I know there are lots of women out there like me who do not have the means (or the want) to stay home for long periods of time with their new baby. It’s not to say that your baby isn’t your world, but you still want an identity outside of being “mom” 24/7. You have a career that you love and that is okay!
Now the question is where will your little prized possession be going while you are at work? You decide that a childcare setting will be best for your family, so now you must find the right fit.
So, you found the place and you have your list of questions and you have toured infant rooms. How comfortable are you feeling at this point? Even though your logical brain is telling you that this is a safe environment, your heart may still be having loud whispers of “NO”. It doesn’t mean that the place is bad at all. But since you have become a mom all your spidey-senses are tingling all the time, and about things you never thought twice about before. I personally have become more of a germaphobe. I get the “stranger germ danger” feelings when we are outside of our own home. For me cleanliness was at the top of my list besides safety for finding the right childcare.
I work in childcare, and I am comfortable with how things are run in our building and what to expect in each classroom. Now as a parent I have that “uggghh” feeling of leaving my baby in the care of others (and I know these women, and I know most of them pretty well). I can only imagine how strangers off the street feel about leaving their new baby. It’s less about a trust issue for me, and more about my baby just not being in MY arms. I even get this overwhelming feeling to take my daughter out of family members hands if they have been holding her for too long in my opinion. I just want to be touching her and be able to smell her good baby smell. Having a baby really brings out your primal instincts that you did not know you had.
Over the last few months you and your baby have created a routine with one another from scratch. Because in the beginning neither one of you had a clue what you were doing. Now you have come to expect certain things and giving up that power to others is going to be an adjustment for the both of you. No one is going to do things the way that you do it. And it is going to drive you crazy in the beginning; giving up that control.
I personally was having anxiety over just coming back to work myself and how things were going to never be the same as before. And the fact that since my daughter was born, I had never been away from her for more than like an hour at a time. We have basically been fused together since conception until now. Getting ready for work is a whole new ball game. I am someone who has always favored sleep over getting up early. I now have no choice; I have to get another human being ready for “work” too. Again, changing my routines permanently.
The first day my daughter came to work with me I thought I would feel better having her so close. In all I honesty I ended up feeling more anxious because she was now so close, but I couldn’t go see her whenever I wanted. Everyone else was spending time with her and giving me updates. I know they had good intentions, but it stings a mommy’s heart a little. If you are not as fortunate to work where your baby will be, then you’re going to have to have some tough skin to keep going.
You’re never going to love giving your baby up to others each day, but it does get easier. With each day you and baby are learning another new routine, and it works out. Finding the right childcare setting for you is the most important, or you are not going to stay. You have to be willing to get to know the teachers and let the teachers get to know your family. With a baby it is more than a drop off. More information needs to be shared more frequently. So, find the best fit for you and everything else will fall into place.
Curriculum & Literacy Coordinator
Lead Pre-Kindergarten Teacher