The Benefits of Daycare

The Benefits of DaycareAfter the birth of my first born, I had to go back to work at 8 weeks postpartum. It was my first experience with leaving my precious bundle and I was scared. Would he be okay without me? The first few months were tough, but we managed; eventually managing for two more years. Juggling a lot of responsibilities was tough, but looking back, there were many blessings that came with our daycare experience.

As mothers, we often have a gut reaction to leaving our children with anyone but family; Fear, guilt, stress.  I’ve learned, however, that whether you are a stay at home mom using the gym daycare, someone who uses a licensed provider daily, or even if you occasionally use it for mom or dads night out, leaving your child with another trusted adult can reap many benefits for both you and your child.

The first time you leave your child, it is just plain HARD

The first time I left my youngest at our gym daycare; I hemmed and hawed, despite the fact that I felt comfortable with the employees and the facility.  Baby R seemed so little. I had convinced myself He really loved being with just me. He wanted his blanket and his baba just so. And of course, I worried what if he got SICK?! I managed to do really well at talking myself out of it.

If you are planning to use daycare for the first time, do a dry run with no expectations. If you are returning to work, try to start mid-week so that it doesn’t seem so daunting. The first time will be difficult but you are most likely more concerned and upset than your children. The first time is hard but it gets so much easier.

Relying on other adults instills confidence in your child.

R started going for an hour to the gym kidstime when he was just 4 months. As the weeks went by, he became familiar with the ladies, he knew the environment, and he became more comfortable. He knew that there were other adults that would take great care of him besides me. As he grew, there were times when it stung a little that he wasn’t clinging to me but it simultaneously gave me so much pride. He did not rely on me for his happiness. He knew he was okay. He was confident.

That confidence has grown as he has grown. R now has no problems trying new activities without clinging to me. He feels confident enough to introduce himself to new people. I fully believe that this is because daycare taught him security even when I am not around.

Socialization is good for both mommy and kiddos.

As humans, we are social creatures. We need our group and our tribe even as little people. In a safe and structured daycare setting, young children have the opportunity to practice problem solving, communication, and develop empathy for others through play. They can learn about their world. They also develop cognitively from being around their peers. Daycare can be an enriching part of your child’s life. It can also be enriching for you. It is healthy to have the opportunity to socialize with co-workers, friends, and other adults.

Reconnecting with yourself makes you a better momma

Whether you are a working momma or just using the gym daycare like I was, reconnecting with other parts of yourself is important.  For me, using my gym daycare made me realize that it took just one hour a day of exercise for me to be a sweeter, kinder, more loving momma. It helped me focus and reconnect.

Whatever your motivation is, if you find yourself needing to use a daycare provider, know that if you have found one that is safe and loving, your child’s experience can be an positive one that has lasting effects.

Tessa Wesnitzer is a health and wellness coach who lives in a suburb of Salt Lake City, Utah. She loves her husband, two boys, green tea, long runs, and snowy winters.

 

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