Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Today May Be Harder on Me Than It Is on Him

(Perfect Post awarded below)

Today is a big day for Little Guy. It's his first day at daycare.

Actually, it's not technically his first day.

His first day at daycare was when he was 3 1/2 months old. I still remember dropping him off in the infant room. There was only one teacher there because it was still very early and she was busy changing another baby's diaper. I had to leave Little Guy in the middle of the floor on a small rug. He was staring up at the ceiling. He was still too little to sit up so he just lay there. From the street, I looked in at him one last time through the window. I remember wondering how long he would lie there before someone would pick him up.

And then I cried all the way to work.

One week later I pulled him out of daycare and convinced my parents to watch him for me instead. I also arranged with my employer to reduce my work schedule from full-time to part-time.

It worked out wonderfully for everyone. I got to stay home a little and work a little, Little Guy got quality time with his grandparents, and my parents got to see their grandson often.

Fast forward to today, two years later. My parents enjoyed watching Little Guy so much that they agreed to watch the new baby when I go back to work in 6 months - at which point I had planned to put Little Guy in daycare so they wouldn't have to watch both boys. However, due to a series of circumstances, Little Guy has to start daycare now instead of staying home with me during the maternity leave.

So for three days a week, he will be at daycare and I will stay home with the baby. I think it will be a good situation in that I will get alone time with the baby (and get to take some naps!) and Little Guy will get to begin socializing with other children more. I looked at a bazillion daycares before I chose this one and I think it's good. (I hope.)

So why did I wake up this morning filled with dread?

Maybe it's because I see this as a major step in Little Guy growing up and I'm not ready for him to officially leave the baby stage. Maybe it's because I am afraid to think of him during the first week adjusting to the new school and feeling alone and confused and wondering where Mommy is.

Or maybe like Mary says so poignantly in a recent post, maybe I'm just not ready to share him with the world yet.


A Perfect Post
When I read Mary's post last week about her son's first day of kindergarten and the emotions that she felt that first week, I immediately decided to award it a Perfect Post Award. She helped me realize that it's OK to grieve when your child starts school - or, in our case, starts daycare. And no, I don't think that "grieve" is too strong a word. Perhaps most mothers would agree.

For all of August's Perfect Post Awards, please visit Suburban Turmoil or Petroville.


Anonymous dana said...

Daycare is one of my struggles, too. I still dread dropping my son off and he's almost three!

10:16 AM  
Anonymous sam said...

Everyday is a struggle still with today being the one year earmark of Carter starting daycare, it really hasn't gotten any easier. It's just part of the routine.

I think you're doing a great thing for him sending him to daycare while you and New Baby get to know each other better.
With Little Guy being around and seeing all the attention that New Baby is getting he'd more then likely become despondent by the fact that New Baby has SOO much of your time compared to him. Plus! Little Guy gets to make new friends and play new games and do new activities which he may not have the opportunity to enjoy if he were home with you and the baby!

10:38 AM  
Anonymous andi said...

Some days I wish I could afford to send the daughter to daycare so I could have some naps with the baby (and rekindle my romance with my computer). On the days that I need to, though, I'll admit I let the television watch her for awhile. I'm bad like that.

12:38 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

My older boy (age 4) starts part-time preschool this week, and I felt all emotional and choked up as I read your post. Totally understand.

12:47 PM  
Blogger Kyla said...

Awwww. I hope Little Guy loves it! Some kids do. My BubTar needs that sort of social outlet. Mom and Dad just don't cut it, and he has always thrived in school environments.

1:49 PM  
Anonymous pinks & Blues Girls said...

I am sure today was so very hard for you. The good thing is that your little guy is at an age where he can make little buddies and be distracted easily if he starts to miss you. And he has gotten more than two years at home and with your parents, which is so nice! My sister will be sending her almost-3-year-old to pre-school in a few weeks, and I know it is going to be hard for all of us! But you're right - they will be getting great socialization skills. I hope your day went well!!

Jane, Pinks & Blues Girls

7:09 PM  
Anonymous chelle said...

awwww hugs!
I can only imagine because like you I am not ready to share my kids with the world yet. How wonderfully worded!

8:11 PM  
Blogger Pumpkin said...

Hey hun, I completely understand! Gozar started kindergarden yesterday and I had a little bit of meltdown when I came home....fortunately I had my best friend call me and tell me everything was going to be okay.....lol.
It's a big step for the wee one and for you (I've had Gozar all to myself for 3 yrs)so you are allowed to feel the way you feel, whilst knowing that you're doing a good thing for all involved!

5:24 AM  
Blogger Blogversary said...

I think you are right it is harder on you.

To me the hardest part is believing in that trust you place on other people to care for your child. I stay home for now w/ my daughter but most days I take her to my health club daycare for an hour. Not much, but a little taste of what will come. It is good for both of us I think.

8:58 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Can't wait to hear what he thinks of day care. I bet he'll have a blast. :-)

12:46 PM  
Blogger Lawyer Mama said...

That first day is always hard. You will like having some time alone with the baby though. (I kept our oldest in daycare while I was on maternity leave.) It won't happen again for awhile, so it's nice that he can have some of Mommy's undivided attention.

2:43 PM  
Anonymous AdventureDad said...

Toughest thing with kids is to let go. Our son started day care at 18 months, not because we had to but we wanted him to have the social interaction. The first week was not super easy but after that it has been phenomenal. I can count on one hand the days he hasn't wanted to go to day care.

Today, at 3.5 years he usually wants to stay when I pick him up at 3 pm with our 12 month daughter. We hang around and play with other kids for another hour before heading to a park and then home.

Having a great day care and a child who loves to be there really makes a huge difference.


3:15 PM  
Blogger Jackie said...

Hope the first day went well for everyone! :-)

7:04 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

I know it will be hard, but it will be so good for him. My daughter goes 2 days a week to daycare and although in the begining the mornings were rough she absolutely LOVES it now (she's about to be 2) She learns so much and has all these little friends that she plays with.

I'm thinking of staying home (if I can afford it) after the baby is born (in two weeks) and I would hate it if I had to take her out at this point. =\

He's gonna love it =)

10:55 AM  

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