The highs and lows of daycare

Highs and lows of daycare.png

This blog is Day Two of my 30 days of motherhood blogging challenge. Every day, for 30 days, I’ll be sharing diary-style snippets of my life as a working mum to one cheeky toddler. Consider this part creative experiment, part indulgent self-therapy. Feel free to play along at home! You can read Day One here.

Today was a daycare day for Zoey and a work day for me.

Yay for uninterrupted hours of writing time and going to the toilet on my own!

Boo for being apart from Zoey, always wondering what she’s up to, and never being quite sure what mood she’ll be in when I pick her up.

Daycare has its highs and lows, that’s for sure.

Zoey has been attending three days a week since she was about 14 months old. She adores it – she’s never once cried when I’ve dropped her off, but she sometimes cries when I pick her up because she wants to keep playing. It’s actually quite embarrassing, ha.

I feel extraordinarily grateful that she’s happy there – it makes concentrating on my work so much easier. Her teachers are wonderful and she talks about them all the time. She also loves all her little friends, which makes me feel all the warm fuzzies. The other day at the playground, one of her daycare pals spotted her and was super excited to see her – I love how she’s already developing a little social circle at the tender age of 20.5 months old!

But – there’s always a but, right? – I still find it difficult to drop her off some days. Don’t get me wrong, some days are a breeze and I relish the time I get to myself. But some days it feels like I’m missing a limb.

Here’s my theory: when you share your life with a toddler, you adjust to their rhythm. You become so attuned to their needs and the natural flow of their day, that it’s hard to switch gears when they’re not around. It’s weird to have eight uninterrupted hours that don’t revolve around snacks, naps, outings, and other toddler activities. Nice, but weird.

I don’t have time to write an extensive list of the pros and cons of daycare tonight (according to our experience, at least) – nor do I really want to wade into that debate. I’m sure I’ll reveal much more over the coming weeks and you’ll get a glimpse into how daycare works for our family.

But I can report on the highs and lows of today!

Today’s highs: Walking Zoey to daycare in the crisp autumn sunshine and watching her combust with excitement when she sees the daycare gate (she loses it, she gets so pumped!). Getting a sloppy kiss goodbye and a casual ‘see ya’ as I leave (she barely looks back). Her chill approach always makes me laugh – she’s like, “boost it mum, this is my turf!”

Today’s lows: Picking up an overtired child (she napped at a weird time) who screamed in the car all the way home and for ages once we got home. I may have shed a tear or two as well. It sucks when she’s upset and obviously processing big emotions that she can’t put into words. It’s weird to think so much happens in her day that I’m not a witness to; I try not to let my imagination run wild and trust that her wonderful teachers are doing a good job.

Luckily, she came right after a big glass of water and some colouring in with me (she’s obsessed with colouring in at the moment). She also went to bed without a fuss which is always a good sign (if she’s had a really big daycare day she can need a lot of extra cuddles at bedtime).

Other interesting snippets from today:

  • Zoey wore a bib at both breakfast and dinner. WINNING on the laundry front!

  • Unfortunately, she only ate three mouthfuls of dinner (not winning). Here’s hoping she doesn’t wake up at 3 am demanding a bottle (happens more often than I like, she is an extremely fussy child but loves filling up on milk. And I’m a total pushover at 3 am).

  • Tom left the house at 6 am and arrived home at 7 pm (massive day), to be greeted by Zoey doing her nightly post-bath nudie run around the house and then accidentally peeing on the carpet. Welcome home, Dad!

Plenty more happened today in both my work world and Zoey’s world, but I simply don’t have the time to record every detail! It’s interesting how this blog post still only gives a glimpse into about 1% of my day – something to keep in mind when reading about other people’s lives on the internet or social media. Even when we’re trying to be transparent and detailed, there’s still so much left unsaid…

On that note, I’ll wrap up today or I’ll be here all night.

Until tomorrow!

Jess x