Before I had kids I always thought that I would be a stay at home mom and take care of my kids. Do everything with them. Raise them the way that I thought was the “right” way (whatever that means). And after years of conversations with my husband we came to the agreement that staying home with the kids for the first few years was our plan…and once they started going to school then I would go back to work. Our plan was that I would be at work while the kids were in school but once they were done…I would be home to still do the “mom/family” thing.
Well…talk is one thing….but once you actually have kids….plans change. Or at least they adjust to what best fits the needs of the family as a whole. When I first got pregnant with my now 2 year old…I was working in my new career. I was finding my way in a career that actually enjoyed. And the problem with that was…it was ruining our “plans” for raising our kids. My first thought was – I could keep working with the baby at home and if it became too hard then I would have to figure out a new plan. Well….it got too hard. I couldn’t work and take care of a baby all by myself ALL DAY LONG. So our plans changed again. I still liked my job….and the hubby was in the process of beginning a new career. A commission only career. (insert scared face)
And what that meant for us was….day care. Eeekkkkk!!!!
We looked at a few of the day cares around the house and we seemed to find a problem with all of them…scorpion problem, mildew smell, no education, dirty…and the list goes on. We finally found one that was half way decent. Well…at least it didn’t have any of the issues that I listed above. Then we told ourselves….we will only have him there for about 3 days a week for 5 hours at a time. He needs socialization while mom gets a little break. That’s not too long to where he will change without us realizing it. We won’t miss all of the milestone moments. Right? Well soon 3 days became 5 days. And as long I am still working…I am pushing for 5 hours to go to 6-7 hours. (it just makes my work day easier).
And the longer he was there the more issues we started finding with the place….but we cant decide if the issues are big enough for us to either find another school or take him out completely. The problem with taking him out completely is that he loves school. He loves playing with his friends and the toys and playing on the playground. He actually asks to go. So if we do make a decision…I am thinking we will just change day cares. …but this brings me to my point (and yes it took me that long to get to my point)….
There are things that I like and things that I don’t like about day cares.
- Education (well not as much education as I would like but its something)
- Germ University – my boy got sick almost every other week for the first 6 months he was there. The range was from pink eye to colds to the flu to RSV and the latest was Thursday he came home with Step Throat!
- Education – for the 2-3 year old class there is a little education but not as much as I would like
- Picked up bad habits – biting and hitting
- Tantrums got worse – could either be because he witnessed quite a few at school or because he is 2
- Diapers – they no longer limit his class to potty trained kids…so now he asks for diapers…of course we say no…but BOO THAT!!!
- High turn around rate with his teachers – it seems that as soon as he comes to know one by name and ask for them…they are gone
- Teachers are usually not skilled in education or child development. 95% of the time they are willing to work for minimum wage and they are people that like kids (hopefully).
And ultimately….you send your kids there with the hope of them teaching your child the principles and the manners that you would be teaching them if they stayed home with you. You screen the school but you really never know what goes on behind those doors once you leave. And the hardest part is you drop them off with a little separation anxiety…knowing in your heart that you just need to let go. Let go of all of it. The hesitation. The fear. Let go and trust that they will do the best they can. You may want your child to be raised a certain way BUT you “have” to drop them off at day care anyways. Trust is a hard thing to give…especially when it comes to our children. At least I know it is for me.
So as for day care…I like it….but I don’t.