Sunday, March 3, 2013

6 Reasons that Sending My Infant to Daycare is Killing Me

Hey gang. Guest post from my wife Stevie this weekend. The title is pretty self explanatory; so I will let her get to it. I'll have a new post up on Monday or Tuesday. Thanks for reading!

Dad (John) 

6 Reasons that Sending My Infant to Daycare is Killing Me 

(And 3 Reasons I know I'll Survive)

Captain went to daycare on Friday. I'm having a hard time with it. I took a few weeks off after he was born and started working full-time again around Christmas. I was able to do most of my work from home because he was just a squishy lump that slept all the time. Now that he’s starting to be awake more than asleep, it was hard to be in the room with that cute, smiley face and still stay focused on work. He’s just too kissable.

So we enrolled him in the same daycare that Duchess goes to. She’s pretty excited about it. Whenever I would bring him with me while dropping her off or picking her up, she would yell to anyone that was listening, “look! It’s my bru-dder! LOOK IT'S MY BRU-DERRR!!!”

So needless to say, she’s stoked about it. I, on the other hand, am having a harder time coping, for several reasons. So I will dip into John’s bag of lazy blogger tricks and make a list, outlining why this sucks, and why I'll be OK.

First, the suck.

I want him to know me, not his teacher.

It’s a hard reality to accept, but Captain will be spending nearly twice as much time during the week with his teacher at the daycare than with me. I’m sure this is an irrational fear but how do I not jump to the conclusion that he will form a stronger bond with her than his mother? With Duchess, we were lucky enough that my mom watched her for the first TWO YEARS of her life. She went to daycare one day a week to be socialized and to give my mom a break. But otherwise, she got to hang out with my mom and her cousin all day. I’m ok with her forming a strong bond with my mom. They still have an amazing bond. But I don’t feel quite the same about his teacher.

I want him to be held.

I don’t want him to be just sitting in a corner by himself, being background noise to a classroom of screaming babies. I want someone to cuddle him and rock him and sing to him. Like I do. I want them to be all-up-in-his face with smiles and coos and made up words spoken three octaves too high.

I want to be there when he hits his milestones.

I was lucky enough to be there for his first smile, his first coo and the first time he rolled over from his stomach to his back. From here out, it’s a statistical improbability that I will be able to see the next few milestones. He will be spending more waking time during the day at school than with me. I think I’ll have a mental breakdown if I go pick him up from school and they tell me he took his first steps or said his first word.

I want to know every little thing that happens to him.

If he gets a bruise or a cut, if he spills something on himself, I want to know how/where/when/why. I don’t mean that in the over-bearing way where I am going to corner his poor, tiny teacher and shine a light in her face until she gives me an answer. I just want to know everything there is to know about my son.

I want to be able to nurse him when he’s hungry.

The most traumatic part of a baby’s day is when they are hungry. He knows nothing else at this point except “I’m hungry. Feed me now. I’m distraught”. Being able to give him exactly what he needs and calm him better than anything else in the world is an amazing feeling. And my breast pump just doesn’t seem to have the same appreciation for the boob. Also, it makes an annoying sound. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard a breast pump before but to me it’s liken to listening to daleks yelling at you. #doctorwhoreference #hashtagsdontworkinblogs #ohwell

But most of all, I just want to hold my son.

And now, reasons why I'll be ok...

I am aware that all the reasons above start with the word I

When it really comes down to it, he's who matters in the equation, and I know (I really do know) that he is going to be fine. And that makes me feel a little better. Not much, but a little. He will make friends, and be around people other than mom and dad all the time. He will have structure to his day, which I’m told babies thrive on. He’ll get the attention that he needs and deserves that I can’t really give him while I’m working. He’s going to be fine. He's going to be fine. He's going to be fine. And so am I.

We love our daycare

I may have made it sound like I dropped him off under an overpass and said good luck. That’s not the case at all. We love our daycare. Duchess has been going there for a long time (first part time and then started going full time about a year ago). We love the teachers, we love the location and we love the building. The people there are more than capable of handling my son. There are only two other kids in his class and they are both walking. So he will be held. And actually, his first day of school has been so highly anticipated by the daycare staff that I doubt he’ll be put down all day. Seriously, every time I went to get the duchess, the whole staff wanted to see him and know when he was coming to play. Back off ladies, he’s mine.

Sweet sweet alone time!!

