chose. Don't get me wrong I am still apprehensive, it is such a huge decision to make, but I have popped in once more and so has my husband and we feel like we have made the best decision we possibly can.  So in summary I have learnt several things through this experience: 1) Your gut instinct will always be right! Trust your instincts if you don't feel comfortable with a nursery at a visit or something you see doesn't feel right for your baby don't worry about walking away. And don't be afraid to go back again if you want a second look to reassure yourself or put some fears to rest! 2) What you think is important for your child in a nursery may not match that of your friends so don't feel pressured into choosing a nursery because someone you know thinks its the best. It may be best for their baby who sleeps anywhere but your baby may need quiet sleep rooms to have their nap! Every baby is different and wvery family has different needs and priorities. 3) Don't let gossip put you off visiting somewhere.  Gossip lasts for a long time and often is exaggerated or not wholly accurate, it takes years to build a reputation and only moments to destroy one.  It also may be the case that the shake up of losing a reputation has led to drastic changes and an increased drive to improve so you may actually find standards far higher therethan some other places. Don't take someone elses word for it, check it out yourself! 4) choosing a nursery is going to be an emotional rollercoaster.  Decide what is important to you and in what order; location, price, facilities, food, activities, access to outside play ateas, staff, opeining times, sleep areas etc. and then decide which nursery met your requirements the best and then also factor in the one you liked the best!  You may find ome nursery has everything you want but is above your budget, or is an extra 5 miles away, in this case you may have to do pros and cons and decide if its worth it or if your second option has other things to offer shich outweigh the cost/distance? 5) Just turn up and view them - avoid mealtimes as these are often intense times for staff - but if you are told to make an appointmet or not shown straight in, bear in mind there could well be a reason i.e staff ratio.  I personally found the turning up very hard as I am naturally quite shy, but if you call in advance try not to be specific i.e say this afternoon or tomorrow morning.  If they insist on a time which 2 of mine did, then be aware this is not necessarily a true snapshot it could well be a managed snapshot. 6) Nothing is going to compare to home and this is not going to be easy on you.  Try to see the positives, I loved how happy the children looked in all the nurseries, making me question whether my requirements are for me or the baby! I also saw how much interaction and socialisation my baby was going to get and I just know in my heart that he is going to get sommuch from his time in nursery! Good luck!

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