Lil man's first day of daycare

There were tears. I'll admit it now.

Tears from me as I handed my precious baby boy over to the lovely (and experienced) childcare worker.

Tears as Miss 3 decided she wanted to stay in the room with her brother to help him settle in, instead of going back to her own classroom.

Tears as I waved goodbye as Mr 19 months was taken into the playground as a distraction so I could leave.
Tears from me as I quickly left the property but could hear him being sad in the distance.

Tears when I slumped in the driver's seat of the car.

Tears as I drove past the gate when the Centre Director popped her head out of the window to ask me if I was OK (to which I responded with a thumb's up while blinking away another set of tears and swallowing back on the big lump in my throat).

And tears when I got home four minutes later, pulled in the driveway and was overwhelmed with guilt.
As many mothers can probably relate to, I was overwhelmed with guilt for sending my baby boy off to daycare.

Mr 19 months started at daycare yesterday. The same one his sister attends.

His name had been on the waiting list for quite some time, and finally a position had become available.
With our twins due in a couple of weeks, and my work hours suddenly increasing, we thought now would be a great time for Mr 19 months to get settled into spending a couple of hours at daycare where he can go and socialise and learn new things twice a week. Things that he might not have chance to do when he's home with sleep deprived Daddy (who works nights) or Mummy (who'll be up all night with twins and will also be trying to juggle small projects on the side).

Miss 3 started daycare at around 11 months when I returned to the workforce from mat leave. It was the same teary beginning (for her and me). She was still breastfed at the time but coped fine. It wasn't long before she was coming home telling us about how much she loved it and she still loves it today!

But on Lil Man's first day this week, I still couldn't help but feel guilty.


I was home sick from work (my first sick day in 12 months! other than when Miss 3 was in hospital, as I previously only worked half days so would just brave it through any illnesses of my own and the gruelling all-day sickness for the first 11 weeks of this pregnancy).

So, for the first time, I happened to be home alone, without my babies.
(Of course there have been times when hubby has taken them to the park etc so I can get some work done, but usually our house is a normal noisy house).


Everyone was telling me I needed to rest as I had been struck down a nasty strain of the flu and conjunctivitis in one eye.
But, for the next four-and-a-half hours while Mr 19 months was at daycare, as sick as I was, I couldn't allow myself to have a nap. Instead I pottered about, sorting things around the home to keep me busy as I coughed, wheezed and blew my nose a million times.

It sounds ridiculous doesn't it. What's with the guilt when I'm sure there are plenty of parents out there who are able to indulge in some 'me time' while their kids are at daycare/kindy.
But for me, if they're not with me or hubby and are at kindy, then it's only because I'm working, so I feel like I shouldn't be doing things that aren't for their benefit. If that makes sense?
Though we should be happy that our boy has been able to enjoy spending all these months with Daddy, while I work part time, without having to go to daycare.

Sure hubby and I enjoy the occasional 'date night' where we go to an event for work, but we're usually only gone a couple of hours.
And if we're not with our kids during the day, it's due to work or doctor's appointments. It's never, 'hey baby-sitter (my fab Mum) would you mind watching the kids while hubby and I go shopping/massage/long lunch'.
There's always a specific need/reason. We want to be with our kids. And enjoy being with our kids.

When we picked the kids up from daycare, Mr 19 months was HAPPY and seemingly untraumatised (thank goodness).
And soon, we'll get to do it all over again, for his second day at daycare.

This time Daddy can do the drop-off to save me the heartache.

When did your kids start daycare/kindy? Do you/did you ever have guilt: guilt for working/guilt for spending time on yourself?

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5 comments

  1. Don't worry you're not alone with this :) I wrote a post recently about my 10 month old's first day at daycare. She was fine. I was not. It's so hard and you do feel guilty. Your lil man will settle in fine though and will love it. It doesn't make it any easier for us though, I know. Big hugs to you!

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  2. Thanks Renee. Good to know. It's so hard isn't it!? And the whole guilt thing. We just can't win can we. Will have to check out your post too :-)

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  3. Dreaded Mumma guilt. No fun, no fun at all. I hope it gets easier for you. X

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  4. I hear you! My boy loves his daycare and I still feel super guilty!

    Bettina
    www.littleoldsouls.com

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  5. This is really a very painful experience when you put your child in childcare. It is also true that they can handle your child with proper care, but still parents have agreed and got tensed. This is important if you want to see your child growth. For more information visit this blog-http://www.findahelper.co.uk/blog/rising-costs-of-childcare-and-government-support

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