I remember the last few weeks with my little at home before it was time for me to go back to work. I thought to myself, how on earth am I going to leave him with complete strangers? It honestly made me sick to my stomach thinking about leaving him at daycare.
The first week was awful but here we are, almost two years into daycare and I have to say I love it (and so does my son). Now, don’t get me wrong, there are many a days when I wish I could stay home or I feel so guilty missing things. But, I love my career and it would be so hard to give up as it allows me to feel personally fulfilled and teaches my son the importance of hard work.
I will also add that finding the right daycare (whatever that looks like for you and your children) is so important! We love our daycare and it is the perfect fit for our family. Here are eight reasons why…
1. All the Learning
One night while at dinner, my son was signing something with his hands. I had no idea what it was. I even googled a description to find it. After much searching, I realized it was “turtle.” It’s amazing to see all he has learned in a short time while at daycare. Between sign language, letters, numbers, words, how to use a cup and a fork, there is just so much learning happening!
2. The Option of Sick Days
Last fall, I came down with a horrible cold in addition to pink eye (disgusting). I was so, so, so sick. I never use my sick days at work on myself, but the pink eye was a tipping point. I was able to bring my son to daycare and go home to crawl back in bed. I felt guilty sending him to daycare knowing I was going back home, but I needed that day of rest in the worse way. It was a huge help for me to get better quicker!
3. Refrigerator Art
This is probably one of my favorite parts of daycare. The artwork my son comes home with is just the cutest thing ever! I am always amazed at how creative his teachers are and how patient they must be to help each kid. There are so many ideas on what to do with the art work they bring home too! Frame it, display it at work, send to family, and of course, hang it on the fridge.
My son loves his friends at daycare and they love him as well. As soon as I drop him off, it’s adorable to see them hug and say “hi” to everyone. I know he is learning really important lessons by having this little cohort of comrades – sharing, manners, respect for others, and love.
5. Built in Family Time
Our daycare is pretty phenomenal in that there is always a family event happening during the month. In September, there was a family night book fair. In October, they have a fall festival. In November, there is a Thanksgiving lunch. In December, they do a cookies with Santa evening (and the list goes on). I really appreciate these events because it is built in time for us to spend time together but also for us to spend time with daycare teachers, friends, and other parents.
6. Resiliency and Adaptability
My son struggled in his move up to the toddler 1 room. He had a hard time letting go of his bottle and his breastmilk. He also struggled with naptime and eating different food. But, he was able to get over it and thrive. Things change from time to time with his daily routine and he has to learn to change with it. I truly believe it will help him be more resilient and adaptable in the years to come.
7. All the Love
There is so much love at daycare and I couldn’t be happier! My son’s teachers love him and all of the other children, so does the director and other administrators. In fact, when my son went home sick one day, I got a phone call from one of the administrators to check in on him. It was a small gesture that meant a lot! There is also so much love among his friends and him and it is absolutely adorable to witness!
8. My Personal Growth
There are many aspects of sending my son to daycare that has helped me personally. I am not one to do well with change and daycare has pushed me to experience change and move on (I struggled with what I mentioned before: new rooms, changes in bottles, changes in food). It was uncomfortable and difficult, but I suppose that is parenthood! Daycare also allows me to have my professional life through work. I never worry about my son’s safety or well-being because I know he is in good hands. This has truly allowed me to grow and be fulfilled in my career while also feeling fulfilled as a mom.