Last week Oliver started daycare for the first time ever. He’s doing well but y’all it breaks my heart every single day to leave him there. I know it’s good for him in the long run because he’s socializing and learning new skills that he won’t pick up as an only child at home…but I just want to keep my baby to myself!
His teachers at daycare are fantastic and I know they are taking great care of him. And once we get through this transition phase I think he will really start to enjoy going and seeing his new friends.
The hardest part of the transition to daycare, aside from being away from mom and dad in general, has probably been napping. Oliver still has to fuss himself to sleep. It doesn’t take long, but it’s not a calm quiet process. He is also a major FOMO baby so the busy daycare environment hasn’t been the most conducive to him taking naps. This means that he is usually a tired (and thus angry) dude by the time we get him home. Because of this, his bedtime has gotten even earlier so I feel like I don’t get any time to spend with him at all.
I’m so incredibly thankful for my job…and my income. But this whole daycare thing has been a lot harder for me than I thought it would be! That said, I know we will move in the future and a job may be harder to find, so I am making the most of this opportunity while I have it.
Every day I worry and every day Oliver’s teachers reassure me that he is settling in just like every other child does when they first start daycare. He went for three days last week and will go for four days this week, so hopefully by Thursday he will be more into the routine!
For all the emotional moments, being able to take Oliver to daycare is also empowering me to feel like I am taking back a little bit of control in my own life. I do not have to be “mom” all the time. And when my husband is gone I am not the sole caretaker 24/7. I love Oliver, obviously, but it can be exhausting! Being able to take Oliver to daycare means I am able to go to work and feel like I have some independence and that I am more than “just” a mom and Army wife. (Disclaimer: both of those are awesome things to be…I just started to lose my sense of self rapidly when I wasn’t working much.)
Taking Oliver to daycare has been rough. It means waking up even earlier for work, then leaving my baby with someone else for the whole day…but it’s given me so much of my independence back and I know Oliver will benefit from the experience as well. It’s also made me a better mom because I value the time I get to spend with my little dude so much more!
Do your kids go to daycare? Do you have a love/hate relationship with it too?