Thursday, September 8, 2011

Mom's Day Out

You'll have to excuse my non-counseling post today. My little girl, still a baby to me at 15 months, started Mother's Day Out yesterday. Sigh. I was dreading it. Dreading it with a capital D. So much that the night before I don't think I ever entered a real sleep state because I had constant dreams that I was forgetting her lunch, or something went wrong at school, or some other nightmare school related problem.

I am one of those moms who has not placed her child in any daycare setting yet.  Not a church nursery, mostly because my doctor scared me about the germs in those places for the first year of life. And I have not put her in the gym daycare yet because I wanted her to know how to walk first and be self-sufficient, but then I saw all the big kids in the gym daycare after she turned was walking and it scared me off. And I have not put her in any mom group nursery like MOPS, or my PTA Meeting childcare options either. And no babysitters yet, only family.  So basically no childcare what-so-ever.  Nada.

NOT that there's anything wrong with putting your child in a childcare setting, I was just trying to avoid germs, sickness, and big kids. I have memories of being in church nursery settings with mixed ages and protecting my younger sister from the big kids who would pull on her arm (because they thought she was a cute baby and didn't know better) to the point I swear it was going to be pulled out of its socket.

But I realized that my child needed to be introduced to a non-mommy only setting. She needed to experience life without her mom there 24/7.  I decided to do a gradual process and start her going 1 day a week to Mom's Day Out at an area preschool that has gotten good reviews from other moms.  We were on a wait list and were lucky enough to get in for one day a week, Wednesday.

But what I learned after enrolling her, was that it was a 9am-2:30pm Mom's Day Out.  Then I started getting teary because I love spending time with my child and the thought of her being gone for 5.5 hours seemed super long to me.  The morning is fast but then after lunch they put them down for naps from 12-2:30pm.  Hmm.. Usually my child sleeps around 3 hours from 12-3 or sometimes 12:30-3/4pm. And cutting her nap short is not good for her or me, because it equals a cranky tired child who is over tired and has an even harder time falling asleep at night.

So I decided to ask the teacher if we could pick up my little Luna early before nap and take her home. Was it because I wanted her to nap at home? Well, yeah, but secretly it was mostly because I missed her :)  I guess we both need baby steps in this process.  I figured I would see how it goes and after a few weeks try to see if she will nap there. The teachers probably have already labeled me the high maintenance, annoying parent, but oh well.

But the drop off went well, MUCH better than expected.  She saw the teacher and all the toys and reached out for her, no tears what-so-ever.  Which helped me more than you can imagine. If she had cried, I don't think I could have waited to pick her up!  But so glad she took to the teacher well and when we came to pick her up early at 12pm, she reached out for me but still no tears. Yay!  She napped well at home that day too, her school really wore her out.

Hopefully she will do well in MDO, and hopefully I will too.  I also had reservations sending her to MDO at all, because they are only at home with you for so long and in a couple of years she will be in the mandatory school system for 18 years+ of her life!  I have to cherish these days where they are at home with you, because everyone tells me they fly by.  What am I going to do when I have to enroll her in real preschool, and it's 5 days a week at age 3??



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