They say it gets easier, ya know. But truth be told, not always. I have two great children; Andrew is six and is our guinea pig. The oldest always is, testing out new things. First kid to have a babysitter, first kid to sleep train and put in timeout. But also, the first one to try ice cream and take to the zoo. Everything is so fun, but as a new parent there is a certain amount of stress involved as well, right? Am I doing the right thing? Am I being a good parent? Am I raising a good kid? I naively thought with number two things would get easier and for the most part, it has. Until now. I’m days away from sending my daughter (Maddie) to daycare and it’s killing me.
Monday is D-Day, and by that, I mean daycare day. Maddie has been home with us for 18 months and it’s time, I know it is. But that doesn’t make it any easier. Tears will flow, for both of us and she will be fine. Me, I’m not so sure. You see we have been lucky enough to have amazing childcare for the last 18 months. Our nanny has become part of our family but more importantly offered us the opportunity to watch Maddie grow and learn while we work from home.
I won’t lie and say we haven’t missed a moment because we have. But having her at home has been so special. Getting off a conference call and seeing her smile warms my heart. Being able to sneak away and rock her before her nap is something I wouldn’t trade for the world. And just seeing some of her most precious moments while still being able to work is something I will never take for granted. But it’s time.
We are pro daycare. We always have been. As I mentioned before, my husband and I work, and being a stay-at-home mom was never an option for me. Shout out to all the stay-at-home parents. You are a special breed and I have mad respect for you, but that’s just not me. So daycare was always on the table. Frankly, I have known this from the start, but it doesn’t make it easier.
On the other hand, in three days I will have 8-ish hours of peace. While I will miss my daughter, I also relish the idea of not having a screaming child who wants another cookie in the background of my conference calls. I won’t miss the guilt of seeing her with someone else during the day, knowing if I chose not to work that would be me. And I won’t miss the cost of our amazing nannies. While they were worth every penny, we did the math and daycare is 60 percent less!
We also love the social aspect of daycare. We are social people, my husband and me. And while there is no right or wrong decision, my son is still close with some of his pals from daycare and that is exactly what we want. I love seeing my son and daughter interact with other children and the videos we receive from daycare are reassuring we made the right choice. But it doesn’t make it any easier.
As I said, D-day is right around the corner. Baby number two is leaving the roost and it’s killing me. It’s supposed to be smooth sailing the second time around, but I can say without hesitation it’s not. I will miss her every day, in the same way I missed my son (and still do), but I know it’s the right decision. On Monday, Maddie goes to daycare and it makes my stomach turn. And while there are many unknowns in parenthood, there is one thing that I can say for sure. In this instance, it most definitely doesn’t get easier the second time around. Do me a favor, check in on me on Monday, drop-off will be a doozy.