Today I woke up knowing that it is the last day I will take my son to daycare. I have taken my kids to daycare for more than seven years between the two kids, and knowing that I will not be there next Monday gives me so many mixed emotions. My little one started daycare when he was only 11 weeks old and now he is ready for his next adventure.
My reflection is a token of gratitude for everything we have lived during this stage, but I also hope that it will give some peace of mind to those moms who are just starting to take their children to daycare or those who are in the middle of this stage, because I know it is not easy.
When I left my baby at 11 weeks, it really hurt and the guilt was inevitable, wishing I could be with him a little longer. Accepting this decision was not easy and happened gradually, but there were times when I wished we did not have to be there, that I didn’t have to work and leave my baby.
Personally, keeping a grateful heart has always helped me to see things in a different way, and at the same time, I have always been quick to clarify those things that I don’t like to avoid misunderstandings.
I also try to remember that there is not a perfect situation and even those who have a nanny at home face problems that range from late arrivals to sudden resignations. It is better to try not to compare my life to others’ lives.
When my babies were little and starting daycare, doctor visits, viruses, and infections were frequent, but when they turned two years old, they seemed to have developed the immunity they needed, and sick time was reduced.
Everything became easier when my kids grew a little older—when I didn’t have to carry diapers, formula, or frozen breast milk. But even though my son is four and has been at daycare all of his life, there are days he doesn’t want to go or when he feels anxious. In those cases, it has always helped my children and me to hug. I listen to them and their concerns. They can seem minimal to us as adults but they are really big to them. And it also helps me to listen to other moms who have gone through the same; we are not alone, and as I said at the beginning, everything will pass.
Now that we are done with daycare, I can’t deny that I have so many mixed emotions. On one hand, I feel so happy to see my son being more independent and I’m really excited that next school year both of my kids will be in the same school and I will “save” time dropping them off. I also feel like my husband and I have gotten a raise because we will not have that monthly payment anymore. But I can’t help feeling nostalgic.
As a working mom who doesn’t have any family around because they live in a different town (across the border), daycare has been that place where we have been blessed to meet teachers who love what they do and love our children. We were lucky to find a school compatible with our family, where we felt comfortable leaving our boys, where they have been happy most of the time and have been able to build many friendships.
Today, it hurts to see how fast the time has gone. Today, it hurts to say goodbye, knowing that we will not be able to frequently greet those people that we appreciate so much.
Today, my heart is also full of gratitude. I’m thankful for every moment that my family lived in this school. I’m thankful for the teachers who gave my children hugs when they needed them, and for all the love, patience, and teaching they gave them. I’m thankful that we are finished with this stage. To those just starting the daycare journey or in the middle of it, enjoy it because even though the problems may seem eternal, time really has flown by for us.