Starting day care for the first time – the what ifs and the possibilities.

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The Little Mister starts day care for the first time this week and while I’ve been excited at the thought of free time (ha – let’s see how long that lasts with the possibility of casual work and all the tasks that pile up each week), I am starting to get really nervous! Despite the fact that he is SO ready and I know he’s going to thoroughly enjoy being the little social butterfly that he is, I am still freaking out a little….because I’m me.

We’re sending him once a week (with the possibility of twice by the end of the year), to help him prepare for 3 full days a week of 4 year old kindy at school next year. We didn’t want to just chuck him in the deep end.

So what silly things have got me all tied up in knots? Let me allow you to view my ridiculous stream of thoughts – uncensored in all their irrational glory…

What if the other kids are assholes?

What if my kid acts like one? He can be pretty bossy and sometimes when he’s tired…well…

What if him being an only child somehow makes him seem more immature than the other kids his age? What if he’s slower to understand some stuff and gets punished for being naughty when he simply doesn’t get it yet? What if they forget how young he is and expect too much (he looks older than he is)?

What if toilet training doesn’t progress OR GETS WORSE?

Selfishly (what? It’s not all about me?), what if I start to think I’m failing at this mum stuff because this is the first time I am open to being judged for what I put in a lunchbox, what my kid wears, how far along he is in his development etc? I mean, hello, I’ve read the crazy Facebook stories people tell (which are in no way related to the centre we are sending our child – don’t kick us out haha).

What if he just gets sick all the time?

OH HOLY SH*T.

BUT…

…then I think…what if he has an AWESOME TIME?

What if he makes lots of friends who make him feel loved and accepted?

What if he makes progress with things like toilet training and giving up a dummy for sleep time, because he can see how it’s done with the influence of the other children?

What if this compensates well for the social skills he might need sharpening up on, being an only child at this point? What if he benefits from having more authority figures he isn’t related to and lifts to meet their expectations?

What if I finally get to look after myself during his time at day care with all those appointments I keep putting off? What if I get the opportunity to do a little work? What if I stop feeling guilty and just GET STUFF DONE?

What if the Little Mister gets nicely tired out and less restless and demanding at home?

What if he gets really ready for school, meaning less nerves for all of us by the time his first day rolls around next year?

What if his immune system gets even stronger?

Oh yes. All these what-ifs.

Truth is, I have no idea what to think or expect because we haven’t gone through it yet! I could be so far off base with half of my what-if scenarios and all you seasoned school/day care mummies are probably looking at me with that “oh bless her – she knows nothing” facial expression haha.

I know I’m doing the right thing and I know that the place we’re sending him seems just lovely and the right fit for our family – I felt such relief when we did a walk-through, the other kids were friendly and not fussed by the Little Mister’s presence, and the staff were so great both in person and in their reliability/accessibility with each point of contact. I know that my charming, sociable kid isn’t perfect, but he is good and he is kind. He has his own learning journey to go on! I know that I am not a big believer of wanting to keep him all to myself forever (oh hell no haha). I want him to get out there into the world with confidence and this is the first tiny step. I want him to socialise well and get ready to learn in a safe place.

Also? Damn, it’s just one day a week. Settle the f*ck down.

So there’s the overthink-everything Kez and then there’s the Kez who has finished writing this blog post (it’s therapy OK?). The Kez who, despite writing about herself in the third person right now (how did that happen?), is quite sane and level headed and knows that on the day everything will be OK. We can deal with whatever gets thrown at us and much more likely than not, the Little Mister benefit greatly from his day care experience. I don’t regret the decision at all and I am actually excited for him (and me – in all honesty)!

You know. No biggie.

😉

How did you feel before sending your child to day care/pre-kindy for the first time?

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  • He’ll learn to socialise with others and gain confidence I bet. I reckon his toilet training will improve too because he’ll see the other kids. Don’t fret at all Mumma Bear x

  • Nat

    He will love it! In fact you will wonder why you didn’t put him in for more than one day 🙂
    You know I truly think they need a break from us, they need a different environment and routine and they need to know they can survive on their own. They do such fun, messy things too, stuff I would never attempt at home and seriously they really just play all day. Who wouldn’t love that?

    They eat things they never eat at home and both of mine picked up toilet training so quickly. Peer pressure does wonders! But honestly, best of all is they make friends – without you! They come home worn out and happy and I have to say that’s pretty nice.

    Sure there may be tears and clinging to your legs for a little while, but eh. It will pass. The only thing that was such a drag was the germs. Ugh. Our first was in child care for 2 days a week and he literally came down with something every couple of weeks, for over a year. I know! It’s fine now, in fact he seems to have some kind of super immunity!

    • Thank you so much for such a reassuring comment xoxo

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  • Kay

    Is your name Kezia? I ask because mine is, and i always get surprised when I meet or hear of another Kezia. I go by Kez a lot as well. I’ve only met 2 in person on my entire life. I’m also incredibly, awesomely unprepared for what life throws at me, so I sympathize. On the subject of daycare…let it go mom. It’ll be easier the younger he goes. He’ll be loved, and treasured, and enjoyed. He may get on others nerves at times (because admit it-he gets on yours sometimes) and he may not be liked by everyone there (because-life) but you’ve done your research and you know it’s a good, safe place and he’ll be taken care of! So they judge you as a mom-who cares? People will do that all your life, for things a lot smaller and greater than what you pack in his lunch. He’ll be fine. My 2yr old goes 5 days a week from 7-5:30 and if anything he has grown and gained knowledge in an astonishing way. He talks in full sentences, and knows things I’ve never even mentioned to him before. It’s a wonderful and scary thing seeing your child learn things you didn’t teach them, but you can’t shelter them forever (well i suppose you could but why would you want to) and the benefits far out weigh the detriments. From one Kez to another, relax…it’ll be fine!

    • Hey there! I love the name Kezia! I am actually a Keri. I’ve been nicknamed Kez since I was 6 years old! Thanks for your comment x

  • Hugs, new things are always so much pressure. Also if he gets sick a lot at first it will pass. Our little one was out every other week for the first sick months with minor illnesses but she’s been fine since.

    • So good to know. I figure it’s good for his immune system in the long run x

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