Blogging Baby Size 6: Great things about daycare

Filed under: Just For Moms, Childcare

Daycare gets persecuted in the media -- parents who work full-time are often in a position where they must defend their decision to put their child in another adults care during the day. But, you know, daycare has a lot going for it.

I felt nothing but horrible guilt for the first few months I had to leave Nolan at daycare to go to work. But now, I mostly feel relief. Here's six of the best reasons why:

1.) The sweetness of other kids. Nolan has a roomful of children who are eager to hug him, kiss him, take his hand and show him the new puzzle. He has a group of friends and it is evident that he loves it.
2.) The knowledge that firmness works with him. Nolan listens to Carrie and her Mom in a way he doesn't with me. He puts on his coat when they ask him to, he goes down for his nap without a battle, and I know it's because they are fair and firm. Through them, I have learned that I am more than a little wishy-washy when it comes to being firm with Nolan, and that's a good thing. (If I can master the firm "Nu-uh-uh" like Carrie and her Mom, the toilet swirling will stop forever, and not a moment too soon!)
3.) A reality check. "I tell him no!" I protested to Carrie when she told me that Nolan was not used to being refused. She looked at me hard. "Well, kind of," I squeaked. Well, I don't really. I kind of half-assed suggest he shouldn't do that. And that mist change.
4) Independent play skills. Nolan knows how to play quietly and happily by himself: with blocks, a book, a truck, or a hunk of tupperware. I know he learned this at daycare, and I am grateful.
5) A tidy routine. When I do have him at home now, Nolan has snacks, lunch, and naptime at a regular and appropriate time. He likes his routine and it makes my life a lot easier.
6) The end of the day. There is nothing better than the end of the day, when I descend the stairs and quietly watch Nolan for a minute while he plays with his friends. Inevitably, another kid will yell,"Nolan! Your Mom is here!" and he will drop whatever he is doing and his face will light up and he will come sprinting into my arms. The feeling I get while he buries his face in my neck and covers me with drooly kisses is indescribable. Without question, it's the best part of my day.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.