Children love routine so I cannot figure out why the daycare drop-off is incredibly difficult. The tears shed could fill an ocean. It is not just the goodbye moment either. I have witnessed other parents dealing with the uncontrollable tantrums upon arriving at daycare. The mom losing her patience quickly asking her child what is wrong. I give the empathy smile and make a swift exit. Move along. There is nothing to see.
I know that ours is a good daycare and that the crying does not stem from a bigger problem. Of course children want to be with their parents but even more so I know that my children would prefer to be lounging around the house in their pajamas, playing with their own toys and watching a marathon of cartoons.
Once again I am afraid that in some circumstances I may be spoiling my children. I might be letting them get away with more because I do not have the ability to be with them for most of the day. When it comes right down to it, I know I carry working mom guilt. I am afraid of all the time that I am losing out on that I can never get back. The tears are little confirmation markers that me feel like I am making the wrong choices.
Yet the days when they happily skip away to join their group also leave a hole in my heart. Toddlers are not supposed to be independent. Please don't get me wrong. I do want my children to be well adjusted but I also want them to prefer spending their days with me. I also want myself to be a well adjusted person. After living three decades not as a mother it is hard to morph out of everything else into a full on parenting role.
The weekends are mighty short. The down time I need to regroup and gain strength to carry through another week while I jam pack in family time flies by. Work days are too long. Weekends are too short. Could this be another balancing act in wanting to have it all?
If I pulled them out of daycare and became a stay at home parent, the level of care that they are given would go down. I cannot do the same job that the current teams of workers provide. They have kitchen staff that prepares a variety of healthy lunches and snacks. They have scheduled indoor and outdoor activities. They have a zillion art projects. They have interaction and socialization with children in their age group. I most certainly am not the overachiever that could organize this as a daily occurrence.
Maybe the reason for the crying is because it is human nature to want to spend our time with less structure and more room for relaxation. There are mornings where I have struggled not to burst into tears at the thought of the work load that lies ahead of me. As we are adults we learn to push that feeling aside because there are expectations put on us. Are organized toddler activities pushing our children into the work world too soon?
When we are a family unit I let them have a little too much TV and give in to their requests for treats too often. Does this make them value listlessness? Will my desire to work, make my children lazy? Am I over thinking this because I wish I could spend more time with them? Am I worried about this because that just comes with parenting?
Parents of children in less structured daycares and homecare please let me know if you too experience irrepressible sobbing on many mornings long after you have established a routine.