I had so much fun writing about why I refuse to apologize for my loud baby at church (you can read that here) that I decided to write about something else I refuse to apologize for. So here it is, why I refuse to apologize for taking my child to daycare. Daycare gets a bad rap, but don’t let a few bad daycare centers give you bad opinion of all of them. (And credit for the photo below goes to the lovely Katy Cooper Photography!)
After my son was born, he was in the NICU for 5 days. During that time, I would look at my sweet baby, with his oxygen tubes, hooked up to the monitors, wrapped in a bili blanket, and wonder how I was ever going to leave him with someone else.
Fast forward to a few weeks later. I was loving the time at home with my little sweetheart, but I was going absolutely crazy. It was hard to go back to work, but it was the right choice for me and my mental health. I love my job!
Sort of on-topic rant time!
Generalizing that women should all stay home with their kids, or that women should work, is just as ridiculous as saying all women should be nurses, or all women should be teachers. It is absolutely insane to generalize all women in such a way. Some women need to be at home with their kids. Other women need to have some time away from them in a work setting. We all have different personalities, and different needs. Therefore, it is ok that we all make different choices and choose different paths. (Gasp! Revolutionary, I know!) Rant over!
I could go on for a very long time about my choice to return to work (I will elaborate on this in a future post), but let’s get back on track! Here are my reasons why I refuse to apologize for sending my child to daycare. If you read this and think, “Hailey, you are so paranoid!”, this is not news to me. I already know. But here are some of the reasons why I am way more comfortable with my child attending daycare instead of going to a sitter.
We chose to go with a daycare center instead of someone’s house because if you choose a reputable daycare, the staff are accountable to each other and to the daycare owner. (Read my article about what you need to know about choosing a daycare here) As for someone in a house, unless you absolutely know and trust them you are taking a big gamble with the welfare of your child. It is just them, they are not accountable to anyone.
And not to spread my extensive paranoia to you, but you need to trust the caregiver as well as anyone who visits that individual during the day. Think about it, they could be all kinds of wonderful but might have some friends who are simply not good people.
At a daycare, the only people who work there or children who attend will be near your child. People who have been background checked and trained. I am much more comfortable with that concept to ensure my child’s safety than anyone who wanders into a friend’s house.
My little guy gets to hang out with other kiddos during the day. At home there are no other kids for him to socialize with. When I drop him off, I see the other children who are incredibly excited to see him. That warms my heart. Some of the babies (as in their parents) gave him presents for Valentine’s day. Probably one of the cutest things ever, but you should know that I don’t have my life together enough to do that. He has also had the opportunity to grow some special friendships with some of the caregivers as well.
One of the other things that I am grateful for that will be beneficial in the future (that doesn’t sink in for him yet, with him being an infant) is that he will learn to take turns and be patient.
He will learn to share and to wait his turn to get the attention of an adult. He will learn that life doesn’t always revolve around him. Because at home, life definitely does revolve around him. And while that is absolutely ok, I’m glad he will get time getting used to his concept before he starts school. That will make that less of an adjustment for him.
I rotate which days I send my little cutie to daycare depending on mine and my hubbies work schedule. It is never the same week to week. If he went to someone’s house, they would have their own life and schedule to contend with and I would likely not have the flexibility that we currently need.
Sometimes I drop him off early so I can run some errands. Sometimes I pick him up or drop him off at odd times. It is fantastic to be able have the flexibility when I need it.
Daycare centers are required to maintain certain standards. All good daycares provide training. Sex offenders can’t be employed at a child care center, as well as individuals with other charges. If you are thinking about hiring a sitter, are you prepared to background check the individual that will be watching your child on your own? Are you prepared to background check and interview every friend of theirs who visits during the day? Something to think about.
Reputable daycare centers will be baby proof and not hazardous. Someone’s house might be safe, but that space isn’t specifically set aside to care for children. Good daycare centers are clean, and consider what state of cleanliness your caregiver keeps their house.
There is only one door that leads to the front of the building at the daycare that my son attends. Multiple doors lead to the outside fenced play area. Can your child run straight out the front door at their caregiver’s house? Are there any other possible safety hazards? Furniture that is not anchored to the wall, TVs that are not mounted on the wall, electrical cords? How safe is it there?
Staff at daycares are dedicated to caring for your child. They aren’t trying to get chores done, or pay bills, or care of their own children. If their child and your child both need something at the same time, they may help their child first. While it is good for your child to learn patience, you don’t want your child to start to feel that they are second class by always being attended to last. In someone’s home (even without children) they have other responsibilities and distractions. How much time a day will the caregiver spend on social media, or watching television? At a daycare, they are being paid to take care of the children. That is it, no other obligations while they are on the clock.
All in all, this is your decision. It’s very personal. But I don’t feel bad about mine, because it was the best decision for my child, and I am very comfortable with it. What choices do you refuse to apologize for? And if you liked this, subscribe to receive new posts and share this one!