DAYCARE BLUES: SEPARATION ANXIETY
Being in lockdown with our children, no matter the age, is both wonderful and challenging at the same time. Watching them mature, learning new skills together and experiencing your relationship with them flourish in this unprecedented time is sacred. Honestly, I’m really looking forward to one day away from my toddler. I need to rest, recover and refocus.
Which makes me think about having to go through the stage of separation, we experience as Parents, when we sign our children up to daycare. It won’t be the same this time round, in terms of anxiousness, but inevitably, I will experience reduced levels of sadness at losing my wingman.
We spent a few days weighing up the pros and cons of a child-minder versus, daycare. I asked friends via Facebook (the normal ways of doing things nowadays!) and a few places came highly recommended. One place in particular stood out and I contacted them about availability and in turn, we were invited to visit and have a look around.
For first time Mums, this is a really daunting experience. The thought of leaving your precious little bundle of joy, in the hands of complete strangers, is terrifying. Not only do you have to contend with that, but then other people who are always going to have an opinion, will tell you, “You don’t want someone else raising your child.” You must ignore those comments because George has thrived at day care and they love it!
The main issue was whether these ‘strangers’ would follow the routine that we had created at home.
Will they stick to the nap times I have painfully fought tooth and nail to set in stone? That’s the biggie. Think back to when your first born went to daycare. Did you call them at a time when your baby should have been napping, just to check that they were following your routine?! I did, quite a few times and every time George was asleep!
As maternity leave comes to an end, you naturally experience a lot of different emotions and doubts on your ability to manage both. You will and you can. It isn’t sunshine and rainbows every day, but you manage. On some days, you absolute crush it and be sure to celebrate those wins with wine.
The transition from being with your baby 24/7 to suddenly, being able to wee without an audience is very surreal and exciting! You feel a little lost and if you’re a natural worrier like me, you might have to fight the desire to call every hour. I was so excited to collect him after his first day. Distance makes the heart grow fonder and I live for the weekend when I get to spend all my time with him.
At the beginning I was calling nursery three times a day to check on George. This gradually faded out as I became used to the staff and, saw the happiness in my son when I collected him after work. Side note: how awesome is it when they run to you when you arrive to collect them from daycare?! Best part of my day.
Everyone deals with this separation differently and at their own pace. Most nurseries encourage you to call or contact them as often as you want and you get end of day reports informing you of their activities throughout the day. I would take pictures of these and send them to Grandparents so they felt in the loop, which they appreciated.
As we prepare to be separated again, at some point in the not so distant future, I will be sad and I’m going George. But I will be happy for him to be around his friends and his ‘Aunties.’ He has changed so much since lock down, I can’t wait for them to hear him talking and laugh at his dancing. To witness his epic meltdowns and help reinforce eating with a spoon again, which went out of the window around week 3 in lock down.
It will be good to spend time apart, to make us appreciate our time together.
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