Like everything I write, I want to start this post off by saying this is 100% my opinion and experience. I know everyone has their own way that they feel about childcare and who they want to watch your babies…and that’s okay! I know Moms who will ONLY leave their child with family members – and I know Moms who will leave their child with anyone who will take ’em. I can only speak to my experience with Calvin, but hope that this helps to ease at least one new working mama’s pain of returning to her job. For most Mom’s, the decision to return to work isn’t a choice, it’s necessary for her family. And even if it is a choice, it’s still not easy to spend so many hours away from your baby-ever.
A few weeks ago I was in Calvin’s school picking him up and I saw the tiniest new baby in his room. A few minutes later her mom came in to pick her up and we got to chatting. She proceeded to tell me that her daughter was a preemie of 4lbs when born and at 3 months she was just over 8lbs. It was her 2nd day back to work and she teared up telling me how hard it has been on her. Calvin weighed more than her baby of 3 months, WHEN HE WAS BORN. I cannot even fathom having to leave him at that size. My heart hurt for her and I wanted to hug her and tell her repeatedly it does get better – in time. Us Mom’s have to do what’s best for our family, even if it’s returning to work earlier than we want. It’s okay to be sad at the beginning.
Leaving your child for the first time in the hands of essentially, strangers, is a very strange concept and hard time for new moms. For being someone who is so focused on her career and motivated in the professional aspect of my life, I was absolutely shocked at how quickly my priorities changed. I became obsessed with maternity leave and can say that those 3 months were the some of the best times of my life with my new little guy. While I don’t necessarily wish I was a SAHM, I do wish I had just a bit longer before I had to leave him. Signing up for daycare, going back to work, and adjusting to life as a working mom, was and has been the most challenging time of my life.
For weeks I worried about the care of Calvin, how much attention he was getting, how he was developing, etc. The primary colors everywhere and the smell of the place made me nauseous. I would hardcore question the teachers, heavily scope out the landscape of the room, and avoided drop off duty 100% of the time.
I still worry about those things but 100% feel that the positives of taking your child to a care center outweigh the negatives. Calvin has grown to love his school, his teachers, and is developing right on target!
Here are my favorite benefits – I think the pictures will speak for themselves in these areas 🙂
^leading the team meeting
^rollin’ with my homies
^ my all time favorite – facepainting day!
^I’ve tried to get Calvin to color with me at home once and it was a disaster
^Calvin’s “art” that I will save forever
^food>sleep lol! ^dumping toys all over the place and making a mess somewhere that’s not my living room^playing while the other babies sleep
Some other positives I’ve noted of sending Calvin to daycare:
Adult interaction – He is able to get used to being with other adults outside of just Craig and I – he loves his teachers and more importantly, they love him!
Structure – I was horrible at structuring our days while at home with him and basically let him do whatever he wanted…they keep him on a set schedule for when he eats and he naps as needed throughout the day
Opportunities for us to connect with other parents – they host events such as “back to school night” and a Halloween parade for us to take part in with him and the other families. I discovered another Mom of a baby in Calvin’s class had the same midwife who delivered her daughter that delivered Calvin. Such a small world.
Trusted professionals – these caregivers are professionals at watching babies and it is their focus all day. If Calvin were at home with me, I know I would be trying to do a million things at once. They can recommend how much he should be eating, call out anything that seems abnormal, and give us advice on what to watch for. As a first time mom, I don’t have anything to compare to!
Daily updates – we get daily updates to our emails through a program called Life Cubby. At the end of each day we have a summary on when he ate, slept, and even how often they changed his diaper. The picture updates from Life Cubby are how we have been able to save all of these great photos of Cal.
So – yes daycare is seriously scary to a new mom. It’s scary when they get sick for the first time, or when they get hurt for the first time, but those things are going to happen either way. I’m here to tell you that it does get better and you will see your child learn to love it. Are there days when you just DON’T want to go to work – or when you DON’T want to take your baby to daycare? All. the. time. Pretty much every day. But because we have time apart during the week, our nights and weekends are treasured. They are special, and they are enjoyed to the fullest extent.
To the working mama, you are doing great. It’s going to be okay – you will spend your days kicking ass at your job and still come home each day to the biggest smiles you have ever seen. You CAN have both and you will learn to find the beauty in balancing it all 💙
Leave me a comment below or send me a message if you want more info or to connect – I love hearing from all of you! 💕