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Posted 30 March 2012 - 10:31 AM
Hi everyone, my DS (nearly 11 months) is starting his first full day of day care on Monday as I have picked up another day at work (I currently work one day but he gets looked after at our house by family.) I am SO anxious, he has had a couple of orientations and was okay, he cried a little when I left him yesterday but they said he settled quite quickly.
It is more me that I am worried about, like I feel anxious leaving him with "strangers" and feel terrible missing out on things he is doing, stupid I know, my husband doesn't really understand. Anyway just wanting some tips or advice you lovely ladies can give to reduce my anxiety and guilt!
Thanks in advance :
Posted 30 March 2012 - 11:44 AM
Starting child care is stressful, isn't it!
I think the biggest thing on the drop off is not to be anxious. Children pick up on our anxiety very easily. Talk happily to your son and don't underestimate the amount he might understand. We are going to childcare, you will have a play, some lunch, a sleep and Mummy will be back to pick you up and take you home. Be cheery and calm. I wouldn't drag out the drop off either. A quick cuddle, cheery wave goodbye and be on your way.
The "strangers" won't be strangers to you and your son for long. I have developed some lovely relationships with DS1's carers. One that looked after him as a baby has babysat for us. Another has had him over to her house for lunch and a play, they got on so well! He will quickly make little friends within his room too and will look forward to seeing them regularly.
It won't be long until your child is settled in, but expect it to take a while if he is only attending one day a week. It will take some time especially to settle in to good sleeping habits at childcare. Most kids are used to sleeping in the peace and quiet of home, not with other children making noise and activity going on around them. DS1 went through various stages of terrible sleeping and refusing to eat, particularly when he changed rooms as he got bigger. He always came around within a few days.
As for yourself, don't feel like you are missing out. I don't know about your local centre, but the carers are always happy to chat about DS1's day and they also have little portfolios for each of the children with the activities they have done, anectdotes about funny things they did/said, some artwork, photographs etc. I never feel like I am "missing out" because I can easily see what he has been up to. We take the portfolio home at the end of each term.
And lastly, re the guilt. I think a lot of mother "guilt" is guilt we impose on ourselves for no good reason. Despite what you might think from reading posts on EB, I really think the absolute majority of people do not form silent judgements of our parenting. There is no reason to "should" ourselves. I "should" be doing this, I "should" be doing that, I "shouldn't" be doing something else. Whenever I get a case of the self imposed mother-guilts about child care, I focus on all the wonderful fun DS1 has (he often throws tantrums now because he doesn't want to come home, having too much fun!) and the positive impact it has had on his confidence and independence.
Posted 30 March 2012 - 12:31 PM
Thank you so much, that was so helpful It is true we do put that guilt on ourselves, I am queen of that. I have to remember to be positive and upbeat when dropping him off and save my tears for when I am driving to work lol
Posted 01 April 2012 - 11:32 AM
Make sure you hand him over to a specific carer and say "this is so and so, she is going to look after you today".
My centre has a family photo wall where the kids can go and look if they are missing mum and dad.
Posted 01 April 2012 - 09:18 PM
It's awful that first day when you hand them over!
I very quickly realised that my DS was having the best time at daycare, so I quickly got over my anxiety around that. The first day was hard though, so go easy on yourself.
The one thing I hadn't anticipated though that happened to us was my DS got sick straight away. Just cold/flus, nothing too serious. He has subsequently been sick each week I have had him in care (four weeks now of only two hours, one day per week). He had not so much as had a cold prior to starting care. Our doctor said it is just something he has to go through now that he is being exposed to children in daycare and it will ultimately build immunity, but, if I were you, maybe consider adding some garlic into your DS' diet and watch your own immunity. My DP and I have been sick too (and we rarely get sick), so we are really concentrating on staying healthy and boosting our own immunity.
I hope your experience is positive and your DS enjoys daycare as much as our does!
Posted 02 April 2012 - 11:28 AM
Well today was the big day of his first day. Last night I was a mess when he went to bed, so silly but I couldn't stop crying! But woke up this morning feeling a lot better which is good because he didn't see me upset. His dad and I both went to drop him off, which was a good support for me. Just watching the clock until lunch time so I can call and see how he is going
Thanks for the advice and support means a lot, never thought it would be this hard! and good idea about the garlic!
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