You may or may not remember about a year ago when the daycare search started and it was a traumatizing experience. I wasn’t a “daycare kid,” and so it was hard to imagine my son being one. Picking a place is a huge decision – you are literally entrusting strangers (at the time) with your child’s life and well-being. TALK ABOUT STRESS.
For Craig, it was easier. He went to daycare, so while he may not remember specifics, he knows that he wasn’t traumatized and he turned out okay, right? (That last part is debatable.)
Eddie is almost 8 months into his journey as a “daycare kid” and I can confidently say it is the best decision we could have ever made. And I never, ever, ever, EVER would’ve thought those words would come from my mouth. But, I had something happen this week that solidified that this has been the right decision for our family.
I got this picture when I was at work from his primary caregiver, Miss Shannon (I cropped out most of her face, I didn’t ask permission to share her mug on the internets). What do you see?
I see: An incredibly happy child. A child that is loved. A child that feels safe.
It literally brought tears. Happy tears. Thankful tears.
It’s certainly taken me time to get here. There were some rough mornings that, when we arrived to daycare, Eddie would reach for Miss Shannon. And it would sting a bit. But, I’m your mom. It made me feel insecure that he was so comforted by her and the other women that care for him each day.
More recently though, Eddie has starting crawling. And every evening that I arrive to pick him up, I get the biggest smile ever, the happiest squeal, and he barrels towards me. He’s so happy to see me – every.single.night. The older he gets, the better he is at expressing his emotions and his ability to do so has helped silence any insecurity I have felt.
The absence of that insecurity has also allowed me to take a step back and look at the situation in a different light. Instead of it stinging that Eddie reaches for Miss Shannon or Miss Suzie or any other of the wonderful women that care for him – I am grateful. He loves them so, so much – and it’s because they have shown him love and security. What more can a mother possibly ask for!? He spends his days being surrounded by so many people that truly love him.
The result of our family’s decision for me to work has meant that outside of special relationships with mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, etc – he has these “bonus” relationships at daycare. I mean, can you really go wrong when you’re adding to your baby’s love tank? I say no.
I’ve developed great relationships with “his girls” (as we lovingly call them). He gets multiple “hello’s” when we arrive and multiple “goodbyes” when we leave. I’m often stopped on my way in or out for someone to share a funny anecdote about something he did that day. I’ve actually been followed out because someone “forgot to tell me and just had to share” the ridiculous conundrum Eddie got himself into that day. I mean, really. All signs point to a great group of women that take great care of my child.
I go to work every day and feel good about it. It’s a social outlet for me, I like my coworkers, and I enjoy my work. Being able to recharge allows me to come home and be a better mom to Eddie. I think it gives me greater patience. More appreciation. More love.
I am not every woman. I am not here to say that my being a working mom makes me better than a mom that stays at home. It doesn’t. Just like a mom that stays at home isn’t better than me. I am here for the women that had the same fear I did. Fear of the unknown. I’m here to tell you that it will be okay. You’ll find a situation that works for you. That little face up there says so.