Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Highs and Lows of Day Care

The hardest part about going back to work is being away from Bradley (obviously).  Like, really hard.  Really really hard.  Ok, you get it (and most of you deal with this same issue).  My first two weeks back at work my mom came up to watch Bradley, so of course his care was immaculate.  That made it SO easy to go back to work.  The week after that was quite possibly the worst week of my life, and if you followed along on Instagram you already know about this.  

Photo before his first day at day care

Long story short, I went to feed Bradley on his first day at his day care and I was APPALLED by the treatment and care (or lack of care) that the babies received.  Every baby was left to "cry it out" and not even glanced at, all had bright red/tear stained faces at all times, they weren't spoken to, acknowledged, etc, let alone things that were advertised to us like using sign language or even getting a snuggle here or there.  There were other things I noticed too, but you get the point!  

I brought up my concerns to the manager and she was a nice lady, but was super defensive and had an excuse for everything.  I knew this was NOT going to work.  There are very few things that can make you feel more helpless than knowing your child is not being cared for well.


I continued going each day that week so he would have at least 30 minutes of love and attention in the day and my final straw was coming into the building, hearing him crying (more like screaming) from the hallway, and seeing him flat on the ground in unassisted tummy time with his face smashed to the floor because he wasn't strong enough to be left alone.  I grabbed him and they said he "just started crying" (obviously a lie by the state he was in).  I left bawling because it took every ounce of me to not leave with him but I didn't know what to do about work.


I pretty much spent every waking moment researching and frantically touring other facilities since I knew he could not stay there.  I didn't know what to do and was about to quit my job and just stay at home with him but LOVE my coworkers, boss and job, and didn't want to lose that as well!  Plus they were beyond supportive of my hot mess self.  That Thursday night, one of the facilities I toured said we could bring him in that Friday for a test day so he was out of the previous center after just four days.  

When I picked him up after his "test" day at the new center he was all smiles, bright eyed, and loving life!  I knew it was night and day from his time at the first place.  They also created this sweet poster of all the fun he had!


We switched him right away to the new center and it has been the best decision!  Granted, I will never be totally at ease being away from him but know they are loving him as much as they can, and I LOVE THEM for that!  I think it helps that they all happen to be super sweet moms, too, so they get it.  It is super close to my work as well, so since I EBF (exclusively breast feed) and barely pump enough, I am able to go feed him over lunch every day which uses one less bottle (and I get some snuggle time).

How cute are all of his little welcome signs?



They also had us make a sheet with some fun facts so his new friends could get to know him. :)



I'm pretty sure all of this drama caused some PPD for me (I did NOT handle it well), and I do worry that I am semi still struggling with that, but not full blown.  I have to deal with it until I know if I can ever be a stay at home mom or if working mom is the life for me!  For now, we are so grateful for our new center!  

Here are some more cute pics they have taken of him. :)





Anyone else have as big of a constant struggle/inner conflict as me, or am I just a crazy new mom (or both)? :)  And BELIEVE ME, I know that being a SAHM can be even MORE difficult!  

I also feel like I am in a constant state of rushing around, not getting everything done, not spending enough time with him, while at the same time not getting enough "me" time but that is a whole other issue.  The struggle is real, fellow moms!  So glad we are all in this together!!

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14 comments:

  1. Hooray for the new center!! While I haven't had a child, I don't think you're being crazy. Clearly you were seeing what they were like in the middle of their day, and it wasn't good enough. I would maybe tell your hubby that you have a 30 minute per day "health" time (whether it is mental health, or physical health), and ask him to help you stick to it. It is just as important as Bradley's health and your husband's health.

