First Lady Michelle Obama at Mary’s Center for Maternal and Child Care in Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
My kids are now 3 and I truly never felt more in love with two little people in my life, but at times I need a few moments when I can accomplish tasks without interruption. Recently, as I’ve tried to make sense of my present life and evaluate my future; I have considered sending my kids to daycare for a few hours every other day. I’m a work at home mom and the older my kids become the more I need to keep my eyes on them at all times. It is amazing what two little girls can get into when they work together. I spend hours trying to clean up after them only to step away and do some work for a couple of minutes, and then return to the remnants of a cyclone destroying the room again. When I thought about the issue at hand I realized that a stay-at-home mother’s guilt is real when she desires or even considers whether or not to send her child or children to daycare. So many feelings take place:
- Will the daycare provider watch my children well?
- Will my kids learn horrible behaviors from the other kids?
- Is it selfish for me to want my kids to attend daycare?
- What is best for my kids?
The questions listed above are just some common questions parents face when deciding whether or not to send their child or children to a child-care provider. Of course, both parents should be involved in the decision and decide together what is right for your family. Mom guilt should not be a factor, sending your child to daycare is not a sentence that determines how much you love your child. It just says that you would like your child to attend a childcare center that caters to their little needs and desires. While you are working and doing other things it may not always be feasible for you to watch your children and do the 150 tasks on your to-do list so prioritize and do your research. Find a daycare facility that will watch your child or children in a way that meets your personal standards and your budget.
You want your child to be well-rounded individuals. Socializing with other children will help him or her set a positive foundation early. Will your child learn new behaviors? Of course, both good and bad, but your child will learn both good and bad behaviors wherever they are. Even within the home children have less influences, but more influences then just meets the eye. The goal is to help your child learn how to make the right decisions about how he or she chooses to behave. Even if your child sees another child behaving poorly, your child will need to be able to decipher that behaving in a similar manner is not the right choice.
Many daycares are designed to provide parents with a safe, engaging, fun, and educational environment for their children. Giving your kids an opportunity to learn and grow away from you is Okay, allow your children to start establishing independence; however, continue to cherish your children and love them when they are with you. I believe, recognizing that you want some time to accomplish other things and also allow you and your child to learn and grow is a positive decision. You can always visit the daycare and try it, if something about it bothers you, take your child out. Going to daycare, can teach children independence, can possibly exceed your expectations, and may even provide a better learning environment than what is in the home. But, all daycares are not created equal. If you are fortunate enough to find a daycare that goes above and beyond the way you would want, then by all means go for it, but if your daycare is second rate and doesn’t quite meet your standards, consider your timing and try to hold off until something better can be found.
The best that you can give your child is your love, attention, and a safe place to learn and grow. Don’t allow other people to dictate what is right within your home. Take some time to brainstorm both the positives and the negatives and then go for it. In life, you will never please everyone so you have to learn how to make the best decisions that you can under the circumstances you are in. Lastly, be confident in the decisions that you make.
Do you send your child or children to daycare? Why or why not?