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Do your children attend daycare?

Posted by on Feb. 14, 2014 at 9:44 AM
  • 17 Replies

My Toddler Would Be Better Off in Daycare Than at Home With Me​

by Lisa Fogarty

My two-year-old daughter might be what you call "high maintenance." She doesn't like to play by herself, talks a blue streak, and is constantly looking for attention. One of her favorite phrases is "Look at me," something she says before doing somersaults or splits or -- gasp -- diving off the couch because another one of her traits is absolute fearlessness. I've caught her staring at herself in the mirror and pretending to cry. She asks about a gazillion questions a day about everything. Ev-er-y-thing.

The problem is her mom is also high maintenance. I made the decision this year to quit my full-time job and do something that would allow me to raise my daughter, but as a work-from-home parent, I require hours during the day when I can just stare at a computer screen. And I'd be lying if I said I didn't often wonder if a daycare worker would do a better job of "raising" my daughter than I am.

Honestly, a big, fat reason why I opted to stay home is because daycare in New York City is expensive -- like half-my-salary-per-month expensive. It made more fiscal sense for me to stay at home. But there were other reasons behind my decision. I HATED getting home at 5, receiving recaps from my mom and mother-in-law (who graciously babysat my daughter for nearly 2 years) and realizing I missed out on hearing my daughter express a fear of mannequins. She had her very first scare, and I was nowhere near to give her a hug.

Other things bothered me, too. I wanted to make sure she wasn't watching too much TV and that she was getting outside a bit more and exercising. I wanted to challenge her to learn her numbers and the letters of the alphabet. On days when she had an earache and had to be brought to the doctor, I wanted to be the one to do it.

So I have the fortune -- and believe me, I KNOW I'm fortunate -- to be able to wake up, work feet away from my daughter's play area, make her a healthy breakfast and lunch, and experience all of the joyful and sad experiences she lives through on a daily basis.

But let's be real. We're both human. And two humans who spend so much time together sometimes get sick of one another -- even moms and daughters. She gets bored watching me work and throws her sippy cup at the wall, knowing I'll have to stop what I'm doing and take 5 minutes to clean up the juicy mess. I start to think about my many friends who have kids in daycare and who rave about how many little companions they've made -- I mean, they have actual children to invite to their 3-year-old's birthday party!

I worry that she isn't gaining the valuable experience of learning how to share her toys, not take other children's food, and listen to a caretaker who isn't her mother or father. As much as I try to impose a "schedule" at home -- you know, now we'll watch Sesame Street, and now you should draw a picture, etc -- it falls to pieces more times than I care to admit. Will she be far behind the other kids once she enters Pre-K? Am I overthinking this? Yes, probably. But every time she asks a really great question about a bug in her book and I'm trying to concentrate and have to tell her to "hold her question" -- as if she understands that and is capable of it -- I can't help but wonder whether she would get the attention she deserves at a quality daycare.

Do you have positive or negative experiences with working from home? Do your children attend daycare and has it been beneficial for them?

by on Feb. 14, 2014 at 9:44 AM
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by Bronze Member on Feb. 14, 2014 at 9:51 AM

MY kids were attending daycare. My DS started daycare at 9 months old and went until he turned 3. But, daycare is flipping expensive. After daycare, gas, lunch, and childcare for weekends, I was SPENDING $300 a month to go to work. So I quit, and stay home. I was so worried that DS would hate me for taking him out of daycare, that he would miss his friends, his teachers, his routine, his playground. But, boy was I shocked. The first day, he had a blast. The second day, he was still happy to be home. By the third day, if I drove anywhere near his daycare facility, he would start crying and say, "No, I don't want to go to daycare! I want to stay home with mommy!" (: Made my day, let me tell you. Now I just have to find DD a pool to swim in in the summer, and enroll her in dance, and we'll be all set.

by on Feb. 14, 2014 at 10:21 AM

I decided to be a stay at home mom a year ago, I feel like it was a bad decision my daughter doesnt let me drop her off anywhere she just screams like she was beat the whole day( even with my family) she loves DH family but we've been stuck living with them and they give her what she wants all the time and dont disipline( i hate it). When shes around her cousin they both fight over everything and anything. I tried just taking her to daycare for a few hours so she can play with other kids and all she does is cry has no interest in playing whatsoever. She's bored here her toys are old so now I pack half them up for a while then bring them back out. Theres are days when I just want to get rid of her(sounds bad I know) but I need a break from her even if its a few hours. I'm about to have another one and this one and one with her is going to end quickly so I think in the next few weeks I'm going to take her to daycare so that she learns not to hit and can play with other kids, and most importnatly that she isnt number 1. I spend all day with her and have since she was little so DH cant do anything for her or with her unless we force her to let him put her down for a nap or bed(usually fights for an hour or more) she finally got over me having to make her lunch he can do that and give her supper now, its my fault and i know it is wish i could go back in time and just cut back on hours and spend more time with her that way. 

