Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Dawn of Day Care

Couch it as "child care." Mask it as "an educational center." Soften it to "day camp."

No matter what you call it, tomorrow--for the first time in their seven and a half years--Darren and Sarah are heading to day care.

Personally, I take no issue with day care...especially locales like the one to which our twosome are heading. For Heaven's sake, they get to go to a roller rink on their first day. The site coordinator is lively and charming, qualified and warm. Yet, I've got an indeniable gnawing feeling. Sure, it's likely intensified by Grandma's unsubtle (actually, quite vocal) pejorative assessment of any care other than mom's. Do I actually feel "guilty?" I don't think so. The reality is, these arrangements are not only necessary, but likely highly beneficial. We want our kids to have a breadth of positive adult influences.

Is Sarah genuinely "nervous," or is she simply manipulating the situation to maximize her intuition? Is Darren truly as "excited" about the day care adventure as he seems, or is he--in his ever-considerate way--acknowledging, empathizing and attempting to encourage/support me? Bigger question: Why do I need "support" with this?

Maybe it's like potty training, the last usage of the double stroller, the move from the nursery into the big kids' room---just an unavoidable, not-to-be regretted, but ultimately celebrated step in the kids' maturity process.

Sounds good on e-paper, but truth told, Darren's right. I need support.
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22 comments:

LauraC said...

Of course you need support! It is a big change for your family! It is really common to wonder if they are going to be happy, have fun, be fulfilled, well-cared for, loved, and enjoy it. I worried a lot about this myself and I can definitely say after almost 3 years in group care, I wouldn't have it any other way for our family. My boys have blossomed being in day care in ways that I'm not sure I could have helped them blossom.

Transitions are hard!

Christy M. said...

That is a big step, but one that I have no doubt your intelligent and kind little people will handle with aplomb.
I imagine this will be far harder on you than them, but I know that ALL of you will pull through just fine! Be brave!!!
xoxo

Terri said...

I am sure they will be fine. I can't wait to hear about their first day!

Gibson Twins said...

Good luck, I hope it goes as well as it possibly can :) Roller rink? Seriously? Where was this daycare when I was a kid??

I've been somewhat fantasizing about sending my kids off to daycare lately so that some other people can enjoy the loveliness that is the tantrum stage. And I thought potty training would kill me. Nope, will be a death from dealing with twin tantrums.

Tracy said...

I can imagine how you feel. It's been very important for me to be able to stay home with E&R, and if I were to return to work and place them in daycare, I would really struggle with it.

With that said, I think Darren and Sarah will be just fine! They are at an age where they will enjoy the interactions with other adults and children, especially if there are structured activities. When I was little I HATED going to the babysitter, but that's because she didn't do anything with us. We were on our own to fill our time. Plus, D&S are at an age where they can tell you what they're doing on a daily basis...when they're little, you don't have the same luxury.

It will be fine. You are an attentive and loving mama and no doubt they will have the best of both worlds with this arrangement.

noble pig said...

I think you feeling what all parents feel in your situation and it is so normal. I know I would feel the same way. But they will be great. I don't know how many times my kids have wanted to go to after school care because they see all the kids having fun! They will be great and you will all have so many new experiences to share.

Jules said...

Don't we all need support??!! It's so hard watching mine grow older and moving away from needing me for certain things. I want to keep him from getting older, but I realized the other day while I was looking at his shoes sitting next to mine, that I can't keep that from happening! His shoes are almost the same size as mine :(
So we all need the support, and you have mine!! ;0)
Take care!!

Goddess in Progress said...

Good luck with the big transition! Even when things are "right," that never means they're going to be easy. I hope it turns out to be a wonderful new adventure.

Leia said...

Good Luck to you all on your next big adventure. My boys and have managed to slip through needing to go to daycare because of grandma but I'm sure it will happen soon. I'm sure they will love it. I remember going after school when I was a little older then them and loved it.

Trenches of Mommyhood said...

I know. I empathize. I sympathize. I KNOW.

Barbara Manatee said...

You know I can surely relate to that feeling and need for support! What a fun age for them to get to experience that though..when they can DO so much AND tell you all about it - that has got to make you feel more secure and confident about it.

I personally call it "school" vs. "daycare" - for one - it reminds me they are learning while they're there and I guess it makes me feel better about it, even though its the same thing... haha!

Jamie said...

Thinking of you through this newest adventure!!!

MommyAmy said...

You really are doing a good thing for your kids! Think of all the fun stuff they're gonna do that they wouldn't do if they had stayed home!

Sharlene said...

Of course you need support. Its a big change. You are doing what is best for your family right now and thats what matters the most.

Jenny said...

7.5 years with no daycare sounds awesome to me! My mom was a teacher so she had to hire a nanny when I was an infant, then took me to a daycare run in a lady's home, and finally (when I was about two) an actual daycare. I'd have rather been with her, but at seven years old I'm sure your kids will have fun socializing :-)

Terra said...

They will have a blast and you will survive! But you already know that!

Hang in there.

The Corradetti Clan said...

Good Luck to Darren and Sarah tomorrow. I am sure they will have blast. I cant wait to hear all the stories of the 1st day adventures!

Tracey said...

Supporting you all the way and empathizing too...they will have a blast!

Nicci said...

Support! From the bottom of my day-care supporting heart!

Aimee said...

People always need support through transitions, so you've got some coming to you :)

Your two lovelies will flourish at day-care precisely because they have been in your care for their whole lives. They are secure in your love, and that makes any new experience easier.

Savvy Little Women - Kate said...

They will do fine! I know it's so hard not to worry...and we all need some support! Looking forward to reading how everything goes...

BoufMom9 said...

Cheryl,
That's why we are here, to listen when you need it.
Of course this is hard for you.
I will pray for you to have peace in your soul as you walk away from your sweet kiddies tomorrow morning.
Blessings.