August 23, 2007

my ramblings and guilt about daycare

So I found a daycare that fit a majority of the things I was looking for:
  • Good vibe from the provider (it's a guy - I like the daddy-daycare thing)
  • Clean house/facility
  • Child-friendly & stimulating environment
  • Happy kids in Ruby's relative age-range

What I didn't get was:

  • Organic/whole foods menu
  • Location near my home

We visited a few times for a couple hours prior to starting and then we dropped her off on two separate days last week on a "trial". She was fine when I dropped her off - playing with the other kids and the new toys. Day two was pretty easy also. then we had a three day weekend where we (Rene, Ruby & I) were practically joined at the hip. Monday came and it was a different story. Thank god Rene dropped her off that morning because he said she cried pretty hard. Then on Tuesday even harder. I picked her up both those nights and she seemed exhausted. I would be too if i was playing with other kids all day, every day. It would probably be like me shopping non-stop each day - fun but very exhausting. Both last week and this week she's come home with a diaper rash (not a common thing in our house). I had Rene ask the provider if they could change her more often. I didn't like his defensive nature when answering, "we change her every hour" - my ass! That got me set off about finding out what exactly I'm entitled to ask of a daycare provider. I did a ton of research and came up with a list of nap & feeding guidelines. I dropped her off today and discussed my list with him. It felt awkward. I'm afraid of being that annoying parent. But I'm even more afraid of giving up my control as Ruby's parent to someone else whose style may not match ours. There was naturally a bit of defense that came from him (hey I get defensive when my boss calls me out on shit too). After being there for more than 30 minutes I finally got up to go and Ruby lost it. Blood red face and blood curdling screams. I told her I'd see her later and walked out. I hid behind the garage (out of sight) until she stopped crying (minutes) and then left. I was sobbing before i left the driveway. This overwhelming guilt came over me that I could leave my daughter crying like that in a place where she obviously doesn't (and can't expect to) get the same level of attention she does with us. I didn't even have work today. I just came home and took a nap and then went and got an ice cream cone. Is it wrong for me to need some peace and a slice of time to myself? Is it selfish for me to not spend every available moment with her? We spent the morning at a La Leche League meeting before daycare so it's not like I didn't want to be with her. I just feel like I need to recharge.

So, I'm just feeling icky and paranoid (which doesn't men that I'm wrong) and guilty about this whole daycare thing. I wish I had the capacity to hang with her all day everyday but I just don't. I know I am the best mom I know how to be and that I'm not without my limitations. I guess there comes many times when she has leave the nest to go to uncertain, uncontrollable horizons and I need to find some peace in that. She's in a good place with happy kids, kind people, and a clean, safe enviroment.

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