|Nope. Not sleepy at all.|
Next month, it’ll have been 2 years since we have been living the two-working-parents life. With no family nearby, we had to make the extremely difficult decision to send our precious baby to full-time daycare. It is not easy to go from being with a baby 24/7 to only seeing her 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours before she goes to bed. That was a rough transition.
However… Remember that time I wrote about how I am a Type A person with no ability to stick to a routine? Without daycare, I never would have gotten Gabby on any kind of schedule. What I learned with Gabby was to let the daycare teachers set her schedule and then just stick to it at home. I had a much easier time with Lilly. Also, those ladies know how to guide an infant toward toddlerhood. I have gone to them time and time again to ask for advice on how to get my kids to sleep (because even when they are giving me a hard time napping at home, they just go to sleep like little angels at daycare), how to get them to eat, what is developmentally normal, etc. It’s like asking a pediatrician, but I don’t have to make an appointment because I am there every single day.
Then there are the transitions. Daycare teachers who stick around are doing it because they love what they do. The pay is awful, benefits are minimal, and the work is exhausting. Most daycare teachers are waiting for a “real” teaching job and are only there temporarily. I’m assuming this is not as big of a problem at the pre-school and pre-K levels, but with infants and toddlers, there has been a near-constant shuffle of caregivers for my kids. Lilly is on her third lead teacher in the infant room and Gabby is on her third in the toddler room (and she had two different teachers when she was in infants). That is a lot of transition for a kid who needs to feel security and comfort if she is to be away from her parents all day.
Then there is the bill. I do feel that the quality of care our kids receive is worth the money. It is just really difficult to me to “take home” negative dollars while my kids are in daycare. By the time Lilly is in Kindergarten, we will have paid more than I owe on my student loans. If I were to stay home with them for the next 4 years, I couldn’t guarantee that I could find a job locally – especially with the awesome boss I have and state benefits. It is worth the money. It is worth the sanity. There aren’t enough story times at the library to keep me from losing my mind from spending that much time away from adult topics of conversation.
Daycare. I love it. I hate it. I don’t know what we would do without it.