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How do you feel about childcare at a gym? - Page 2

post #21 of 50
I'll just give my experience with the gym nursery and hope it helps a bit :-)

When my girls were about 3 yo and < 1 yo I started taking them to the gym nursery together. It has mostly worked out well for us. We would go pretty regulary (3ish times a week for < 2hrs each).

They are now 5yo and 2.5 yo. At this point I generally prefer that they are with dh or a sitter while I go to the gym but in the beginning the nursery was the best option for us. It is usually easier to use the gym nursery than our sitter or dh because it allows us to be totally flexible. If we are having a bad day then we skip it.

There was a period of transition where they adjusted to the new surroundings - noises, toys, kids, caregivers. Some days are better than others. Many days they ask to go. They have even made friends there and so have I. I know some people here think it's awful etc. and I have those moments when it doesn't feel right. But I try to keep it all in perspective.

I am APish in some ways and not in others...on this parenting journey I have only learned to do what works best for my own family.

Deep down you'll know what's right for you in the end.

Someone suggested preschool and that is a really good idea as an alternative if something like that could work out for you. My almost 5yo started at 3.5yo and after a pretty smooth transition she absolutely loves it. When she would have a difficult time saying good bye I really trusted the teachers...whereas at the gym they are busy juggling a much more scattered group. And I trusted that the preschool teachers would engage her and were equipped to handle a 3.5 yo wheras at the gym nursery they don't necessarily have the resources. They're pretty much just there to keep everyone alive for a couple of hours!

My physical and mental health is important to me...as a mother, as a woman etc. I feel like I can be a better mom if I am healthy and strong and get a little time to myself. This has been the best way for us to accomplish that. It's the way I want to do it.

Good luck, mama.
post #22 of 50
I work with 3.5 year old and to me they are still babies. Needy that is. I wouldn't do it.
post #23 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodygumdrops View Post
Kids gets cold all the times, especially toddlers. No biggie.
Hmmm...that was a rather dismissive comment. Well, for us it wasn't "no biggie." I expect a few colds and maybe one stomach bug a year, not one after another after another.

And as for happy mamas make happy families, well sure! But having to miss my workouts because I needed to keep my sick kiddos at home wasn't making me happy. Our solution has been for me to go very early in the morning, or right after dinner, or right after we get the kids down at night.

For many families, avoiding frequent colds and other viruses is one of the fringe benefits of hs'ing. And I don't mean we're locked up at home all winter...far from it. But we've been lucky enough to avoid being around kids who are contagious. :
post #24 of 50
getting sick can definitely be part of the gym nursery...but I do agree that kids can get colds from anywhere and some seem to catch everything while others don't. we just got our last batch of colds over the christmas holidays while visiting family and not from the gym. If my kids kept getting sick over and over from the nursery I probably would have pulled out too. But we didn't really experience that.
post #25 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodygumdrops View Post
I'm going to be the voice of dissent here I guess. ... Kids cry sometimes when they have to go through an adjustment....I personally dont think it's going to cause long damage or anything. Happy mamas make for happy families...
I agree with you.

When my kids were 3 I wouldn't have left them. They are 10 and 12 now, and I would do a lot of things differently if I could. If I could do it all over again, I would have made myself more of a priority because for me, the long term consequences of always putting myself last and doing my best to make everything perfect for my kids was exhaustion, which lead to depression, which lead to weight gain.

It's not a simple as "If I don't go to the gym today I'll get depressed." It's that year after year after year of putting myself last eventually got to me.

Different things work for different families and if you don't want time for yourself, you don't want to exercise, or your child is constantly sick, then don't leave them in the gym nursery. But at this stage of my life I feel that a 3 year old should learn to adjust to mommy getting a little time for herself. Once a child is old enough to understand that mommy will come back (which a baby cannot understand but a 3 year can) the fact that it makes them unhappy that mommy isn't with them 24 hours a day isn't enough, IMO, for mommy to not do things she wants to do.

The way that I think this relates to homeschooling is that if you are serious about your child being with you for the next decade, then it might be a good time to start to figure out a balance. And not doing things that you want to do because it makes your child unhappy isn't balance.
post #26 of 50

My experience with gym nurseries...

We've used two gym nurseries. In one, the nursery staff made extra money babysitting for regular customers (ie the people who were most determined to exercise regularly), and so when a regular came in with an obviously sick child, they tended to look the other way. There also seemed to be a feeling among the people who worked out there that it was ok to bring sick kids to childcare because they "needed" to workout. I once watched a woman carry her lethargic 4 year old into the baby room, and try to convince the childcare worker that her obviously sick kid should be allowed to stay in there and sleep. Perhaps only because I was there, staring at her in horror, the childcare worker told the mother that she couldn't do that "anymore". The 2 months we belonged to that gym were the sickest our family has ever seen. As I write this, I wonder if the giant indoor play structure didn't contribute to the illness problem-- I wouldn't want to have to climb that thing and wipe it all down.

