Day Care – Guilty if you do, Guilty if you don’t

Last Monday I put Tom on my hip and walked into Day Care with him for the first time. I was hesitant and unsure but I knew I needed to start getting him used to it. I needed to allow myself the possibility of going back to work, even if just for a couple of hours here and there.

The guilt sensations were there long before I walked in the door with him. Guilt that he doesn’t get the opportunity to socialise with other children. Guilt that he is with me, and only me a lot of the time. Guilt that he is still so reliant on me for sleep.

Then there’s the flipside guilt. Guilt for taking a break from my child, guilt that I was leaving him in the hands of strangers.

As soon as I put him down he shot off. I wasn’t surprised. That’s Tom. He’s Mr. Confident. He isn’t shy and he isn’t scared of other children or people. He just likes to be free – playing, laughing and exploring.

As I was leaving I was faced with being asked pressured to keep him there for longer than two hours. “It would be good to get him into the routine” I was told. There it goes again, seeping in – guilt that I wasn’t ‘letting go’. I told her I would see how I go.

After shedding a few tears in the car I took myself home and went into a cleaning frenzy. I didn’t sit down once and I watched the clock the whole time.

Two hours later I was back. He was still as I left him, very happy and playing without a care. When he spotted me I knelt down and he gave me the biggest and longest hug we’ve had, before he was off again, playing and laughing with the other children.

This week I’m determined to let that RIDICULOUS amount of guilt roll down my shoulders and wash into the sea.

I’m taking him back. He enjoys it and it is great seeing him be so social.

I’m sick of being made to feel guilty all the time. Society breeds this guilt frenzy in mothers and I’m putting a stop to it in my head. I’m just doing the best that I can and ignoring what people might think is ‘best’ for my baby. I’m the only one who knows what is best.

I’m not leaving him there for longer than two hours at this stage. I know in my heart there’s potential for him to ‘lose it’ when he gets overtired and there is no way an energetic, super-aware little man like mine is going to sleep in that environment. I don’t want them to force it on him. He needs me for his naps. Full stop.

That’s what I’m doing. That’s what I feel is right. And after chatting to my husband, I’ve got all the support and confidence I need to know I’m doing the right thing.

How did you feel putting your child into day care or how do you think it will feel?

9 thoughts on “Day Care – Guilty if you do, Guilty if you don’t

  • Yes, it’s hard, but sometimes you don’t have a choice ! I work . My eldest went to daycare for 1 day a week from 10 months of age until kindy at school. My youngest has to go three days week at the moment. I used to feel so guilty , but I’ve had to let that go and accept it is what it is, and at the end of the day she loves being there, and does learn a lot.

    • Totally agree with you Tash! Everyone needs to do what’s best for their family. I think sometimes it’s unfair that we have to feel all this unnecessary guilt! Slammed for doing it, slammed for not doing it. It’s not really fair.

  • You are doing the right thing dear – please don’t ever second guess yourself. Everyone’s lives and situations are different, I believe every mother has the best intentions and plans for their children and should never ever feel guilty or be made to feel guilty even when accidents happen. It seems that Tom is settling in well and it will give him a chance to make new friends and enjoy playing with other children. xx

    • Thanks Winnie. Things didn’t go as well on his second visit, but we will get there. He does LOVE playing with other kiddies 🙂

  • So lovely to hear Tom had a great time. Glad you are going to let go of all that guilt, it is such a waste of energy. Continue to follow your instincts and make decisions for your family. Xx

  • I refuse to feel guilt about daycare. I go to work, and therefore send my daughter to daycare full time, to be a better mum. Staying at home wasn’t for me, I was a person I didn’t like being, which in turn made me to be a pretty shoddy mother.

    It took me many months to realise that the guilt I felt at the start, about returning to work, was being put on myself by MYSELF. Very few people actually cared enough about what I did with my life to make an impact, of of those people who did care, they were supportive.

    • Good for you April! I used to think I would want to work and I NEVER thought I would want to be home, but now I just do want to be home. I actually think I would be the opposite.

      We’re all so different but in the end, majority of mums are trying to do what’s best for them and their little ones. And I agree, if you’re depressed and unhappy it is really had to be the best mum you can be.

    • Thanks Becci! I’m not sure we will persist as yet…only because I’m not actually working so I kind of can’t see the benefits…I used to think it would be beneficial, and I think it would when he is a bit older, but for now I’m enjoying getting him out and about and being social in other ways 🙂

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