this momma is a baby aka my fear of daycare

I’m a big baby and I’m afraid of putting Summer in daycare.

I’ve written 2 dozen different versions of that sentence in 2 dozen different posts I haven’t published and every time I write it, I get a little less afraid.

Kinda.

Scott doesn’t have a job yet but the day is coming when someone calls him and says I want you to work for me and then he asks can I have my big piles of money all at once or do you divvy it out in 2 week increments? and then they ask to what piles of money are you referring? And he says you know, the piles of money my wife is waiting for you to throw at me so she can tell her bosses that she’s sorry but she is too tired to come in to the office ever again because rolling around in big piles of money is exhausting and she has to focus really hard at her new job which consists of taking care of our baby and rolling around in the big piles of money I bring home and they say yeah, about that…..

I know that daycare may end up being the greatest thing for Summer. I understand that if not now, it will eventually have to happen when she goes to school because I am NOT homeschooling her with my inability to read anything other than books made of girly paperback fiction with girly pink covers and my heavy reliance on spell check and a calculator. In daycare, she’ll get to play with other kids and make friends, and she might learn things from teachers that Scott and I might not think to teach her. And maybe, just maybe, being somewhere for 8 hours without a tv on in the background might be a good thing for her growing brain and current lack of ADD. I get all that. And it’s kind of blowing my mind that I just got through writing all that and actually sort of meant it this time instead of writing it to try to convince myself of it while sobbing ugly tears all over my keyboard.

But I’m still afraid.

And I know that my fear comes from the fact that I can’t wrap my brain around handing over my most precious thing in this entire world to a complete stranger and crossing my fingers that they’ll be good to her. And if she’s inconsolable or cranky or bites someone or screams or won’t take a nap or does something that a toddler probably will do 5 times in 1 hour, things that are only cute if it’s your own kid, I’m just supposed to convince myself that no one will spank her. Or yell at her. Or ignore her. Or spank her, then yell at her, then ignore her, and then kill her. Or anything horrible that my scaredy momma brain can think of. And I know I can meet the teachers and I can try to get myself as familiar with the place and the people as possible, but at the end of the day, if the place and the people are horrible and I have no way of knowing it and I just keep bringing her back day after day and my baby wonders why her own momma who is supposed to love her forever and ever keeps taking her to the horrible horrible place called daycare and she’s screaming inside and so so scared but can’t actually tell me so, well, I think you can tell that scares the shit out of me.

So anyway, that’s where I am. I am scared shitless but I’m trying to make myself ok with the thought of total strangers watching my baby before the time comes that I have to drop her off so I can go keep earning a paycheck…..

Holy crap, this momma need-to-protect-your-babies is a crazy powerful thing.

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6 Comments

Filed under Parenting

6 responses to “this momma is a baby aka my fear of daycare

  1. Deep breaths. When you have to cross that bridge- you are really going to surprise yourself when you find the place and people that just feel right. I cried BIG time when I had to go check out day cares. So much, that Hubby had to leave work and come meet me. Then as the day went on- we saw a couple places that we liked. We got an instant read for the people; discussed it a ton; checked at least 3-4 references, and finally found a place that we now LOVE.

    Hazel was jumping up and down when we arrived this morning to day care; she was so excited. She basically jumped out of my arms!

    I am not saying that it isn’t rough (tons of mommy guilt), but you will find a place that fits her and your family. Not to mention our little lady (much littler than Summer) has blossomed. And you’ll be amazed how much they can teach her so fast!! If you find the right place, you’ll realize that the people running it were totally put on this earth to run a day care!! And they have the knowledge and patience to guide your little one- tantrums and all- into a great day (with no TV to boot)!! Let me know if you ever have questions.

    Been there. Hardest thing I have ever done, but I 100% think that she’s in a great space, and honestly, they do a better job then I could.

  2. Marisa

    Sweet Pea? They’re only strangers the first day. I will type more later.

  3. Abby

    I know how you feel- we knew going in that we were going to need daycare and had one picked out while I was still pregnant. We managed to hold off until six months, then she had to start. I cried the first day. I made up excuse after excuse to call the director (ostensibly to ask a question, but really to ask if she’d pop her head in the infant room and check things out). Finally the director told me, it’s totally normal to worry and if you want to check in with your baby every day that’s fine. You don’t need to pretend there’s an issue with your checking account just to call us.

    I didn’t really care for the baby lead teacher at first (she had her associates in child development and took herself really, really seriously) but I got over my grudge and realized she really was just trying to help, and I started taking some of her advice.

    My baby loves her daycare now. We’ll pull into the parking lot and I’ll say, yay, we’re here! Yay daycare! And I’ll look in the backseat and my baby will be clapping her hands. She’s still happy to see me and to go home, but I know she enjoys the day too.

    The first two weeks will be really hard, no doubt. I came so close to quitting my job after that first week. My baby cried when I left her at the daycare every day for the first week, and I swear to god she seemed mad at me when I brought her home. My dad says there is no way that is possible, but it really seemed like it to me. But after the second week, it was like a switch got flipped. It just got easier. I still miss her like crazy all day at work, and I feel guilty that I give her bottles at home while daycare is sippy cup only with a strict nap schedule while I kind of wing it on the weekends, but I am super happy with her daycare.

    Good luck, I am sure you’ll find one that you click with and you will learn to trust completely.

  4. Lynn

    I’m a toddler teacher at a local daycare. With that being said my 17 month old stays home with my husband because that’s what makes sense financially for my family. I see both sides of the issue. From the teacher perspective- I promise you your daughter is not going to do anything that some other child hasn’t already done at least 5 times; therefore, there will be no reason for anger, yelling, spanking etc. After the 3rd kid pees on you these things become funny I swear. I also promise that daycare is 100000 times harder on mommy than it is on baby (add on another reason why my daughter isn’t there yet). My biggest advice is find a center that gives you the warm and fuzzies and allows you to call as many times as you want to check on your precious little one 🙂

  5. I don’t know about your options in Chicago, but here, it is common for people to start with a Mother’s Morning Out program or something similar where the babies only go a few days a week for 2-4 hours at a time. If there is a daycare situation similar to that available for you, you might try it while Scott is still staying home, that way your fears will be relieved a bit before you have to send her to daycare more often.

  6. Pingback: 1st day of daycare | rabit stew

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