Why Daycare is More Than OK

It is no secret I love daycare. They have taken great care of my boys. They teach them tons of things in ways I couldn’t dream of. They teach sharing where I can’t really do the same peer to peer lessons at home. They make best friends and I have even made mom friends myself. I could, of course, go on but that’s not my point here. My point is that I don’t view daycare as something I had to settle for. Sometimes readers will ask “how did you make the decision to go back to work and send them to daycare?” or the more abrasive “How do you send your kids to get looked after by a stranger?”And after I flip a table at the later, I say, “I never really considered the other, honestly.”

I knew I would go back to work and so did my husband. It wasn’t something we had to discuss or weigh the options. It just was. And it wasn’t out of financial reasons. We would have been fine. But really it was because I’ve never known any different. I was in the care of an in-home daycare or center from the time I was 6 weeks old until 7th grade {yup you read that right…more on that later}. I had a working mom just like me. It’s what I know and not only that, I loved daycare.

daycare

As an only child, daycare was my siblings. One of my friends I met when I was 4 in daycare was in my wedding. I remember the pride of learning my letters. Reading with my teachers. Choosing my activities for the day. As I got older, I had friends to hang out with after school. I learned basics of cooking and cleaning to help the teachers. I helped with the little ones. I even would go to the grocery store with the director once I was much older during the summer. This is why I stayed until I was in the 7th grade. My mom was pretty much paying nothing for me to go since I just helped out in the afternoons and it was a safe place for me to be. I didn’t want to leave because the teachers were a part of my family.

I usually tell people this story and they look at me kind of funny and you might be now too, but whatever. I know some of my fondest childhood memories were from learning the “streets” of daycare. Through the good and the bad, but I think it helped me become a person I am today.

I don’t remember being distraught I was left with someone else. I still had evenings, weekends and some summer days to spend with my family. I can say I have NO negative stigma with daycare…so I never even let the thought enter my mind when I got pregnant. Landon would go to daycare and it would be awesome. And it has been.

Both boys always were learning things I wouldn’t even think to teach them. Planets. How bug inhabit dead logs. Musical instruments. Their teachers have been way better equipped to understand their various developmental milestones. Especially as infants, I used the teacher’s experience to my advantage. They knew what was “normal” and when something was off. They could recommend ideas and calm our fears. It was invaluable.

So new mom, daycare isn’t going to ruin your kid. In fact, it is going to make them into the great people they are destined to become. I know this is just my experience but I hope it can make the drop offs a little easier and remind you that not all change is bad. Sometimes, it’s awesome.

 

3 Comments

  1. I’m with ya. Daughter of a working mom here too, and we also could make it work for me to stay at home but I have absolutely no desire to do that. I love my job, and I love what my kids learn at daycare. I went to SO many different daycares as a kid, some were good and some I didn’t like, but I did learn something from every single one.

  2. I kind of pride myself that my kids can’t end a session somewhere (soccer, karate, etc.) to see the teacher/coach/leader picking something up without running to help. Because that’s what they learned they should do 🙂

  3. I never went to daycare as a kid, and yet I always knew my kids would. Me not working was never an option in my head, ever. And I’ve never apologized for it or felt guilty about it – I think my kids have benefited in so many ways from being out of the house and in someone else’s care for part of their days!

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