Daycare Used to Terrify Me!: A Former SAHM Discusses the Bright Side of All-Day Care

Often, your first thought when it comes to daycare isn’t something bright and sunny. Many people hear a lot of bad things about daycare. I understand those fears all too well because daycare is a big part of my family’s life. My kid is a daycare kid and really, it’s not a bad thing!

The reality of daycare is that my daughter does spend more of her waking hours at daycare than she does at home during the week. She mistakenly calls people by her teacher’s names. We learn what she ate for lunch by reading her daily report that comes home with her. And every single day I have to drop her off and trust these people with the thing that is most precious in the whole world to me. Not to mention daycare is so expensive and we’re basically paying someone a small fortune to spend all of that valuable time with our girl. Yeah, that’s enough to leave any parent shaking in their boots. No wonder the thought of daycare doesn’t give everyone the warm and fuzzies. 

daycare

Daycare used to absolutely terrify me. It took me a long time to get used to the whole idea once I decided it was time for me to return to work after being a stay-at-home mom for two years. I hated it at first and almost decided to call it quits and go back home with my girl. It was a tough transition but now, more than a year later, my daughter is thriving at daycare and I have a career I love. 

Daycare does get a bad rap sometimes.  Because honestly, didn’t I just make it sound so appealing? Those are the things most people associate with daycare. And they suck, I agree. But, daycare is a necessity for many families and believe it or not it can actually be a good thing!

There is another side of daycare, the bright side, so to say. If you are feeling apprehensive about daycare, I’m here to tell you there is some good.

These are some of the wonderful things we love about daycare that know one talks enough about:

1. Plain and simple, to them, daycare is fun. My daughter loves going. She asks to go. She loves her teachers. She claps when we pull into the parking lot for goodness sake! She has developed some great relationships and amazing social skills. She has friends she just can’t wait to see come Monday. 

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2. They keep them so busy. I couldn’t keep up with her at home and I could never find the motivation to give her the stimulation she needed. At daycare they do art everyday. I get all the cute hand prints and footprints and I don’t have to deal with any of the mess! They play out side all of the time. They have gym time, library time, and even have special visitors like musicians, Santa Claus, or the Easter Bunny. Every daycare is different, but I promise they’ll have a routine and there will never be a dull moment!

3. She learns so much and surprises me all the time with things she’s learned. The other day she started counting to 5 in Spanish and I had no idea she even knew that! She has a whole song repertoire that she can sing. She talks about the weather and the days of the week. She knows and can recognize all the ABC’s. We have conversations about what she did at school, what she ate for lunch, and who she played with that day. Her language skills are out of this world for a two year old. I credit daycare for most of this. It probably makes me a lazy parent, but I don’t mind not having to put so much effort into these skills!  

painting at daycare

4. I am relieved of my nap time duties. Potty training duties. Diaper duties. Lunch making and snack making duties. Face wiping and hand washing duties. Clean up duty. I could go on and on. There are  lots of things I don’t miss all that much. I don’t think that makes me lazy. I think it takes a village. This is what got me though in the early days when we started daycare; add these all up and that is a big chunk of the day. I pay someone a lot of money because this is a lot of work!

5. Socialization. So cliche. But the interactions and experiences she gets exposed to every day have made her so well adapted. Sharing, taking turns, following directions in a group setting, being responsible for her own needs, these are all things that come naturally to her because they are a part of her daily life. The transition to school is going to be a breeze for her. daycare

6. Seeing her so excited when I come to pick her up is one of the best feelings in the world. No other time are the hugs that big and the smile that wide. No matter how long she spends with all these other people all day long she’s still only got eyes for mom {and dad of course}. It makes our time together that much sweeter.

What do you LOVE about daycare?

 

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