I'd be lying if I said that I'm not just a little bit excited to have some alone time. Here's a text message I sent to John the other day.

Being a mom is awesome, wonderful, tiring and messy. I love all of it. I'm going to miss having my little Captain here with me more than I could ever describe, but I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am to take a shower by myself - even if I'm crying during it.


  1. I hope that if he walks for the first time at daycare, they won't tell you, so that you can experience all the wonderful-ness yourself! ;-)

  2. Oh dear :( But as you say, it will be all right. And I'm sure you'll get some of the firsts in there.

    Yay for a little free time!

  3. I would totally feel like that too. Crying in the shower, that would be me. Thankfully in the UK you get to have really long, paid maternity leave so I can stay with my 5 month old daughter just a little while longer. But it sounds like the daycare is lovely and your little man will enjoy himself.

    1. Dang it! Why am I living in the US when everywhere else sounds so much cooler?? I need to get out more apparently.

    2. I'm from the Netherlands myself, but I think the UK wins hands down when it comes to maternity leave!

  4. Aww, just...Awww! also, im still giggling about the dalek pump. I am currently 10 weeks pregnant with our first child and now every time I see or hear a breast pump I'll be hearing Lactate! Laaactate! In a dalek voice. I wish we could be friends in real life, you both remind me of my husband and myself, i think we would be friends if we were to meet by some chance of the world. That probably sounds grade a stalkery, so rest assured we are too poor to locate you and show up on your doorstep or behind you in the grocery line one day. But if you're ever in Michigan, in a baby store and hear "lactate!" coming from the breast pump area, its probably me. :)

    1. Ha! We'll cause a whole scene. I'll bring a screwdriver and we can chase each other around the store making funny quips and making up loop holes in the time-space continuum. Our kids will be looking around like they don't know us. It'll be epic. I don't use that word lightly.

    2. This just made my entire day. Thank you! I hope this happens some day. I think needs to. think the world will be a better place for it.

  5. With just 2+ weeks to go until the arrival of Baby #2, I couldn’t imagine being in your situation. Being a Canadian, I’m unfamiliar with US laws/regulations. After a few Google searches I’ve found that Americans get 12 weeks unpaid before going back to work. If you’re with a small company (<50) they are exempt from taking you back at all. Is that true of all states or just some? It’s sad that the US is so well off, yet has one of the poorest support systems for new families.
    I consider myself VERY lucky to have the ability to stay home for a year with my little one. On top of that, my employer has granted me an additional 7 months, unpaid leave. I’ll have a career to go back to in 19 months. I’m counting my lucky starts right now.
    Here’s wishing you and your family strength and uninterrupted sleep!!

    1. LianaS, that's INSANE that you get that much time off! Man, we should really move to Canada...or at least should have before we had kids.

      In the US, there is a mandate called the Family/Medical Leave Act (FMLA) which requires employers to offer up to 12 weeks unpaid leave for any medical or family-medical related issues. Basically you can leave unpaid and they are required to allow you to return to your job or at least a similar job with the same pay. But during the time you are gone, you do not accrue entitlements (vacation, sick time, etc) and you are responsible for still paying your portion of your insurance coverage (normally they take it out of your check, but because you are not getting checks while you are gone, you are responsible to pay it out of pocket).

      Some companies offer paid maternity for usually 6 weeks but not most. And I've never heard of any company that has paid paternity leave.

      John and I couldn't really afford for me to take 12 weeks unpaid so instead I just had to exhaust all my entitlement banks and basically take off six weeks worth of sick/vacation/personal time.

      But I agree, for such a well-off country, we sure don't put much toward our new mothers/families.

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  7. There is nothing more important than the health and safety of your child. 
    baby day care

  8. I really needed this post today. Glad I stumbled across it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings about daycare, as well as surviving it! You're so right about the reasons always starting with "I." It's amazing how much we "think" it's all about the baby, and yet we are very selfish in our own ways. It's OK (and important) to be selfish, but then again, it's just a challenge overall to balance everything.

  9. I'm a first time Dad and it's tearing me up that I have to put my daughter in daycare. I hate thinking about it. Don't even wanna think about it. Just wish I could raise her and watch her and still magically get a check some how until she at least starts pre-school lol, but that is not feasible for me. Don't like the fact she'll be spending most of her time with someone else (stranger) besides the me and Mom, but there's nothing I can do about it, were not Rich, but I am "comfortable". This just sucks!

    God Bless everyone.