The daycare dichotomy! (An "Adventures in Mom-ing" post)

My Baby Pumpkin is now three! OMG!! She started a new "school" (she now goes somewhere that is "officially" a learning center so we say "school" instead of "daycare") a few weeks before her birthday. She was going to one place that we--her, me, my husband, and our parents--LOVED! She'd been going since she was about 13 months, at the suggestion of an aunt and my cousin who had sent her little one there! It was little Lady Belle loved it from the first time she stepped in the door...until...about a week before she stopped going. (I'll come back to this another time, maybe?!) Fast forward...we are about 3 or 4 weeks into her going to the new school and she loves it!! Again, we all do! Eden's daddy, me, her, and her grandparents...and her godmom and church friends and their parents! Just...errybody! Suffice it to say...where she currently goes ROCKS! (Shameless plug: send your 2 to 5 year old children to Kinder-Praise Learning's in Randallstown, MD! Tell 'em I sent you! Thank me later!!) But...sometimes drop-offs in the mornings still don't go so well. Whenever she has a "bad" drop-off (her, in tears proclaiming how she doesn't want to go to school and how "I want to stay at my house!") makes me sad...legitimately SAD, as in...I feel like I'm failing my child in some way! I feel like I have made a terrible decision! I wanna say "Who cares about work??" and just take the day off so she and I can go home, watch Home (again...for the, probably, 25th time...mind you, we just saw it for the 1st time in July or August), drink juice boxes and eat fruit snacks and chocolate ice cream! But...I remember that she's learning so much and that it's great for her socially and that we don't need any codependence around here! Oh...and that I need to work cuz...bills!

So, let me start back at the beginning! Before we got married, my husband and I tried our best to ask one another questions to ensure that we would be on the same page once we got married! One of those was the "To stay at home or not to stay at home?" (for me! More on THAT point in a minute). We both felt like "nah!". I didn't think I'd want to be a stay at home mom (SAHM)...and he didn't think he wanted his wife to be one. Well, a few weeks before we got married (I mean, literally about 2 or maybe even less)...I suddenly felt like, "Um...I changed my mind and I'd LOVE nothing MORE than to be a SAHM! Bring on the babies so Mommy can STAY HOME!" Well, I started to fret because I knew he'd said that he didn't want his wife to do so. Funnily enough (God is amazing!), he (my the time "husband to be", not God! LOL!) asked me again, like, a DAY after I realized that I had changed my mind. He goes "So, you don't want to be a stay at home mom, right??" I said, "Um...I actually think I do now! don't want me to be a SAHM, right??" His response "Um...I actually think I DO!" So we were both like "YES! Super! We'll discuss this more when the time comes!"

Fast forward to 18 months after saying "I do" and our little baby girl was born! OMG! I felt like "This is my real occupation! I don't know what they're gonna do at my job because I'm never going back!" I honestly never wanted to leave her side. (I literally cried the first time I separated from her. She was about 3 weeks old. My husband said "You've been with her this entire time. She hasn't left your side. I've gone church and the store and whatever. You can go out and do something. Maybe take an hour or so. We'll be OK!" I cried in the parking lot before I pulled off because I couldn't imagine going somewhere without her. I drove to the Wegmans in Hunt Valley. I LOVE WEGMAN'S!!!!! I texted when I got to the store. I texted when I was leaving the store. Mind you, I was only in the store about 30 minutes...and at the time, we lived about 20 minutes from there.) When I returned to work, she was staying at home with my husband. That made it a BIT easier to leave her...knowing that she was home with Daddy. But I still HATED to go! Then...he realized "Naw, I said YOU could stay home. It ain't for me!" So the baby stayed with my mother-in-law (MIL), then a friend's daughter (who loved our baby like her own...but she was pregnant and due soon!) So we looked for a daycare...and I was scared about it! Some STRANGER may be watching my baby! Oh gosh!! (My heart is beating NOW just thinking about if I am doing it now!) But we found the wonderful Ms. Meryl ( Smiles Daycare in's a home daycare! Tell her I sent you! You can thank me later!) She and her assistant the awesome Ms. Niecy (at that time, she's since gotten a new assistant) treated our baby like she was their granddaughter. But I STILL hated to leave her!

Where she goes now...all four of the awesome teachers LOVE the kids...even my little one who is a "newbie"...and she loves them! She really, really does! Even though she has tough drop-off some days, she NEVER wants to leave when it's time to go home! (That was true at her old daycare, too!) So I think that's a great sign! If she were to run screaming from the place, we'd have a problem! She learned so much at her old daycare!! And, she is learning a ton at her new school! But...on the days when she wants to stay home with me...I kinda want her to...just skip work and cuddle with my baby!! (But I need to work cuz we need to eat...and on my telework days, once I drop her off and get back home...I DO kinda do a lil dance cuz I have those hours 'to myself'...except, you know...for the whole WORKING thing! LOL!)

It's still my hope that by the time a second kiddo comes around, we'll be in the position that I can be a SAHM. (That entire sentence was faith in action...but more on that another time!) But...for now, I'll just keep hoping that drop-offs continue to get better and better... like earlier this week, my Pumpkin ran back to me before I left out...but only to give me a goodbye kiss before re-joining the kids for circle time (which includes praise and worship)?!!! So...even though I HATE to leave her, I know she's in good hands!! I've been very blessed in that way!

There are some moms who know "I can NOT stay at home full time!" And there are others who know "I can NOT leave my child's day to day care in the hands of ANYONE else!" Whatever your decision...just make sure it's right for you! And if you have to make an "in the meantime" decision...make sure that you are still OK with that one, too!


Tia said…
I love that you call her your Baby Pumpkin!! :-)
She is the best!!

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