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Baby’s First Day of Daycare

When my wife and I began planning for our life after Addie’s birth, one of our main goals was for Casey to be a stay at home mom. That was important to us for a number of reasons. We decided that we would do whatever we could to make sure that was a possibility.

It wasn’t always easy. At times that choice left us living in one bedroom apartments, living with family members, or living in low-income housing. We decided all these sacrifices were worth making, so that we could accomplish our goal of having Casey be a stay at home mom.

There came a point during my third year in law school where we thought our goal would no longer be possible. As student loan debt began piling up and attorney positions were few and far between, we put a plan in motion that would send Casey to work full-time and Addie into day care. We began the process of choosing a day care. We visited various day care centers and picked one that we thought would work for Addie.

The only problem? When it came time to actually send Addie to day care, we just couldn’t do it. To us, it just didn’t seem like the right thing to do at the time.

Addie has always been a very sensitive girl. She cries when she thinks people are laughing at her, she cries when she sees the Sarah McLachlan dog commercials, and she cries when her mom spends a night out with her friends. For that reason, I don’t think Addie would have done well at daycare.

Here we are several years down the road and we’re blessed to be in a position where Casey can be a stay at home mother and excel in a career she seems destined to excel in. However, there are times where Casey has to leave the state to attend various conferences and events and the kids aren’t always invited.

In the past when Casey has had to leave town, Addie has come to my office after school and Vivi has stayed with friends. That’s not always easy to arrange. After all, watching a baby is a little different than supervising a seven year old. It became clear that we had to find a temporary daycare option for Vivi that would allow us to use their services on a nearly spur of the moment basis–so we did.

We went through the same process as we did for Addie. We, as in my wife, visited daycare facilities and decided on a good daycare for Vivi. A place where we can call with a day’s notice and then drop Vivi off.

Wednesday was Vivi’s first day of daycare, and my first time leaving one of my children at a daycare center. I have to say, it was far more difficult than I expected. I didn’t worry that Vivi wouldn’t like daycare. She doesn’t seem to have the same sensitivities and shyness that Addie has.  In fact, Vivi loves being around other babies her age and doesn’t get upset when Casey and I leave. But actually leaving my one year old girl with a complete stranger to be watched for the day while I just walked off? Difficult would be an understatement.

Ultimately, the first day of daycare went fine for Vivi. She made friends, played with toys and was ecstatic when I came to pick her up. And though I know she enjoyed her day at daycare, it didn’t make it any easier to drop her off again yesterday. Or today for that matter.

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