Daycare Guilt

So…. the worst thing happened yesterday.  Well, not the worst, but I’m still upset about it.  When I picked Avery up from daycare yesterday, like all weekdays, he was super-cranky due to a diaper rash.  Poor guy was in pain.  The girls (daycare caregivers) updated me on his red bum and I put Avery down to gather his backpack.  When I put him down, he immediately put his arms up to be picked up again… but not towards me, towards one of the girls.  I was devastated.

Yeah, he spends 50 hours a week there, but I’m always the one he wants… he is always clinging to me…running after me if I leave the room.. and my hubby even gets annoyed that Avery doesn’t go to him like he does to me.  So to see him have that connection with one of the girls completely upset me.

I didn’t brood over it last night… I put it on the back burner and tended to a cranky Avery and tried all means to soothe his red bum.  Luckily it looks like a normal diaper rash…not a yeast infection or anything…so we watched some Lion King and Elmo and Skyped with Aunt Sarah in Texas.  There was lots of cuddling and holding.  But after Avery was sleeping soundly, the thoughts about earlier poured in.  It’s good that he has a connection with the girls there… right?  Of coarse.  But he spends so long at daycare each week… and maybe I’m not spending enough time with him?

Now the mommy guilt started to hit me.  I spend hours every night with Avery… but it’s not undivided attention.  We go for a walk or play at the park… then I juggle him and cooking dinner, packing his bags for tomorrow, dishes & bottles, etc.  I feel horrible that I can’t just come home and play for hours.  If I did that, I’d be up until 10pm every night doing the household stuff and we all know how little sleep I already get!  So what to do?

I talked to hubby about it and he tried to assume me that I’m still ‘number one’ and that Avery is just social and will go to anyone.  This is true… he is very good with people because of daycare.  Daycare is good for him… interacting with other kids and adults.  I know I’m working to support Avery and our family and it’s for the best.  But I’m still upset.  Feeling guilty.  If I could spend more time with Avery, I would.  But I have to work…and things need to get done at home.  We barely make ends meet so me staying home with Avery is out of the question… what to do…

mommy and newborn

Avery & Mommy right after Avery was born



10 thoughts on “Daycare Guilt

  1. Oh No! I probably don’t have many words to make you feel better but I want you to feel better! This has to be perfectly perfectly normal in every aspect of the situation – your feelings, how wonderful it is that Avery adores his day-care providers, how well adjusted he is – There’s little doubt you are still tops in Avery’s eyes. I think you just have to keep reminding yourself how great it is for him to know and trust a diverse group of adults and that you are doing the right thing for your family by juggling so many responsibilities and you are still creating a wonderful world for that cutie-pie. 🙂

    • Thanks, Deni. Juggling so much is draining and there is never enough hours in the day to get everything done… so I just try to spend as much time with Avery as I can…. and I really can’t do much more than that, right?

  2. Meghan, I started work (part-time) after being a SAHM for 3 years. The whole idea of our son being in daycare has me and the hubby down in the dumps. They seem to be nice people but he’s still crying after being dropped off there whereas he can’t get enough of playschool 😦

    It’s tough. Very tough. It’s to your advantage if Avery takes to the daycare staff because then the chances of them doing a fantastic job of taking care of him increases quite a bit. Who can resist lil munchkins?

    But Vinay’s right…you’ll be numero uno. When we go to Siddharth’s school for any PTM and he comes across the classroom helper from his playgroup days, he rushes to her to be picked up whereas now I have to ASK for a hug and kiss while he leaves home for school.

    Don’t worry…you’re doing a great job. It’ll sort itself out in a bit.

    Good luck!

    • Thanks, Ayanti. I you’re right. I just have to keep reminding myself that him going to daycare is good for him..and I gotta cherish his desire to always be held by me at home because some day he won’t want that…

  3. You’re definitely still number one, but this would break my heart too:( It’s such a strange dilemma because on the one hand, you definitely want them to be happy and well adjusted where they are and bonded to their caregivers (and vice versa), yet it still hurts really bad when it feels like they choose “them” over you. One day Annabel saw me at the door and didn’t immediately come running for me like she normally does. I felt terrible. I wish I could tell you that it’s fine, but honestly the whole situation still bothers me even though I’m home part-time with her now. Just know you aren’t alone and we’re all in this together! 🙂

    • Thanks, Adrianne. Avery’s done that too… seen me and not come running. But it’s OK…that just means he’s having a great time at daycare. So I should be happy about that, right? 🙂

  4. Hello Meghan. Although I never experienced your dilemma, as a mother myself, I can sympathize. I commend you for being a very attentive, loving, and caring mother. I’m sure you’ve witnessed for yourself that not all biological mothers are like that.
    To help put things in perspective for you, think about what other mothers are going through in other lands where there are no daycare system. Case in point, many children in Africa and Haiti (as well as in other countries) are raised by grandparents or by their adult aunts or cousins so that the parents can go find work outside their village or even outside the country. Some of these children, later on, have issues with feelings of abandonment. Everyone–well, many people anyway, are trying to do the best they can in the situation that they are in.
    So, cherish the time you have with Avery as much as you can. Live every moment with him as if it were your last. That will make every moment a precious one. And you will not have to lament later on that the time went by “too fast.” –Francois

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