Daycare Dilemma - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 01-30-2007, 01:43 PM - Thread Starter
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(Forgive me if this is a repeat post - it disappeared?)

I have just started back at work full time (much to my dismay ) Despite my desperately searching for an alternative, DH and I both have to work full time. We have worked out with our employers that we can each be home with our 5 mo old baby boy one day a week, but the other three days he is in a daycare center.

The good: Daycare is right next door to my office. I can get to him in a second if I need to. I go in every day and spend a full hour with him at lunch. He spends less time there, because as soon as I am done with my workday, I'm with him - I don't have to drive far away to get to him. The caregivers are friendly, and from what I gather he plays happily most of the day.

The bad: It's a big corporate daycare center. There are as many as 14 infants and 4 caregivers on the busiest days. Although I've seen very loving interactions with the babies, there are times, I know, when they can't immediately attend to my crying infant. When I dropped him off this morning I was horrified to hear a baby crying alone in her crib while the caregivers were busy with everyone else.

We've already determined that we can't afford a nanny. And any other daycare option would be much further away, so I wouldn't get my lunchtime reunions everyday.

Have I made a dangerous tradeoff? The guilt of having to go back to work was bad enough. Leaving him in a situation that I don't feel wonderful about is worse. But it's so important to have the opportunity to reconnect with him during the day - and he always seems very happy and connected to me when I see him.

Am I a bad mommy?
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#2 of 4 Old 01-30-2007, 02:03 PM
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You're a great mommy! I'm jealous that you get to see him during lunch, I work 45 minutes from daycare, my husband is an hour! So, when he is sick it's pretty much an hour wait. But, we also couldn't afford a nanny, and enrolled in a daycare, 2 caregivers and up to 8 infants. But I have to look on the good side, there is accountability. Lots of people going in and out, requirements on CPR/first aid, rigorous background checks.

It is hard to see a little one crying, but mornings are probably the worst time. I have gone in middle of day to pick DS up numerous times, and it's always so peaceful. They are singing to them, or napping.

I agree..the lunch time is so worth it! Seeing you for an hour, plus you can pick him up right away. I would have made the same choice. Also, my DS is now 10 months, and he LOVES playing with the other kids. He is already very social. So, I do think there are some benefits. I miss him like crazy, but everynight he gives me a huge smile when I get there, clearly he is not upset that he's there!
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#3 of 4 Old 01-30-2007, 03:00 PM
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You're a great mama! Honestly, no matter what situation you choose, there will probably be a time when you hear a baby crying. Even if you had a nany, she may choose to use the bathroom while babe is say, in the swing or play yard and might cry.

Sure, we don't want to ever hear our babies cry. believe me, I know. I swear I could have an anxiety attack when dh calls me from home with E crying. Makes me sick to my stomach.

Anyway, I think the time you spend with your babe during lunch is SO important. I did it with ds1 for about 15 mos and it was so nice to reconnect with him midway through the day.

Steph, wife to C, mama to O :, E , and I :.
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#4 of 4 Old 01-30-2007, 03:06 PM
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I think it's fine to communicate to the providers about your expectations too. And it also helps to know the whole story. For example, when we went for a visit to our daughter's day care center before she started in the infant room, there was a baby crying and crying in his crib. We flat out asked the director why there was a baby crying with no one paying attention. She said that the child's parents had requested that he be put to sleep this way. You could tell she was really unhappy about it, and she assured me that they would never do this with my daughter unless we asked - but they tried to follow parent requests about sleep.

Now, if it were MY center, I don't think I would have let a kid cry like that, no matter what the parents thought was best! But we did go ahead and place our daughter there, and I can say that we were generally very pleased with her care and felt that the kids got a very quick response from providers - most of them seemed to have mastered the ability to hold three babies at once! Also, our daughter was a very good-natured, non-fussy kind of baby, so that factored into our decision.

We also do three days per week in care, and we have found that to be a terrific schedule. I hope it works well for you too.
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