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About to have to put my son in day care, and I want to cry just thinking about it!!

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
So since I've started going back to work about 5 months ago, I've worked during the day, 6:30am to 2:30pm and my husband would leave for work at 3:00pm to about 11:00pm, that way one of us could always be with the baby. Well, toddler now I guess. He just turned one. Basically, seeing eachother only a half an hour a day is not going well, so he just took a new job to work days also so we can actually be a family TOGETHER at nights. I've put my son on the waiting list for about 5 day cares, ranging from 3-20something kids on the list in front of him, and my dad will watch him in the meantime, but can't watch him on a permanant basis, because he needs to make money too! Luckily, he works for himself and can take the time off for us in the meantime.

But, I'm freaking out about day care. The one that he is most likely going to get into b/c it has only 3 kids on the waiting list seems pretty nice. The owner is great, and when I was there there were only 2 kids in the one year old room, with two adults. I know thats great and everything, but I'm still freaking out.

So basically, someone just please tell me that he will be okay and that I'm doing the right thing. I'm going to have a nervous breakdown the first day I have to drop him off. I just know it!! I want to cry just thinking about it and its not because of me not being around him, because I work during the day anyways, so I'm used to THAT. Its just the thought of daycare. I never went to daycare when I was younger.

post #2 of 10
I would strongly reccomend you, dh or your dad take a couple days off to attend daycare WITH him the first day to let him become comfortable there in your prescence. A couple days if possible, then leave him there just part of the day, you know, ease him into it. I know that may not be possible but that is my advice if you can swing it! It will make him more comfortable and you as well I think.
post #3 of 10
Yep, I agree. The more transition time there is, and the longer it can go on, the better. I didn't go to daycare either, but I started taking my daughter to a little morning co-op at 8 months, and to real (well, OK, hippie) daycare at 23 months. She's been there a year, and even now, I try to make sure I can spend 15 minutes with her at dropoff. It does a few things: Helps her settle and say goodbye at her own pace, gives me time to talk with the staff & get to know them, lets me play a little with the other kids or read to a bunch and get to know them, lets me see how things are going generally there. Lately we've been singing a "goodbye, have fun playing and working, see you later" song. Sang it in the bath tonight when it was time for me to get out & do my homework, and at the end she just said, "Are you going to work now?" and I said "Yes," and she said, "Wait, I have to rinse you off," and she did, and that was that. "Go work now," she told me.
post #4 of 10
I agree with the transition time if you can do it. I also want to let you know something from the *other* side. I have worked in child care for the last 24 years. I had my own lisenced in home care, I worked in a center, and I have been a nanny for the last 15 years. I know how hard it is for parents to leave their children with someone else and I can't speak for all who work in child care, but I can tell you...I truely care for and love the children in my care. I do want what is best for the children in my care. I give hugs, kisses, guidance and loving support and encouragement to the kids who's parents have placed such trust in me and my abilities. They aren't my kids, but I do love them and I am just as protective of them as I am my own child.

I know it's hard, but generally people who seek out a position in child care (and stay with it) truely do love children and want the best for them. I do what I do hoping that parents who need/want to work can do so safe in the knowledge that their child/ren are well cared for and loved until their parents return.
post #5 of 10
Ditto the transition time. I'm a teacher, so I'm off in the summers. And even though Luke has been going to DC since he was 10 weeks old, he still is a little leary of it when we both go back to school in the fall. I usually go with him a day or two before I have to return to show him that everything is fine. For him, it only takes a day or two and he's fine.

Your son will be fine!!
post #6 of 10
My ds (5) has been in day care since he was 6 weeks old and there's never been an issue. We've had perfect situations for his age all along the way beginning with one-on-one care in his first year then working up to the larger group he began attending at 2 1/2 - all family home day care.

Dd (19m) spent her first year home with dh and I was pretty nervous about her starting day care. Even though it was going to be with our regular dcp and I was 100% confident she'd be well cared for and was already loved by the sitter, I was afraid that she'd just freak. Well, she absolutely loved it, still does. She gets up in the mornings yelling "Barb, Barb!" and throwing on her shoes - just can't wait to get to Barb's house.
post #7 of 10

It sounds like you are making the decision you need to make. Your ds will pick up on your tension and know that something is "wrong" if you are not able to make peace with the daycare situation. You want your ds to get from you that the daycare is a fun place to be, not someplace to cry about having to go to.

I agree to visit - also look around this forum for some ideas. Think about what great family time you will be able to have now that you and your dh and your ds get to see each other at the same time!
post #8 of 10
Of course I have to suggest this.... have you thought about hiring a nanny instead? I've worked in daycare many, many moons ago.... and know all about both sides of the fence.

Your child is able to stay in his home environment, eat the food you wish him to, get one on one attention and also get picked and chosen social activities and field trips, will get sick less often, Plus you get someone who will educate, stimulate, focus on your goals and dreams with your child, keep things organized, be the family assistant with many things, and you form a bond with the person that takes care of your child........ and etc. I could write book about the benefits of hiring a nanny.

I understand that daycare is the only option for some, but I firmly believe(or else I wouldn't have been nannying for the past 7 years) that a nanny is the best choice in childcare there is. And if you can swing it, then you should.

I wrote about this on another thread...

post #9 of 10
I know just how you feel. Leah has been in care almost from the beginning. You will need to build a relationship with the caregivers so that you and they can depend on each other. I have found that once trust is established, I still feel the heartache often (see my thread in Working Mamas about a Knife to the Heart), but I know that it will be okay. And after a while - she would get upset when I came to pick up because she wanted to play longer!

Take the time you need to build the trust. Call and check in - most places understand that and will let you know how it went after you left. When Leah was a toddler, she would cry and be upset. I would stay as long as I could, then call to see how she was once I got to work. 99% of the time, she was fine within a very few minutes after I left. They would call if there was a problem or she just was miserable for too long.

Good luck!
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for your advice. I'm going to try to get a couple days off to stay with him. The one day care I really hope he will get into, the lady has been doing it for about 20 years. She seemed really sweet, and she makes sure to keep the child to teacher ratio way below whats required. When I was there, there were two babies, two adults! I know that some people had probably already picked up their children, but still, I found that very nice.

When we were there, he was wiggling to get out of my husbands arms to play SO bad. He really liked it there, so thats a good sign too.

I would LOVE to hire a nanny, but I don't think I would be able to afford it.
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