I am seated here, at the cutest coffee shop, enjoying the foamiest cappuccino.
I am a stay-at-home mother and we just enrolled our 8 months old daughter in a Daycare twice a week.
Let’s take it from the start. An infant goes through all kind of development phases. Each and every one of them is a whole new challenge for parents.
The first few weeks you are sleep deprived, trying to figure things out and catch up on different tasks when baby sleeps.
The moment you become a master at it, baby doesn’t nap so much anymore. She starts turning into a mobile tiny human (that you think!). Wait until a few more months to see what’s a mobile baby!
The more she grows, the more challenging it is going to be.
At 5 / 6 months old, our daughter started developing her motor skills very quickly. I converted myself into a mono handed woman, when not mono legged…. Add to this feature, not a one-man-band, but more of a one-mom-band! Do you relate mama?!
Oh boy, the day we bought the pack and play… Best day of my life ! I then thought: “all good now”. Baby is enjoying her time playing and I can pursue projects while watching her”. Did not last very long… She very quickly learned to pull herself up against the net, dangerous since she had no grip.
At this point she barely naps one hour a day. This is pretty much where we are at today. She crawls and is at the beginning of the walking process.
Let’s face it, I have an active baby and I need a break sometimes.
We started thinking of finding a daycare when she was 5 months old. Two main reasons motivated us to do so:
First is, Elizabeth’s socialization. She does not see many people, our families live overseas. Socialization includes having her to interact with adults and babies she doesn’t know, learn the basics of living in society, pick up english (we speak french at home), be comfortable with being separate from mom and dad.
Second is allowing me to have my time. I have been a stay-at-home woman since we live here (not by choice) and I need to pursue projects to make my life go forward.
You know what it takes. Everyone’s life is different but we all agree that it takes a village to deal 24/7 with a baby, don’t you think?
My overall duties are: trying to keep it up with a full time mom job, a blogger position, a house to maintain, dedicated calls to family and a dog to keep busy. That’s it. Not much more going on. Yet, I feel sometimes overwhelmed. I should not complain because I don’t work. Though being a stay home mom is more than a full time job you know. Not as easy as we can think. It brings challenges you may not see if you are not in those shoes.
My daughter is my number one priority. I try to keep her as busy as I can, to spend the best time I possibly can with her on a daily basis.
There certainly are mamas out there on the same schedule as mine and that think it’s too easy to complain. I sincerely salute you with all my respect! Because it is not easy for me. I love it of course, but not easy…!
Druckerman describes in her bestseller Bringing Up Bébé, American daycares as kind of terrible places (from a mother perspective).
In December I toured many (nearly 10) daycares in my area, from all kind of price range. I was conquered. They were overall good, one was terrible and 2 or 3 were beyond excellent.
I am amazed how the teams work on children’s development. They do art, music, sign language, motor exercises, reading, craft and much more. We are talking about infants here! My daughter is way more stimulated and entertained at daycare than she is at home with me. It is terrible to write, I kind of feel bad about it.
It is expensive. It certainly is a new line you have to insert in your monthly budget, though worth it, to us.
Just after her first full day, we already noticed she had changed and grown (in the best way).
The second day, she cried when I dropped her off. My weak mommy heart melted. I resisted from having any (apparent) tears. C’Mon, I deserve some clapping here!
But she loves it. She smiles and waves at everybody there. We can tell she is happy after spending the entire day at daycare and this is all that matters to us.
Bottom line is, I sense guilt and I have this feeling I am giving up on my child. Even more because we have the option not to enroll her in a daycare. The reality is it’s not only good, it is best for her and for me. It balances her routine and mine.
A mother and father will never be replaced, by anyone. So let her enjoy all the world she can explore, with a maximum of people.
Baby is becoming more open minded, stimulated and mommy more relaxed and accomplished. Daddy enjoys everyone’s good mood…. They lived happily ever after.