Daycare: Do you send your child or do you not? It’s an oft-discussed debate many parents have. It’s one on which all parents have an opinion. It’s something some families are forced to do, whether they want to or not. It’s something some families welcome readily and other families dread. Sending your child to daycare is a big decision. Unfortunately, not everyone is fortunate enough to have a choice. If you do have the choice, you should understand that it’s not always the bad thing that many people paint it to be. I was one of those people. I was “never, ever, ever” putting my children in daycare (go ahead and read that without your best Taylor Swift impression, I dare you.).
I’ve been a stay-at-home mom since I was 29 weeks pregnant with my first child and I was a stay-at-home mom for one year before I decided to become a work-from-home mom and try to become a writer, which was always my dream. I was fortunate enough to turn that dream into a reality, but it began to take its toll on me as my clientele grew so big I was working nonstop, trying to keep my girls entertained, and trying to have a life. People told me all the time that I should enroll my girls in school a few hours a day just to give myself that uninterrupted time to work so I could devote the rest of my time to them. It was a valid point, but I just couldn’t bring myself to put my kids in school. I was a mom first and foremost, and I wasn’t putting my kids in school when I was home with them.
To make this long story a little shorter, when my oldest daughter started attending VPK last fall, I realized that she loved it. She begged me to stay longer during the day, for the daycare portion of the day. I didn’t let her. Finally, months later, I let her. She loved it. Every day when my 2-year-old and I picked her up from school and took her to school, my 2-year-old cried and begged to stay. I didn’t let her. Finally, three months ago, I decided to enroll my 2-year-old twice a week for three hours in the morning. Twice a week for three hours each time is not much, but I still cried like a baby. Now that it’s been a few months; I’ll share with you what I consider the benefits of being a stay-at-home/work-from-home mom who utilizes daycare
It’s summertime now, and my girls both wanted to go to school throughout the summer. I have them enrolled twice a week and they stay only a few hours. Then they cry and beg me to go every other day. I force them to stay home with me and have fun as a family. I’m horrible – I know. Since my girls started attending school a few days a week, I’ve noticed that everyone’s patience level has improved. They aren’t as impatient with each other because they’re not together 24/7. I’m more patient because I have a few hours a week to work that are completely uninterrupted and I can get a lot done in that time, allowing me to focus on them completely when they are home. My husband is a lot more patient because he lives with three females who are all a lot more patient.
My kids have always been the kind of kids who aren’t interested in learning with us, but the moment someone else wants to play with flashcards or practice handwriting, they’re all over it. We chose a school that is focused on education from birth to VPK rather than one that only provides childcare and all day playtime. They have fun at school, but both girls are in classes that turn all their fun into an education. What we try to teach them, they ignore. What their teachers teach them, they pick up right away. Their intelligence level is astounding (of course, we are a bit biased). However, not everything they learn is all that wonderful. One little girl taught our soon-to-be-kindergartener the lyrics to Flo Rida’s “Whistle” on the playground. That was wonderful.
Quality Time is Better Quality
For me, it’s work. For other moms, it might grocery shopping, errand running, or any other number of things moms have to do but never seem to have the time to do. When your kids are in school just a few hours a week, you can get all of that done and focus on the kids a lot more when they are home. It’s taught me that everyone is happier. I’m happy to get things accomplished and spend more quality time with my girls, and my girls are happy to get to spend time with kids their own age, their wonderful educators, and they take such joy in making art projects to bring home to give us as gifts.