Mom Life

The Truth About Daycare

The Truth About Daycare

Stories of sticky toys, germs, dirty kids, and bad caretakers took away from my confidence in sending my son to daycare at an early age. On top of that, there’s some kind of social stigma that having to send your child to daycare is a “shame”. That daycare somehow minimizes the amount of parenting one does in a negative way, and that someone else is taking the brunt of ‘raising’ your child…

The Truth About Daycare

I always considered myself lucky I didn’t attend daycare growing up because my mom was a stay-at-home mom. Now that I have two kids of my own, I’m not even sure how my mom kept the four of us home without going completely insane. Being a stay-at-home parent has got to be one of the most emotionally testing (but, of course, rewarding) jobs there is today. 

Nowadays, it’s difficult to carry a family on one salary. It seems inevitable that at some point before kindergarten or full day pre-school, arranged childcare is the only way to manage childcare while both parents work. As of 2011, over 60% of families utilize some form of arranged childcare, 24% sending to a daycare facility*.

My husband and I both work full-time jobs. We looked into daycare when in-home care just wasn’t cutting it anymore and luckily found a great daycare facility close to home. Our son now goes twice a week and we’ll up it to three days in a few months. Though sometimes it’s a little sad to drop our son off and say goodbye…

The truth about daycare is that I love it (and I don’t feel bad about that one bit).

Because of daycare, I get to breathe. I get a minute to return to the pre-kid self that I rarely see anymore. I can fold a load of laundry, enjoy silence, and drink a cup of coffee while it’s still hot.

Because of daycare, I’m more patient. I’ve had a break during the day so I can be a better parent at night. I can prep dinner before my son gets home and spend some extra time with him after I pick him up. Unlike most days, I don’t feel completely defeated by 6pm. The separation brings us closer when we’re back together again.

Because of daycare, my son is learning in ways that I can’t always provide at home by myself. He’s learning letters, numbers, shapes, and social norms while making friends. When I pick him up, he talks about his day and sings songs he’s learned. Throughout the year, he comes home with little handmade holiday arts and crafts that I have grown to cherish. 

Because of daycare, I’m learning to accept help, when to ask for it, and that it truly takes a village. I’ve stopped carrying guilt and the feeling that someone else is ‘raising’ our kids; and I can now recognize that a few hours in daycare is well worth the happy mom my son comes home to.

Now it’s not all perfect. I’m sure he’s exposed to every sickness under the sun. Sometimes it’s hard just getting him ready and out the door. I think he’s had a runny nose or cough for the better part of the year. But he’s happy, I’m happy, and it’s working for us.

 

*Source: Who’s Minding the Kids? from census.gov

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10 Comments

  • Reply Nicole February 12, 2017 at 10:10 pm

    There’s nothing better than someone who understands. I agree with every single word. I’ve been a SAHM for a little over two years, and my son will be starting daycare soon, while I work part time. I think it’ll be good for him. It’ll be good for us. And if something like daycare can help everyone be happy, then why not? Thank so much for this post.

    • Reply Megan Z February 12, 2017 at 11:27 pm

      Glad you can relate! It’s a tough step but so necessary!

  • Reply Michael October 18, 2016 at 9:22 am

    This is what makes parenting difficult but I love how you handle it

  • Reply Tiffany @ shortsweetmom October 10, 2016 at 11:41 am

    I think it is great that you found something that works for your family. It is great that both you and your son are happy with the daycare.

  • Reply gloriousmomblog October 9, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    I love hearing perspectives like this. Every family is different, and you are doing what’s best for everyone. That’s not selfish. I’ve never had any regular help with my three littles, which is a blessing and a curse.

  • Reply Candace @ Fullest Mom October 8, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    I feel there is nothing wrong with parents that chose daycare. Every family has to do what is best for them. We, however, found the opposite when it came to expenses and daycare. It was cheaper for me to stay home. If I continued to work, my money would only be to maintain my car, gas, car insurance, and daycare. I am glad that you are advocating that individual choices are ok. This is a good post and an assurance for parents that weren’t worried.

  • Reply Shann Eva October 7, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    I agree! I’m a stay at home mom, and we joined a gym last year that has childcare. Now, I get a workout, time alone, and they get social interaction and have fun. We all needed it and love it.

  • Reply Stefani @ Crafty Christian October 7, 2016 at 7:44 am

    That’s the thing about parenting- our choices are made for our families and what’s best for them. Kudos to you, mama for finding what makes you guys happy! If we make different choices for our families, it doesn’t mean one is right and one is wrong, or one is good and one is bad. If we are making choices out of love for our family, they are all good choices <3 XO

  • Reply theforeverteacher October 7, 2016 at 7:27 am

    I am a astray at home mom and have been home with my son for 2 years before he started school on tuesday/thursdays…… I cried the first 2 weeks like a baby …especially since he was upset. Now he loves it and has changed so much! I agree… daycare has its pros for sure.

  • Reply Savannah (@HowHesRaised) October 7, 2016 at 5:20 am

    This is a really honest and open piece, and I definitely enjoyed reading it. Sometimes, daycare is necessary, and it’s something that we’ve talked about utilizing in the future. I have a huge anxiety to overcome about daycare, personally, as I spent a couple of years in one as a child that was NOT very good.

    As long as a parent does their homework, and really looks into the history and credentials of the daycare, it is definitely possible to find a place you can trust. One of my very good friends works in a daycare, and she absolutely loves her job and loves her group of kids. They treat them like their very own. Thanks so much for sharing! <3

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