(cross-posted in working parents)
Hi mamas, I need some advice/help here. DH went back to work in March and we put DS into daycare at first just for 5 half days/week, but then because I was WAY behind in my work, we moved him to 5 short days (7:30 - 3:30, though he rarely gets there before 8:30). I am caught up on work but it is SO NICE to have all that time to myself. I'm not gonna lie, I usually come home after lunch and take a nap, because I always need one!
So, my dilemma is two-fold - I feel like I should take DS out of daycare at the halfday, because I feel like daycare sees my son more than I do! It is a great daycare and he absolutely loves going there - he only cried once when I left and that was at the very beginning when I had gone to nurse him at lunch (I stopped doing that b/c it was harder on him).
However, (I think I am a bad mom), I never get anything done when I have DS home with me. He's super clingy and cries whenever I put him down (unless it is in his highchair, to eat....but we can only eat so much!). He also hates to be worn, except for I just learned yesterday he's okay with a hip carry - but of course you can only be so productive with a hip carry. So, basically, unless I'm sitting on the floor playing with DS, he's crying. And even then, sometimes he doesn't want to sit and play with me, and he still cries. I don't know what to do! I think it's probably because I am a very stressed out person (lots of stress going on in my life, I am working on it, but it definitely affects me). Or is it just a phase?
So, I would love reassurance that I am not a bad mom and everybody's baby is this clingy. Or if that's not the case, I guess I want to know that, too! I also would like advice as to what should I do re: daycare - stick at the short days or go to half days? Thanks!
my dd is 15 months and still home with me full time, but we're putting her in daycare short days in the fall, when i start working part-time. i only work 20hrs per week but i am already dreaming of what i am going to do with my couple of hours per day when i am done work but dd is still in care. i can go work out! make dinner! vacuum! take a nap! it's going to be blissful...
this is the way i see it... your ds is a high needs baby. he obviously enjoys the busy-ness and interaction of daycare, while you feel stressed that you can't do things that need to be done at home. take advantage of those daycare hours to take care of your house and yourself, and when you go pick him up, you'll be relaxed and ready to spend a lot of uninterrupted one-on-one time with him.
you and i are incredibly lucky that we can work part-time and afford good childcare. no need to add stress that doesn't have any basis. lots of moms work long hours OH, go pick their kids up and then go home and try to multi-task making dinner, playing with their kids and chores. or are SAHMs with no child care and never get any time to just relax on their own (and yeah, cooking dinner and vacuuming my living room with no interruptions counts as relaxing!). we have the best of both worlds i think.
is there any reason you can't pick your son up from daycare a couple hours early if and when you want to? is the cost of short days prohibitive?
you are NOT a bad mom for putting your son in daycare when he doesn't strictly NEED to be there. a well-rested parent who has ample time to do OH work and AH work is a better parent.
I don't think you are a bad mom and you certainly aren't alone in that you can't get anything done with your baby, I am the same way.
However (and this is my opinion only) that you shouldn't leave your son in daycare when you are at home. Even if he is having fun there, babies that age really just want to be with you. Maybe once per week you could come home and take a nap or something if you need to but I guess I just don't believe in taking your kids to daycare so you can get things done, on a very regular basis. I do it once every 6 months or so but that is typically for appointments and things that I can't bring the kids to.
Again, you are not a bad mom and these are just my opinions. You need to do what you need to do to get by though.
Based on my (positive) experience with PT daycare, I would recommend restructuring your day around his nap schedule. Have him spend both of his naps at school. (Assuming he still is taking two; if not, the train of thought still applies.) Spend some quality time at home first thing in the morning, enjoy the breakfast routine, don't be rushed getting out of the house. Take him to daycare in time to get settled in before his first nap. And then pick up after the afternoon nap. If you need a couple extra hours at work, you always could go in a bit earlier once in a while.
When my DD was about your DS's age, she was in daycare 2 full days and one half day (but we paid for 5 full days which is another story altogether...), and invariably when I went to pick her up on the half day around noon, she was SOUND. ASLEEP. I would ask them to call me, and it would be 2:30 or 3:00 before she woke from her one, loong nap of the day. There I was killing time with my older DD who I picked up at 11:30 till DD2 was done. After the first couple times, DD1 and I just would go on "dates" those days till around 2:30 so that DD2 could get a nice nap in at daycare.
To make a long story short, if you are feeling guilty about spending time away from your baby, then take advantage of the time that he is least going to miss you--that is, if he sleeps okay without you ;)
(6), (4.5), (2) and IT'S A !!!! ~9/24/12~
Thanks for the replies! I think we are leaning towards the short days - not only do I miss my kiddo (even though he is high-needs!), I am starting to think he doesn't sleep well at daycare. He used to, I think, but his sleep is getting worse. i noticed it a couple of weekends ago when he slept ALL DAY on Saturday - so much for having a day together! But today, he didn't take a morning nap and only slept for 40 minutes in the afternoon. Then he came home and slept for 2 hours (yes, from 4:30 to 6:30!!!) - he is obviously tired.
Besides, I am going back to school part-time this fall and full time (med school) next fall, so I think I should be spending as much time with him now as I possibly can!!!