Back to Daycare


I feel like I would be completely remiss if I didn't write about going back to work and putting my last baby in daycare. I assume the only people reading the blog at this point are those who have been around for a while, and so you will probably remember The Year of Angst, also known as The Year of Me Writing Dramatic Blog Posts about Being a Working Mom.

I have always felt a little silly calling 2016 a traumatic year. Nothing that anyone would call horrible happened to me. I went back to work full time and my first baby went to daycare. That was it. People do it all the time. And yet, it was one of the most difficult years of my life--a year that impacted the way I view motherhood, the way I view work, and the overall way I think about the decisions we all make for our families.

R started daycare January 4, 2016, and in a completely full-circle moment, G started daycare January 4, 2023. The Lord has truly been gracious to me, and over the past 3 months I have seen an answer to the prayers I prayed 7 years ago. Prayers for peace, prayers that my kids would be okay at daycare, prayers that I would find a rhythm and routine.

Confession: I can't read the posts I wrote about working and breastfeeding and daycare all those years ago. I mean, I will at some point. I don't want to completely delete them. But I feel like I was so super dramatic about everything, and they're a little embarrassing, to be honest. When I think about 2016 I just remember crying constantly. Going back to work and leaving my baby was the hardest thing I'd ever done.

I wish I could go back and tell myself so many things--how amazing our daycare is. How much the kids have loved it, and how much they've learned. How much I still enjoy my work, and that one day I really will get to work from home like I keep wishing I could.

January 4, 2023, I dropped my last baby off at daycare. With a sweet teacher named Melissa, who used to be one of R's teachers when she was a little baby too. I got in the car to drive back home and cried. But it wasn't the angst-ridden, devastated cry of the me from 2016.

The same things have been hard with all of my babies. The new routine, coming home so tired because they couldn't nap well, getting sick constantly from exposure to others. I've filled out the same "Baby's First Day" paper four times, and cried four times. The last question "What else do you want them to know?" gets me every time. They gave me 3 lines, and I'm overwhelmed.

You're only a few months old. You just got here. And yet, it's just not enough space to write all I know about you, sweet baby.

I'm so incredibly thankful to be past that first daycare drop-off experience, which was so--yes, I'll say it--traumatic for me in so many ways. But I'm also thankful to have had that experience, because it really has changed so many things about the way I view motherhood and the way I hope to be an encouragement to others. 

I guess the point of all of this is, for anyone who read my angsty posts back in the day, or for anyone who may yet stumble upon them, it all turned out okay. And I also don't want to give myself any pats on the back, because although yes, I did something hard, it was God who guided me through and God who has answered my prayers for peace. 

Working full time is not going to be the choice for everyone, and daycare is not going to be the choice for everyone. That's okay. But you CAN make that choice and be a good mom.
A full-freaking-time mom (soap box for another dayyyyy dontgetmestarted). 

And your baby will still love you the most.
And yes, you're still raising them.
And no, you won't miss all the milestones.
And yes, it's hard.

And you will be okay.
I am.

I wish I could go back and tell her that she will be too.

Amie said...

I definitely don't think you should delete those posts because that was your true feelings in the moment and now you can look back and see how it all turned out!! I only have two kiddos and NEVER wanted to work from home BUT crazy enough my feeling have changed now. I am planning on retiring in December after 26 years at my job. I WANT to do all the things at school and be home early enough to tackle homework so it's not a fight at 8PM every night. I am so thankful God has blessed us to be in a position for me to be able to make that decision. I think he changed my heart in the time it needed to be as well :) I love that you continue to do life the way you want to!! It's all about what works for each family. Such a precious little baby too!!

Amanda said...

You’re so right that God changes our hearts as well. I’m excited for you! Different seasons call for different things, and I’m thankful to be in a better season of working/daycare, and I know there are more seasons to come! :)

Kaity B. said...

Such a beautiful full circle moment! And of course, I can relate to every last dang emotion. From the trauma (I don't think it's overdramatic to call separating a postpartum mother and her newborn traumatic, especially since we're the only developed country to put women through this...) to the peace and settling in to a new rhythm of life ❤️

Anonymous said...

Not at all dramatic. These emotions show the depth of your love for those four beautiful beings. X

Anonymous said...

Such a sweet smile of G! And I'm so happy for you how it all worked out. I remember your blogposts and how you had such a hard time. It definitly made me feel less alone when I felt very sad or was missing my baby girl back then while I was working. I love following you and your family along. Thank you for taking us all along! All the love from Germany, Berit