Returning to work wasn’t an option for me. Not only for the financial gain that comes with having a full time career, but for my own personal satisfaction. I had put in my time studying and obtaining a University degree, I had explored various career paths, and I knew that I would become a career mommy when the time came to start a family.
What I didn’t know was that the struggle to find child care would be such a challenge. How do you choose someone to take care of your children while you’re away? Someone to help shape the people they will become during the most important years of development, and someone to give them love when you aren’t around?
A lot of time went into considering my options. I considered hiring a nanny. I thought it would be nice for my children to spend their time in our home with one caregiver, but how do you find that perfect someone who will teach them new skills, take them on adventurous jaunts, and love them as a member of your family? It seemed like the selection process would be much more tedious, and I had insecurities about having another person in my home who would become a better “mom” to my little ones than myself. I know many people who have nannies, and who are so thankful for the decision they’ve made – happy with their child care choice. But for me, this option just didn’t fit for me.
I was raised by a parent who had devoted her life to running a daycare, and I had worked in daycares in my earlier days, so I was more familiar with this option. But I was also familiar with the difficulties of finding a suitable centre that not only provided professional, trained child care workers, but teachers who were loving and affectionate with the children, as well as skilled in shaping the behaviors and skills of young developing minds.
I was fortunate enough to find a daycare that met all of my needs, and I am so truly thankful for the teachers who spend so many hours a day with my beloved littles. I know many parents out there are faced with the same challenges as I once was in selecting the right child care option, so I thought I would share a list of reasons why I am happy with my decision to send my children to daycare.
1) The variety of teachers with different skills and backgrounds. It has taught my children to develop trusting relationships with multiple people, which I think is important.
2) The socialization. My children have developed so many strong friendships with children of a diverse range of backgrounds. They have learned to relate to other children in their age group, and to respect each other equally, regardless of age, gender, race, family dynamics, etc.
3) The learning and development of new skills. The daycare offers French, Art and Swimming classes for my children. In preparation for Kindergarten, my daughter has been taught how to write letters, and how to properly hold a pen. She has learned how to listen to others, and how to help her peers when needed. She has learned how to share, and how to do many things for herself – skills that will be valuable for the next step.
4) The network. My children are surrounded by friends who have parents who are unable to spend their days with them. But what is also a benefit is the network of parents who come from similar perspectives, who are able to work together to ensure that their children are being cared for in a safe, healthy and happy environment.
It’s a tough choice, and I know from talking to many of my friends, that no matter which child care option you choose, you will always question yourself, you will always have moments of second guessing yourself, and you will always miss the time you miss out on with your kids. The most important thing is to do what feels best for you and your family.