This morning I spoke with a new mom who’s been back at work for 1 month. She’s sad leaving her son with a stranger every day. After three children, I remember feeling how she feels.
It’s harder to think about leaving to go to work than it is to go. Staying busy at work is key – and ensuring that you commit to making work exciting and interesting is important too. Thinking about the options for childcare in terms of what makes you the most comfortable with your choice (or necessity as is quite common) is also important. We chose day care over a nanny because we didn’t want to leave our children with one adult all day (and I definitely am not designed to be a full-time at-home parent). We found a wonderful, licensed program that has a 4:1 ratio until the children are 2 ½. They are surrounded by love.
Drop off was tough at first – my babies clung to me and cried when we had to disconnect. But then they smiled at their teachers and I knew that their needs would be met with love. Not to mention that these early-infant experts would be better than me at introducing foods and getting my babies on a napping schedule. In fact, my mantra became “maintain the routine” on the weekends because it worked so well during the week.
Ganon, our day care center, did the heavy lifting on potty training. They worked with each child to learn the monkey bars and initial ABCs and 1,2,3s. Mostly, they surrounded my children with love – and they were open at predictable hours with qualified staff. My children learned:
- You are not the center of the world
- Play nice in the sandbox – literally - and learn to make friends to play with
- Learn to ask for what you want with words – no one can watch you all the time
- Bumps and scrapes happen and hugs cure them
- Mommy and Daddy always come back and reunions are wonderful
These are great lessons that continue to serve my children in elementary school. Knowing that my children were safe, happy and loved made it easier for me to return to work and focus on the work I need to do so that I can get home for sacred time. What made saying good-bye in the morning okay for you?