My little love will be going to daycare for the first time tomorrow. I am feeling completely overwhelmed with emotions right now, and so I’m reaching out to other moms and dads out there who read this blog and who have already been through this experience.
I feel very fortunate to have a day care literally a 5 minute walk from my office (a walk I intend to make every day during lunch!). I feel grateful that the staff in the infant room seem to genuinely care about the children they watch. I feel lucky to have a job, especially one that I truly love and that still helps us work toward our financial goals even with daycare in the picture.
I also feel a lump in my throat and an aching in my heart. Nobody, not even the world’s greatest daycare providers, is ME. while I don’t have the most knowledge about infant development or proper childcare, I know for certain that nobody can give my daughter as much love as I have in my heart for her (a love that continues to blow my mind with its ability to grow and grow).
I have these horrible visions of my child sitting in a bouncer, crying out for attention and love. I know that the staff there will do their best, but the ratio of providers to children is 1:3, and its easy to do the math here and realize that not every child can be cuddled and cared for every moment. My heart absolutely breaks at the thought of my child feeling lonely.
I’m also afraid that I won’t send enough milk with her for the day, and that she’ll be hungry and I won’t be there to provide for her. I’m afraid that she’ll be overwhelmed with the intense stimulation that comes from being exposed to a room full of babies and noise.
I’m afraid of so very many things that I ultimately cannot control. A dear friend told me once that this is a large part of what parenting is all about…making peace with what you cannot control, and letting go. But I have no idea how to do this.
Any advice for someone in my shoes, who has to take this next step with her baby, which results in both of us growing up just a little bit more?