On Daycare: Full or Part-time?
With the change of seasons, my daughter’s recent 1st birthday and taking a look at our calendar over the next few months, certain questions come to mind.
Or rather, new decisions need to be made based on establishing a new routine and finding our way, getting into a good flow where things more or less click rather than explode.
Y’all know what I’m talking about. Establishing some sort of routine for your ‘family unit’ is pretty much essential to a happy ebb in flow of every-day life. It’s just that…how can I deny that face? Even as I type right now, during this week of holidays our daycare provider is on; my little ones are upstairs having lunch with our babysitters.
They’ve been melty pretty much all morning, (which makes it nearly impossible to concentrate and all I want to do is be with them) an intense combo of Abby teething and her bro Wyndham acting out in his Daddy’s absence. A regular occurrence the day after he leaves (the Daddy) to go on tour.
Which brings me full circle to the nature of my conundrum regarding daycare. With our first, I was a full-time stay at home mama on mat-leave. I then chose to stay home indefinitely and Wyndham didn’t step foot in a daycare until he was nearly two years old.
Not that I have anything against daycare.
His pre-school and his home daycare environments are amazing (He’s in a mix of the two, the best of both worlds). Obviously, things have been different this time ’round with little Abby. As our family dynamic changed and our financial needs grew, I began work again. Embarking on entirely different career path(s) than what I went to school for ever imagined I would end up doing.
Life is like that, of this we know. We do the best we can as parents and make decisions for our family based upon the realistic needs of keeping everyone feed, clothed and housed; to hopefully creating a home filled with love and joy. For me, I’ve always struggled with sending my kids to daycare – if only there were two of me, one to do the full-time work and one to do the full-time mommy’ing.
This fall brings us into a heavy touring schedule for my partner, he’s away every weekend (musician, yes) and quite a few weekdays for two whole months. October and November. We’re already navigating how we are going to celebrate our son’s third birthday and figure out childcare for when our schedules conflict as I have a couple of business trips and conferences over the next 3 months as well.
All of which has led us to seriously considering putting Abby into full-time daycare earlier than we wanted. Looking at our calendars, and our young family; the mister and I know that if we don’t, things could get hairy pretty fast with me working full-time and not having him around to share in the parenting and household, familial duties.
Single parents, I bow to thee. So. Do you think I should get over the mommy-guilt and make the decision that will have us less stressed out in the end? Or should I don my magic super-mommy cape and rock it? To put my career on the back burner for a while and disengage from taking on any more freelance gigs, networking or other such growth. I really do feel torn.
I know many other mothers struggle with these decisions as well, while I also know women who have no qualms about keeping their career and putting their kids in daycare, or choosing to be a stay-at-home mom. I wish I cold be like that. Solid in who I am and the decisions I make as a mother.
Perhaps I’ll get there yet.
Have you struggled with deciding on whether or not to put your child(ren) in daycare? This is natural right? Someone tell me it’s natural to obsess like this.