I often find myself fantasizing about daycare. Or any kind of childcare, really. I chose to figure out a way to work from home so I could be with my kids, but that doesn’t make it any less hard (and I know no one said it would be easy, but until I was doing it with one, and now two kids under the age of 4, I had no clue how hard it would be).
My work “schedule” is fast and loose — I cram in work where I can, which means I basically work around the clock, seven days a week. When I have the occasional help, it’s during daylight hours. But I often need it at night, too. Everything suffers as a result — my work never gets the full attention that it needs, my kids never get the full attention that they deserve. But deep down I feel as if me being home with them full time is still worth it in the end — warts and all.
Hearing that there are daycare centers that now have nighttime hours (via Café Mom) sounds like a nice thing. It’s not something I’ll be taking advantage of (and not just because there are none in my area), but I can imagine it’s a great relief to many working parents.
Whether parents work the night shift or take night classes, it’s just a fact that not every parent works a classic 9-5 schedule. The New York Times reports many daycares now offer 24/7 care for children. It’s not ideal for families that want to eat dinner together, or put their kids to bed, but then again, life and work situations aren’t always ideal.
While babysitters at home might be preferable, they are also usually more expensive than a daycare facility.
Putting my kids in daycare at night would make me sad — not feeding them dinner, not tucking them into bed and kissing them goodnight, but then again, so would putting my kid in daycare during the day. And leaving my kids with a babysitter more often than not would also tug at my heartstrings.
I do the best I can, and I feel fortunate that I have some choices available to me. My sympathy goes out to family with fewer choices, and I’m happy to hear that nighttime daycare may have expanded their choices by one.
What do you think of nighttime daycare? Would you ever put your baby in one?