Now we belong to our local Y, and we haven't had any trouble. The culture is totally different, and I think the people who work out there would be embarrassed to bring a really sick kid in. In addition, the room is simple, and much easier to clean.

For the OP, I'm not sure what I'd do. I think it would depend on why I thought my 3 year old was upset. FWIW, my 2 year old had a terrible time in the gym childcare when he had just turned 2-- I gave up on it for a few months, and now he goes happily and has a good time while he's there. I don't think it was about familiarity with the place, he just wasn't ready to be away from family yet. Once he was ready, there was no gradual adjustment, he went from always being near tears to being absolutely fine, and walking right over to some toys. Another change that happened about the same time was that he started getting more interested in toys, especially the classic "boy toys" that the childcare room has so many of. He also likes talking to random strangers more now-- they don't understand him, but he still likes to talk!

ZM
post #27 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by jplain View Post
Hmmm...that was a rather dismissive comment. Well, for us it wasn't "no biggie." I expect a few colds and maybe one stomach bug a year, not one after another after another.

And as for happy mamas make happy families, well sure! But having to miss my workouts because I needed to keep my sick kiddos at home wasn't making me happy. Our solution has been for me to go very early in the morning, or right after dinner, or right after we get the kids down at night.

For many families, avoiding frequent colds and other viruses is one of the fringe benefits of hs'ing. And I don't mean we're locked up at home all winter...far from it. But we've been lucky enough to avoid being around kids who are contagious. :
If I offended anyone, that wasnt what I intended. I wasn't singling out anyone either. But again, toddlers constantly have runny noses...its a part of growing up. I still think it is important for mamas to take time for themselves. I totally agree with Linda on the move. My aunt had three kids and she always tells me that if she could do it again, she would have taken more time for herself and her marriage. I know that it is important for me to go to the gym and take a yoga class or other exercise.

I also don't think a 3 year old is a baby. An infant is a baby. My child is 2 and has been fine in the gym daycare. He actually enjoys it. Today, we went to look at some preschools (thats why I'm in homeschool forum) and he was very attracted to the kids and activities and I think its mainly because he was already exposed to something similar.
post #28 of 50
Quote:
But again, toddlers constantly have runny noses...its a part of growing up.
Not to be smug about it, but mine didn't and don't. Runny noses are rare around here.

Perhaps this belief is one of the reasons my daughter picked up so many colds at the daycare gym. :
post #29 of 50
My 3.5 yo is doing fine without me in church daycare. I am sure your DS will be just fine with the situation.
post #30 of 50
Thread Starter 
I tried again today, for twenty or so minutes. He cried when I left and was teary when I returned. However, this time he was talking to the head teacher and they were coming to see me -- and he willingly got his boots and put them on for her. But now he says he does not want to go back.

I just feel like I need to either decide I'm doing it and not have doubts or not do it at all. I agree that I really need this time for me. I'm with him almost every minute of the day (including nights, when we co-sleep, and he wakes up many times). But I wonder if it's my job to give him a gentle push in a safe environment or if I'm traumatizing him.

Man, this parenting thing is hard. Why can't I be like my mom and say something like, "Knock it off! You're fine!"

Oh, wait. Because I had a miserable childhood and am still dealing with issues...
post #31 of 50
How does he do when you go out and leave him with his father?
post #32 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post
How does he do when you go out and leave him with his father?
He's fine. He used to have a hard time with it -- I just started going out once a week to a knitting circle a few months ago and now my DH even puts him to bed with no trouble.
post #33 of 50
I bring my kids to the gym to play while I work out.
My kids enjoy it and because we homeschool my older tow kids are there with the baby. They are very good with the baby so I feel good that I'll know for sure he is fine while I'm exercising.

I ask the child care provider to try to comfort him if he fusses (bring a toy, pick him up or whatever) but if that doesn't work and he just wants Mama to come get me. They have a few times. I nurse and check in with him and then he's been fine and I go work out some more.

When my dd's were younger and they didn't want me to leave I used to stay with them and got them used to the space and the kids and talked it up about how Mama wants to exercise and I'd be back to play some more.

For me, it's been worth the effort.
post #34 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by jplain View Post
Hmmm...that was a rather dismissive comment. Well, for us it wasn't "no biggie." I expect a few colds and maybe one stomach bug a year, not one after another after another.

And as for happy mamas make happy families, well sure! But having to miss my workouts because I needed to keep my sick kiddos at home wasn't making me happy. Our solution has been for me to go very early in the morning, or right after dinner, or right after we get the kids down at night.

