Picking a daycare for an infant is no easy task. If you live in a big city, it can also be quite competitive. A friend of mine, we’ll call her Julia, had a baby one year prior to me and advised that I look immediately and get on wait lists as soon as I know I am pregnant. So I took her advice and got on a list pretty early on, before I had told most people that I was pregnant. At the time the daycare said their wait list was around 9 months out, which would be perfect timing with my maternity leave.
Julia was using a woman who lived near us and had an in-home daycare and she LOVED this woman, whom we will call Claire. Claire was also half the cost of the daycare whose wait list I was on. Julia insisted that I must use Claire and offered to tell her about me and “get me in” with her.
This sounded great to me. Paying half and much and having a word of mouth recommendation sounded perfect.
Every so often Julia would tell me that she was telling Claire about my pregnancy. How far along I am, how I am excited to use her to watch my little one. Everything sounded great.
And then things got weird.
Around January (I was due in April) I asked Julia for Claire’s phone number so I could start coordinating with her myself.
Julia got weird about it and said she’d “ask” Claire if it was okay if she gave her number to me. Which had me a little worried, after all, why would Claire be mad at Julia giving me her number if she’s expecting to care for my child?
When I followed-up about the number, Julia said she forgot to ask if she could give me her number, but that Claire isn’t sure yet if she’d have a spot for me and so I didn’t need to “waste my time” calling her about it yet?!
So this whole time she was assuring me that I’d have a spot with Claire and suddenly she’s not so sure… I was PISSED and confused and I panicked.
So I reached out to another friend, we’ll call her Wendy, who also had a baby about a year before me (her daughter and Julia’s son were about the same age). These two were not friends but were mutual acquaintances. I asked Wendy if she had found a daycare for her daughter (at first Wendy’s mother was watching her, but I knew she was looking for another option). Wendy knew that Julia was going to get me in with Claire and so asked what happened there. So I told her that Julia was suddenly being weird about it and wouldn’t give me Claire’s number.
I suppose I shouldn’t have said anything to Wendy. This was my mistake.
Wendy reached out to Julia and called her out for not giving me Claire’s number. BIG DRAMA. SO then Julia confronts me about talking shit behind her back. She gives me Claire’s number but says she’s going to “stay out of it now” and stop talking to Claire to try to get me in with her.
So I guess it’s my fault now.
So I call Claire. And she is elusive as to whether she will have a spot available. Apparently she had some older kids who should be starting kindergarten at the end of August, but she hadn’t confirmed with their parents that they will stop using her daycare services. I needed daycare starting mid-July anyway.
And now I was only on ONE list because I trusted my friend and counted on getting in with Claire. Another mistake.
I never brought it up again. I actually don’t know where the breakdown was with Julia. If she had second thoughts about me getting in with Claire After all, her son was the youngest there, and my baby would probably need more attention in the beginning, which might take away from her baby.
Maybe she wasn’t sure if I actually wanted to use Claire and so she didn’t really push it with her, not wanting Claire to save a spot for me and then have me back out, she didn’t want to risk souring her relationship with her son’s provider.
But this is really just me making excuses for her.
Luckily the one daycare list I got on came through and we were fine.
Needless to say, I have learned my lesson with Julia. We were pretty new friends when I first got pregnant, and now that I know her better I see a side of her that I have to keep an eye on. She is very competitive. Detrimentally so. She is unfortunately not a trust-worth friend.
In some ways I feel sorry for her. She is so insecure and constantly compares herself to others. I figured out a long time ago to not compare myself to others. Some days I still struggle with it, but mostly I am happy with who I am. Constantly comparing yourself to others is exhausting. Everyone you meet will be better than you at something, and worse than you at other things.
Why do we women do this to ourselves? Have any of you had a similar experience with a friend, or another mom? How did you handle it?