My son (14 months old) has been going to childcare thrice a week since May 2022. Parents will know that dropping your kid in child care is not easy. I knew that, too. I thought it would get easier with time.
However, after dropping him off this morning, leaving him with “strangers” still breaks my heart. It's a “me” problem. I struggle dearly to leave my son with someone else for the whole day while I make a living. That does not sit well with me.
My wife and I spent months looking for the right child care. This process was easy for me because my wife is great at picking up a vibe. There are many childcare centres we went to, and within minutes, she would say, “Nope, not this one”. I have been married long enough not to question her judgment. Her judgment has been pretty good to her credit, and I trust the people at the child care. Although, occasionally, she does get it wrong. Her first perception of me was the same – “nope, not this one”. But, obviously, for more than 11 years, I have proved her wrong (I am not brave enough to say that to her).
Despite having a degree of comfort with the childcare people, on numerous occasions, I stay at the childcare a bit longer to see if my son is ok. I randomly pick him up early, only to check on him. Each time, the child care has come through for us.
Despite all this, my heart breaks each time I drop him off. Each time he cries. Although, lately, he does not cry as much as he used to. So clearly, he is adjusting a lot better than I am.
Child care offers him something I could never provide; namely, he loves playing with other kids. This social interaction is a valuable part of his development.
In the grand scheme of things, child care has been a net positive for him; hence, I cannot understand why I feel like I do.