It makes me so sad to say this, but having been in nursery since she was nine months old (now two years, four months), we have made the decision to take my eldest daughter, 'Bubbles', out.
Leaving her at nursery was so difficult for us, as it probably is for most parents. I remember the first few days, sitting with her and gradually coming in and out of the room, and then eventually leaving her. She cried and cried and cried.... and cried, and I cried too, but after a few weeks she eventually settled and now loves nursery. When I go to pick her up, she doesn't stop talking about all the things she has got up to: "I paint today", "I draw a cat", "I play outside". So, to stop her from doing something that she has grown to love, breaks my heart.
I am due back from maternity leave, having had my second daughter, 'Choochi', who is now ten months old. I work three days and my husband five. Bubbles and Choochi would have had to go to nursery for two full days. However we have worked out that if hubby reduces his days to three (so I work the beginning of the week and he works the end), and we take the girls out of nursery and look after them, we will actually have more money at the end of the month. For us it's win-win: more money and hubby gets to spend more time with the girls. So it makes sense, right?
If it's right, then why does it leave me feeling so guilty? I know as a mother guilt is usually the first response to, well, everything. But I can't help but think about all the things Bubbles will lose out on - the social aspect, the bonds she has made with her teachers, the routine. All that she has learnt. Hubby keeps saying she will learn, as we are both teachers, and she will make friends, as we will continue to take her to stay and plays. But I can't help but feel all the hard work is going to be thrown away.
I keep telling myself it's only temporary, as she's three in eight months and gets her free hours. Then we should be able to put her back in. It makes no sense to me that people who are working and need childcare aren't given free hours, and I know when we do put Choochi into nursery, she will adapt quickly, as she is totally different to what Bubbles was like. However, it still doesn't stop me from feeling guilty. On the flip side, I have friends with children in childcare full-time, due to work commitments, and they feel equally guilty missing out on these special years. So maybe I get the best of both worlds.
Have any of you been in the same situation? What are your childcare arrangements? I would love your advice or thoughts. Leave your comments below. Thanks.