When I became a full time stay at home mum I was so excited that I wouldn’t have to put my kids into daycare. I knew I wouldn’t have to work a regular job and I was excited that I could raise my kids without relying on others. I said I’d never put them into daycare. It’s funny how things change and how we develop as parents.
When Jack was about two, I started thinking about the pros and cons of daycare. I ended up putting him in one day a week to the loveliest early learning centre and the self growth he has achieved in the last couple of years has been amazing. Jack is a very anxious, shy boy and the thought of my first born being without me for eight hours was really hard to swallow at first. I am a self proclaimed ‘helicopter mum’, so all the fears and worries came in to my head. What would go wrong? What if he hurt himself? What if he was bullied? Bla bla bla!
I think the transition for us both was just as hard. Jack would cry and cling to me at drop off and I would leave him there thinking I was the worst mother in the world. It took me a long time to realise he was playing me…I had friends text me as soon as I walked out the door saying he stopped crying as soon as I left and was happily playing. Little bugger! He was always so happy when I picked him up, so that’s why I persisted. I knew he loved it.
During the first year I noticed Jack had developed in so many ways. He would learn so many new things at daycare and I loved the fact he was socialising and making friends.
The thought of sending such an anxious child into school for five days at a time without any daycare would be detrimental to his development so I am really glad we continued with it. Gradually increasing Jacks days at daycare will make it a much easier and less stressful time when school comes around.
Jasmine started attending daycare as soon as she turned two. I was quietly so excited because that meant I could have one full day a week for ‘me time’. Jaz is a totally different child. She practically runs off as soon as we get in the door and I find myself chasing her for a kiss goodbye. She loves it and loves making friends. I think it’s great too that kids learn to be disciplined and directed by other adults and learn to respect them as well as their peers.
Having one day off a week for myself has really helped me as a parent too. I look forward to Wednesdays each week because I get to catch up with friends, go shopping, attend a pottery class and it really recharges the mummy batteries for the rest of the week. I can’t recommend daycare enough for both children and parents.
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Until next time,