My daughter started daycare a couple of weeks ago and if you follow me on social media, I was not silent about how nervous and scared I was. After all, she had been home with me since she was born. Although I started working again 8 weeks postpartum, I have a remote position so I was working full time, while having her home with me full time as well.
When she was a newborn, it truly wasn’t bad. I hadn’t been working with my company for that long prior to giving birth, so my caseload was light and manageable. And because I sleep trained my daughter, I knew exactly when her naps were going to be and I planned my work around those times. When she was awake, I could be up and tending to her (as well as answer emails, complete documentation, etc.) When she was asleep, I went into full-focus work-mode: making calls, having meetings, etc.
We changed our minds three different times before I finally decided Jordan had to go to daycare. We would put it off at 3 months, 5 months, and again at 8 months. But at the top of the year, my caseload grew very quickly and so did Jordan’s need for adventure. By 10 months, we decided that we had put it off for long enough. Jordan had to go to daycare.
I had so much mom guilt for sending Jordan to a daycare; mostly because I worked from home. I assumed (and so do most people) that WFH means your children don’t have to go to daycare. I mean you’re home anyway right? WRONG! Absolutely not. Raising and tending to a baby is a full-time job. If you have another actual job to do as well, then doing both simultaneously is extremely stressful. And the older the child gets, the harder it gets.
With COVID-1 still hanging around, more people are working remote positions. I’ve found that a lot of people are judgmental about people working from home and still sending their kids to school. (Most of these people don’t even have kids, but I digress.) It made that mom- guilt hit even harder. Once we started to send her, I had to repeat these affirmations to reassure myself of the decision we made.
You have a job, sis. You are someone’s employee. You’re sending her to daycare because you have an actual paying job to do, and you cannot do that job correctly if you’re also tending to her at the same time.
She will learn how to play with other kids. Because of COVID19, we have had WAY FEWER playdates than we thought we would be having. She’s never around other kids. She needs to increase her social development.
You managed for 11 months without sending her to daycare. Be proud of that! Lots of people don’t get that opportunity!
(This one is specific to our family) The people who own and manage the day care are people that we know and trust. They will take good care of her.
You deserve some quiet time and time for yourself! You need this in order to be the best mother and wife you can be.
If you’re struggling with the same decision, repeating these or coming up with your own may help to ease your mind. It’s ok to be nervous and worried about her sending your baby to daycare for the first time, and it’s ok to be counting down the days until you can send her to daycare. AND, it’s ok to feel both at the same time!
There are valid reasons to feel however you feel. Try not to second guess yourself. Whatever decision you make is the one YOU made, and you made it for a reason. At the end of the day, you do what is best for you and your family! You got this, Mom!