by Bronze Member on Feb. 14, 2014 at 10:23 AM

I stay at home with my children and I love it. I do not, however, work from home - just a SAHM.

I am a Home Schooling, Vaccinating, Non spanking, Nightmare Cuddling, Dessert Giving, Bedtime Kissing, Book Reading, Stay at Home Mom. I believe in the benefit of organized after school activities and nosy, involved parents. I believe in spoiling my children. I believe that I have seen the village and I do not want it anywhere near my children. Now for the controversial stuff:  we're Catholic, we're conservative, and we own guns (now there's no need to ask, lol).             Aimee

by Bronze Member on Feb. 14, 2014 at 11:26 AM
I'm a stay at home mom, my work is my home. Prepare meals, snacks, playtime and house work. However I don't think it's wrong that children go to daycare but I won't let my son go, first of I have a hard time trusting people to watch my son, and daycare costs a lot and I rather be spending that time with my son.
by on Feb. 14, 2014 at 11:39 AM
Ds attended daycare from six months to almost three years. It was hard on both of us. When i was finally able to quit and be a SAHM, it was a tremendous gift. He blossomed and became a completely different kid. All of a sudden he was calm, secure, well behaved, and soaking up our lessons like a sponge.

I homeschooled him for prek and kind of regret putting him in school. He's bored because he's light years ahead and is being exposed to influences I'm not fond of even though it's a great school. I also miss our time together.
by on Feb. 14, 2014 at 11:59 AM

My oldest went to a day care center with lots of children to play with and organized educational activities. Some of the benefits of that is that he now does very well in social situations and he learned things very quickly (numbers, letters, etc). Some of the negatives were staff turnover at the center which led to some questionable things happening, some issues that I don't feel were handled correctly (bullying), and picking up bad habits from some of the naughty children (cursing), and a few other things. Ultimately that environment, while it had its benefits, became one where I was constantly worried about my child being there during the day.

We have since switched to an in-home day care run by a family friend that I know and trust, and I can tell you my mind is now completely at ease when I drop them (now 2 kids) in the morning. The structured school-like environment is missing unfortunately, but I think we are all much happier now being where we're at.

I don't know how well I would do as a SAHM. That seems like a seriously tough task to do every day without a break or adult time of your own. I applaud those who do it well. I could do it if I had to and I'm sure there would be things about it I would love, but for now our household needs the 2 incomes.

by Nikki on Feb. 14, 2014 at 12:02 PM
My children have never been to daycare, however I did daycare out of my home for awhile and I felt that socially it was good for them.
by Silver Member on Feb. 14, 2014 at 12:13 PM

 My son has never been in daycare. I was a sahm for a while. Now I work fulltime, but my husband and I work different shifts so that one of us is always home with our son. I've loved having my son with us without ever needing daycare, a babysitter, etc, but I'm kind of nervous how it'll be when he starts school this fall (he'll be almost 5) since he's never been with anyone but family.

by on Feb. 14, 2014 at 12:16 PM

My daughter does not attend daycare. I was a SAHM until she was a little over a year and then went back to work part time. The only people who watch her are family or close family friends. 

by on Feb. 14, 2014 at 12:20 PM

 I stayed at home for 2 years with my son, but right before my other son was born I was offered a position I couldn't turn down. So I enrolled them in daycare. they have learned and grown so much from being surrounded by other little kids thier age. While I still read and work with them at home, they speak flawlessly and have an outstanding vocab. I am not sure if i could have done as good of a job as the teachers that they have. I also think sometimes the boys are more willing to learn and try with someone else then me, because I am still "mom".  Now I totally miss them each day, and picking them up each evening is a highlight, dropping them off on days when they don't want to go breaks my heart. but the good outweight the bad. I love to hear about their friends and they get invited to playdates and birthdays and build their own relationships! Good Luck!!

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