Or school as Plum refers to it. And Sanity Saver if you ask me.
There have been times when I have felt guilty for sending Milla to daycare because I’m not back at work yet and isn’t it my job to be looking after her? Do we really have the money for this luxury on a single salary? Don’t you want to be with your daughter every minute of every day Heidi? Umm is it ok to say no?
I honestly think it’s not healthy for anyone to be with anyone else every day without a break. A little space does everyone good, especially in the mum/toddler dynamic (power struggle). Having said that, the main reason I started Milla in daycare is because she is super social, highly intelligent and gets bored and whinges at home (especially when we weren’t getting out very much with a newborn).
Milla is one of the most outgoing people I know. She will talk to total strangers when we’re out and about and say hello, introduce me to them and win them over with her cuteness and charisma. She gets to school and says hello kids, bye Mum! She’ll give the teacher a hug and play ‘teapot parties’ in her favourite little home corner. The school sends us photos of her painting, doing obstacle courses and baking muffins while socialising with other kids and gaining confidence away from me in the outside world. And her language skills have just been going nuts which I’m sure is attributed to her interactions at school.
Meanwhile back at home I get a chance to recharge a bit, do some designing or writing and spend one-on-one time with Dash. It’s a win-win for everyone. And then I get a huge hug when we are reunited and chaos resumes!
The mum guilt is eased by the fact that Milla goes off to school and leaves me so happily. She has only had a couple of drop-offs right at the start (at 21 months) where she didn’t want to let go of me (and never any tears) so I’ve always felt pretty good knowing that she was happy to be without me. The only tip there is that you have to do it a bit like a bandaid. Don’t draw out the goodbye because it is usually just the moment of separation that is upsetting. They’re then distracted by all the fun things that they get to do with their little mates.
I guess the point of this post is if you’re considering daycare for your little one, simply for them to have a day out of the house or to give you a bit of a break once a week – do it! And don’t feel guilty. A little bit of time apart is healthy, they’ll have fun and you get recharged to be the best mum you can be when you’re back together.
** I’m lucky enough to not have to go back to work at this stage (Dash is only 8 months old) so I totally understand daycare is often a necessity and not a choice for a lot of mums. But this is my experience as a stay at home mum of two under two; I work as a freelance designer (in nap times, at night and on daycare days!) however at the moment we’re a single salary family and Milla goes to daycare two days a week.