For many families, avoiding frequent colds and other viruses is one of the fringe benefits of hs'ing. And I don't mean we're locked up at home all winter...far from it. But we've been lucky enough to avoid being around kids who are contagious. :
Quote:
Originally Posted by jplain View Post
Not to be smug about it, but mine didn't and don't. Runny noses are rare around here.

Perhaps this belief is one of the reasons my daughter picked up so many colds at the daycare gym. :

You know, my son hasn't had a cold in so long I cant remember the last time. I guess what I should have said, was that I don't think that fear of childhood colds should keep you from trying out the gym. Unless your babe has a compromised immune system or something. I used to do home daycare and my son got more colds from my one daycare child then from the gym.
post #35 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by New Mama View Post
I just feel like I need to either decide I'm doing it and not have doubts or not do it at all.
Absolutely. This is key. Not that you can't be flexible and change once you've made a decision (if he does not improve after a while for example; or if you decide not to do it if you find yourself suffering the consequences of not doing this for yourself). But making a decision and trying it for a while is a good idea.
I agree with the PP's who suggested trying a pre-school instead. A gym daycare is just "babysitting". A pre-school has more of a purpose; and you can shop around different pre-schools to find which ones suit your philosophies or just feel right.
A few months ago, I started my now-3-year-old at a home daycare, 2 mornings a week. This is our version of "preschool". I knew he needed an even gentler introduction to the big wide world away from Mommy than a preschool, so I found a home daycare with just 5 kids and a very warm environment. When he first started, the DCP gave him lots of individual attention - still does, of course, but she really worked on helping him adjust at the beginning. He still sometimes cries at drop off, but is ALWAYS full of beans and happy at pick-up (ie not just happy to see me, but clearly having a good time). I've struggled at times with guilt about it, but then I remember how I get when I *don't* have a mommy sanity break like this. I am a better, nicer mom because of these breaks, and DS is getting some great socialization and doing crafts & songs & activities that I don't necessarily do with him at home.
post #36 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by New Mama View Post
He's fine. He used to have a hard time with it -- I just started going out once a week to a knitting circle a few months ago and now my DH even puts him to bed with no trouble.
He had a hard time with it, but now he is fine. Why should the gym be any different?

He is there with another child that he knows. He can learn to relax and enjoy himself with other people without you. He is a little boy, not a baby. There's no reason to treat him like a baby. He'll pick up on your expectations. If you expect him to adjust to this, he will. As long as you feel guilty and like you are supposed to keep him happy at all times, he won't be happy.
post #37 of 50
Thread Starter 
Well, after the last post, I'm hesitant to write this, but...

I've decided not to push it anymore. My son just kept saying he didn't want to go back there (it was the first thing he said when he woke up this morning)...it was breaking my heart. I told him I wouldn't leave him to exercise anymore, and I apologized for leaving him before, telling him that I thought he would be okay, but he wasn't, so I wouldn't do it again. Two minutes later he asked if we could go there today (they have an indoor gym for kids that we also go to).

We may still join the gym but I won't be leaving my son in the childcare room, at least not now. I HOPE he'll be okay at some point in the future, but we'll see.
post #38 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post
How does he do when you go out and leave him with his father?
I'm curious about this too? My children cried when under the age of 3 and left in various places, but if I was gone for at least a couple of hours or more the caretaker would always tell me my child stopped crying for me within a few minutes after I left. They would forget about me it seems.
post #39 of 50
I'm not clear about what you apologized for? Or in what way he wasn't ok.
Maybe you mean becasue he cried or didn't have fun??

If you don't want to go because he didn't like it of course that's fine. If you want to go and want him to get comfortable then maybe you can try some of the suggestions offered.
What works for each family will vary.
post #40 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mary-Beth View Post
I'm not clear about what you apologized for? Or in what way he wasn't ok.
Maybe you mean becasue he cried or didn't have fun??

If you don't want to go because he didn't like it of course that's fine. If you want to go and want him to get comfortable then maybe you can try some of the suggestions offered.
What works for each family will vary.
I was apologizing for leaving him when he was asking me not to.

I feel like I did try various things -- staying with him the first few times so he would get used to the place/teachers, leaving for only five or ten minutes the next few times, showing him where I would be, giving him something to look forward to afterward.

And several people mentioned preschool...I'm planning on homeschooling my son and don't want to send him to school of any kind. I was making an exception for the gym daycare because it would only be a few hours a week and I wanted to start exercising.

Honestly, I'm not judging any other mamas who would (and did) handle this situation differently, but it just felt WRONG to me. I know he's not a baby and can understand that I'm coming back, but somehow it did seem similar to CIO, for me. He may have gotten used to it, but because he was ready or because he realized that I would force him to go anyway?
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