Mothers face many challenges in choosing a caregiver for a child when it is time to return to work. In North America, this choice is often made in a context of limited supply with several significant factors constraining choice. Indeed, many mothers have very little effective choice at all. Using in-depth interviews with mothers who have recently chosen childcare services, we explore the choice of childcare and the post-choice stage of ongoing childcare consumption, and we account for our informants' reframing of choice outcomes that are often not reflective of preference. Building on prior research on choice and post-choice outcomes, we reveal the inherent complexities in mothers' ongoing use of childcare, and we offer policy recommendations based on our deep understanding of this intensely personal consumption context.