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Please tell me about your weeknights.

I am pretty happy with my work situation, and my DCP. I have been working two days a week at home since DS was 3 mos, (and 3 days in the office). I will probably start doing 4 days in the office (and having 3 day weekends every week) in the new year.

I make good money, lots of time off, terrific benefits, live in high COL area and don't think I could stay home if I wanted to. And I don't want to...

except for weeknights. DS seems to love his DCP, he's never cried at being dropped off, is in a hurry to get there and not in a hurry to leave there at night. But when hs gets home weeknights he is so much more fussy and cranky than he is days he doesn't go to DC.

I've read lots of explanations for this, that it means he feels safe with us, etc., but it seems to me it indicates that daycare does put him under some amount of stress.

That thought is pretty much the one thing that makes me want to be a SAHM.

Just wondering what other people's experiences are.
 

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My DS (4.5 months) sleeps alot more on weeknights. Especially on Mondays. I just chalk it up to the fact that he doesn't sleep much or well at daycare.
 

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Dd has a really hard time on weeknights if dh picks her up and I am not home by the time they are. She freaks!
When I get her or when I meet them at home, we begin the evening with a long nursing session on the couch. Then we chat and make dinner (either together or she watches a few minutes of TV while dh and I prepare the food). Then we eat, have some family play-time and bath starts around 8pm. Then dh reads 2 books and we nurse to sleep.

I think it helps that we sort of have a "routine" for coming home. Daycare is pretty structured and I sometimes feel it's hard for dd if our evening routine changes (if we go out to eat or if we have to stop at a store on the way home).
 

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I can only speak for my kids, but DD1 is way more busy at school than she is at home. There's more going on, more kids to deal with, and more structured activities. So it's a lot of stimulation. Even as an infant she would hit the wall around 4, and since I pick her up around that time I tend to get the brunt of whatever negative feelings she has. Part of it is the time of day, and part of it is decompressing at the end of the day. I don't usually try to engage her in conversation on the way home - instead we get in the car, she has a snack and we listen to easy going music. Once we're home (15-20 min drive) she is more in the mood to chat and tell me about her day. We have dinner and play - usually something physical like chasing/ tickling etc. She loves that sort of thing and I think it helps us all reconnect. Then she has a bath, reads books with daddy and is off to sleep around 8:30. The last portion of the routine really helps her wind down at the end of the day.

So we have similar levels of crank at the end of the day. But I don't believe it's stress... feels pretty normal, and if we have a busy day at home it's pretty much the same.
 

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I've read in a couple of places that a child in daycare gets used to being in a very structured environment all day. Once they get home that's their "winding down" time - much the same as it is for adults after a long day at work. It can put a lot of stress on a child to be in daycare and told what to do all day and given more structure. That makes it a little harder for them once they get home with less structure and more time to do whatever they want to do. It's as if they don't know what to do with themselves and it can frustrate them or make them feel bad which in turn will make a child that age act out in negative ways.

It's hard to explain but this is the exact way our 4 yr old reacts after a day in DC/preschool.
: I can see it. She absolutely loves her DC teacher and then comes home and is a total rugrat for us "most" evenings of the week, but not all evenings. It can take her a good 2-3 hours to wind down sometimes and other times it goes on until she finally goes to bed. Then on weekends she is better but usually not totally herself until Sunday and then we start all over again on Monday.


We have tons of family time in the evenings (no t.v., dinner together every night as a family, bath ritual, bedtime ritual, etc) and also on weekends so I know it's not us doing anything to stress her out.
 

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MY kids only go to daycare 1 day a week now sometimes two if I have a really busy week and can't work from home.

Both my kids get extra crabby after being at daycare. My dd goes to sleep much faster because she does not sleep as much at daycare and she has been so busy there. She loves the other kids and does thoroughly enjoy being around other babies. But the minute I get home from work she is wanting to nurse, is cranky, and not always fun to be around. That is really most nights, though regardless of if she is in daycare or not. Even when she is home all day with daddy and her brother, she still gets really cranky. And sometimes when she is home with me all day she still gets really clingy and cranky. Teething seems to be the worst at that time for her. I call it the witching hour at my house. From 4:30 PM on until just before bath/bedtime rituals.

Good luck with your baby boy.
 
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