Whether you are returning to work out of need or desire, the transition from home to daycare can be a bit stressful for both you and your child. I know I have been there, so in an effort to help make the situation a little easier, I have some tips that might prove useful.
Do a test run.
A few days before you actually return to work, take your child to their new daycare for an hour or two. This will help you determine what problems you might encounter before there is a major time crunch. This will also give your childcare provider a chance to get to know your child a little bit better. I feel, though, I must warn you, the test run can go fantastic, then without warning, when you are headed back to work-BOOM and DOOM. You have a crying, screaming child on your hands and ten minutes to get to work. This fiasco leads us to the next tip.
Give yourself plenty of time to get everyone ready, just in case things don’t go as smoothly as you had planned. With kids you just never know when disaster could strike, everything is going along fine; then there is spit up, throw up or even a throw down and everyone, including you needs to change clothes. Even, in the event, things go smoothly, it is still a good idea to be a little early, just in case there is a need for mommy to get her emotions under control. While you might think you won’t cry, there is no guarantee. After all and even though I knew they would be fine, I cried with both of my kids. With this sentiment in mind, if at all possible, I also suggest taking the first day of kindergarten off from work. Even though you are a working mom, who has dropped her kids off a many times, the first day of kindergarten is different. Trust me on this.
Try for shorter workdays
Again, this is an “if it possible” deal. There are many understanding employers that may allow you to ease back into your job. This is not necessarily something that you would need to do on a permanent basis.
Ditch the guilt
A last bit of advice; or if I could go back in time, would I still work? The answer is yes, I would. I believe my children’s lives were enriched by their childcare providers and the other children they formed relationships with. My children are 7 and 14, with that gap in ages they needed other children to play with. I am a social recluse, I not sure I would not have arranged play dates for them. They may not have been aware of other children until they were in school, so daycare was really a good thing for my kids.
The only thing I might change, if I had the chance, would have been to keep them home just a bit longer; both my children went into daycare after they were only a few months old. I don’t my kids were hurt by this, but I feel that I missed out on that wonderful and fleeting tiny baby time.
With this in mind there is a confession I feel I must make known. I did not actually potty train either of my children. For that I must thank Grandma J, from my daughter’s daycare and Auntie T from my son’s. Thanks ladies, you are the best!