Friday, June 4, 2010

Biting the Daycare Bullet

We weren't going to do it. We weren't going to leave Jack in the care of anyone else, ever, not even for a minute. We are our child's best caregivers, and we weren't going to trust our precious little man with...God forbid...strangers!

That was before Jack was born. Reality has set in. It is hard to be a stay at home dad who is 100% in charge of a baby for 11.5 hours a day, five days a week. Sometimes, it can feel overwhelming.

Daddy needs a break.

It took us a long time to get here. It took a long time for us to be okay with this decision. We consulted friends, family and acquaintances, and in every conversation we came to one single conclusion: a little bit of quality day care is okay. In fact, it can be very beneficial.

Coworkers related stories about how daycare helped a fussy eater learn good eating skills by observing other little ones eat. Friends talked about the benefits of socialization. Family recalled what their babies learned through their pre-school activities. These are all very good things.

I found a daycare that emphasizes learning through play. I saw an infant room where babies were being sung to, cuddled and played with - not "stored" in bouncers and swings. The teachers showed me last week's art projects - the babies had art projects! I'm in love! Teachers told me about their music projects, about working on motor skills, about how my son's basic needs are just the beginning of what they strive to fulfill while he is in their care. I was very impressed.

Once I get through this mountain of enrollment paperwork, my happy little chunk of a baby will be going to daycare one afternoon per week.

Deep breath. It is going to be okay. No, better: it is going to be good for him.

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