Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Let's Not Call It That, M'kay?

When we first got pregnant with Maddie, Justin and I decided that we would do everything in our power to not use day care. Not that there is anything wrong with it, or that it shouldn't be used, it just wasn't for us.

I stayed at home with her for the first year. When she was 13 months, I went back to work at nights, that way Justin could stay with her. Again, no day care. And, it has worked for us. We've done everything that we could to make it work.

We decided that she needed more social interaction when she was 3, so we placed her in a preschool mother's day out. Twice a week seemed plenty.

Well, I'm starting a new job tomorrow. Luckily, it's on the days that she is in school. The only problem is the fact that the office is about 40 minutes away and picking her up on time will be impossible.

So, I decided to check into extended care, through her school. I asked her teacher about it, and she said the words that I had been dreading.

"Just go to the day care office." Why, oh why, did she have to call it day care? After 4 years, it's pretty much a pride thing.

The kicker is that Maddie heard her call it day care. And, for some reason, she thinks that day care is the one thing that has been missing in her life.

First thing this morning: "Mommy, can I go to day care, today? It's going to be so much fun."
Lunch time: "Mommy, you can stay at work a really looooong time, if you want to. I can just stay in day care."
Quiet time: "In day care, they don't make you have a quiet time."
Afternoon before work: "Hey, Mommy, guess what- you really didn't need to sacrifice all of the time you've put into raising me. I didn't need you. I could have just gone to day care. Like I am tomorrow."

Okay, so the last example wasn't true, but that's pretty much what I heard her say, every time I heard "day care".

Just for the record, tomorrow I'm picking her up from Extended Care.

Where I hope she misses me, just a little.

But, I know that probably not going to be the case. Oh, well- what's a working mom to do?

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Sarah O. said...

Maddie's a lucky girl to have such devoted parents. She's also lucky to have time with a bunch of kids her age. Sounds like she's got the best of both worlds!

Amy said...

Congratulations on your job.

For some reason that post brought tears to my eyes. I think it's the realization that at 4 years old they start wanting to step away from us and into the world.

I've flip flopped between working mom at SAHM a couple of times. It always amazes me that I don't think about my kids the whole time I am at work, I don't feel guilty that they are not with me. I expect to feel all those things, but I don't. I've found other working mom's have said the same thing.
Have a great day at work. Maddie will have a blast at her extended care.

cyndy said...

Congrats on the new job. I hope she enjoys Notday Care as much as she thinks she will!

noble pig said...

It's funny my kids ask me why they can't go to the after school extended care program with their friends. They think it's something they are being left out of because they come home. Strange isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Great post! Kids will always want what they don't have. I have done that 100% stay@home gig for 4.3 years now.My daughter has only had a babysitter for 2 nights in her life. I just started taking her to the gym to the kids play zone. She has requested that I take her to the gym everyday. And that I bring the babysitter from the gym home , to watch her. Feel the love!

My friend's daughter, 6th grader has been part of the school's daycare program sense pre-K. She is always telling us how she wish that only one of her parent's worked, not both. And how she wished she had more time @ home w/ her mom or dad. I just remind her, that if her mom stayed home, they would not be able to afford going to the islands for 3 wks every summer, or 4 wk long ski trips every winter, or disney world every spring.
Feel good about what you are doing. You have managed to do more than most mom's will for their child!

Anonymous said...

I so wanted to keep my son at home with me, but financially we weren't sure we could swing it. I'm glad he's only with a sitter for about four hours a day -- the rest he is either with mommy or daddy.

We don't call it day care either. We call it "the sitter".

Day care is just such a *sigh* sad word sometimes. :-) For some moms, not all.

Sarah said...

I never did like daycare as much as Maddie is. All my friends do not stay in daycare. Oh im sorry i used the word daycare;)

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