What comes to mind when I say your Childs’ first day of Day Care?
Unbearable? Traumatising? Were you ripped a part, forced to leave to the background noise of your child screaming? Was the experience scarring and did you call every five minutes to check how they were?
Everyone told me to take tissues. They recalled their tortuous first day and reassured me that it would get easier. Meanwhile, I’m counting down to the very second wondering how I’ll spend my first luxurious day alone, no husband, no baby, no worries. I thought it might hit me on the actual day, so I told all my friends to “wish me luck,” feigning an emotion that resembled sadness; but after eight months of being the stay at home parent, I couldn’t wait for him to start!
Originally I didn’t feel this way. My husband suggested numerous times to put him in even for a day but as the ‘stay at home, non-wage earning parent,’ I felt like it was my job to have him home with me. I felt like Day Care was for working parents. It seemed like a parent fail to spend money I was no longer earning just to give me a break.
As he grew and became more active I longed for a break and finally it hit me when I started my own business. I was torn between working from home and looking after my son, never devoting enough time to each feeling like a failure as a mum and a business women.
It’s no surprise I was hunting down Day Cares with a vengeance. I imagined my life transformed after Day Care; gym workouts, two solid days of working on my business, lunch dates and client phone calls without a “sorry that’s just my baby,” it felt like the missing piece in my life. The first day of Day Care I was upset he slept in until seven because it opened at seven. I barely heard the educator tell me the routine over my thoughts of what to make for my first freedom breakfast, I had pancakes and bacon in case you were wondering and it was glorious. They told me at least three times that I could call as many times to check in and I nodded along knowing full well I wouldn’t be calling. He was happily playing, blissfully ignorant of my existence; Yes, see ya kiddo!!
Queue mummies triumphant exit! They asked me when I would be picking him up. I said “when do you close?” Forget the tissues and trauma, I was fist pumping in the car park wishing parents would join me in an impromptu champagne car park party. This self professed “bad mum” of Day Care has learned a few thing from this experience.
- You do not need a reason to put your child in Day Care. We’re so critical of ourselves and frankly, if you need a day or two or five to sit at home and binge watch Netflix, than do it! Your life, your money, your choice.
- The experience of Day Care can be traumatic and difficult for both parent and child, honour your feelings and know that it will get easier. Day Care educators are use to this and very accommodating, this is all new, be easy on yourself and maybe take tissues.
- Lastly, if you’re like me and felt zero guilt, zero sadness and mostly elation, there is nothing wrong with you! You’re a great parent as well and if your looking for a champagne car park party – come see me.