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    1. True! Sometimes I just have to say, "I HAVE to take a bath!" and he doesn't fight it. :) It must be nice to be a husband and know your wife will take care of everything! :)

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  2. That has been a fear of mine, I don't think I can leave my baby I know eventually I will have too. He does stay in the nursery while we are at church so he is getting to interact with other children. Currently I'm staying at home with my baby since I did not have a job and there were no spot available at the local day care. You are a very strong woman going back to work and juggling your house work and time with baby. I hope things keep going well at the new day care.
    http://love-pink-forever09.blogspot.com/

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    1. Awww thank you! I do think a caring day care is good for babies, like you said! Socialization is so important but so is mom time. :)

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  3. I follow you on IG and my heart is breaking for you after hearing what happened at the first place. I'm so sad that happened to any child. I am a SAHM. Honestly it's not something I thought I would ever do (I have 3 degrees!) but it is the best decision I have ever made for my boys (we now have 2) and my husband. My husband has a good job (Nebraska Medical Center), we cut back and made a budget so that it could work. If you are at all considering staying home, try living off your husband's salary and having yours go straight to savings. It makes for a good test run. It's not for everyone. I think the world would be a lot better place if all moms supported each other (whether you work, are a SAHM, BF, formula feed). Everyone is doing the best they can do and what works best for their family. I am so happy to see how well things are going at the second day care. I'll keep lurking at your cute pictures on IG - yikes that sounds creepy! :)
    -Jill

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    1. That is great advice!! We have kind of been trying to do that anyway since daycare takes a large percentage of my paycheck! And I am SO with you. My mom was a SAHM and she is the hardest working person I know, and everyone's situation is completely different! I am the world's biggest lurker so please lurk away! :)

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  4. We went through a similar daycare dilemma after being at a center for 8 weeks. We've been at the new center for just over a year, and our daughter loves it! It's such a relief. I was also convinced that I should become a work from home mom, but now that she's two years old, I know that being home together wouldn't work for us. She needs structure, socialization, and guidance from teachers, and I need a reason to leave the house and something to focus on outside of family priorities. You'll get in a good groove soon enough with everything you're juggling right now. I promise!

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    1. Aww thank you for the encouragement! I know everything will work out, whatever we decide. I hate not knowing! The control freak in me. :)

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  5. I tried to post before and I'm not sure it posted. Basically, hang in there! It gets better! If you love your coworkers and job then it's worth it to stay in the workforce. Before you know it you will find yourself saying "man, is it Monday yet???" :)

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  6. Oh that just breaks my heart!! So glad you have him in a better situation now. It would be just gut wrenching to worry about the environment your precious little man is being left in all day while you're working. My husband and I live in your area and are hoping to get pregnant this year. As of now we're likely both going to keep working...would you mind sharing where you have B now, or shooting me an email? Finding a good daycare is one of my biggest worries!
    Jen

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    1. Of course! What is your email? Yes, I know now that finding day care is one of the hardest things!!

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    2. Great! My email is j dot Nelson at a n c m n dot com

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  7. You said it all very well and I am so sorry that you had to go through the issues with your first daycare. Having a great place to take your child while you work makes all the difference in the world, but it is still not easy being a working mom. I might rant a little bit here, but we have an 8 month old girl and I am very passionate on the subject as I struggle as well! The United States REALLY does need better maternity leave laws (if only we lived in Canada or Australia and had at least a year off, right?). I don't know that the guilt and tears will ever go away, but I still think that even at 8 months PP, our bodies are experiencing a lot and breastfeeding likely makes us hormonal! I like to keep in mind all the things that I am able to provide for my child and showing her that you can do both if you want - be a mom and work. My mom always worked, but I never remember that being an issue during childhood or could I even tell you about the sitters I was at. She was the one I have memories with. Our daughter is at an in home with only a few other babies a bit older than her, but I think the interaction with other children and the time spent in the care of someone other than mommy has been great for her. Working makes me cherish the time I do have with my daughter and make it even more valuable - plus I likely have much more patience with her in the time we do have together than if I were home with her all day. If Bradley is a good sleeper – think about how he is spending a good chunk of his day sleeping while you are away from him. And what a great situation that you can go snuggle and feed him! It is nice to get out of the house, go to work and have adult time (and bonus - a paycheck!), but I can’t help but have her on my mind all day. Having the support and friendship of other working moms (especially those that breastfeed) has been amazing. I joined a few groups on Facebook (Working Moms Who Make Breastfeeding Work, our local La Leche League, Central Iowa Working Moms) which are wonderful resources. I hear you on the constant rushing and not taking any me time – but that is because you are a good mother and your baby is your number one priority and we wouldn’t have it any other way. And those smiles at the end of the day are all worth it!

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