March 21, 2012

Changing Child Care is No Joke

Before I had a child, child care was just one more thing that came with the territory, a necessity for working parents. When I became pregnant, researching and finding child care suddenly became an overwhelming task, but without knowing exactly what to look for or expect it wasn’t real. It was like the empty crib in the nursery – I know what it’s for and it looks pretty but it was just furniture. When I had my daughter, dropping her off at child care became a scary reality. I had to leave my baby…with someone who was almost a complete stranger.

 After weeks of settling in, crying on my way to work and texting my child care provider daily, I was able to relax and trust that my daughter was well cared for. As my time with her progressed, I could tell she truly cared for my daughter and my daughter cared for her. After almost a year, I was faced with the need to change child care providers. The idea of having another stranger look after my very aware 14 month old was heartbreaking.

 The first week was torture, incredibly stressful – I cried, she cried, I cried some more. Now I know why parents hate to change care providers – they become attached…children and parents. You grow accustomed to the routines, the expectations, the other families. The providers or teachers become like extended family, which is what helps working parents keep their sanity.

 What was your experience with changing child care and how did you help make the adjustment better?

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