June 22, 2011

My Kids Are In Daycare, So I'm A Bad Parent

No, not the way you think. I'm not wrestling with guilt over being a working mom and sending my kids off to daycare for someone else to raise. I've successfully shoved that conviction into a deep, dark hole of my psyche that rarely gets cleaned out until I can actually do something about the things that are in there.

Like my closets.

What I mean by this particular post is that the people who work at our daycare have their antennae out so far for kids in real crisis that they're making me feel like mine are in crisis.


I'm going to sound over-sensitive, whiny, complaining and - let's face it - ranty for  bit, but bear with me. It may take a few paragraphs to get to, but there's a but. There's a few of them.

End pause.

I'll give an example (who am I kidding, I'll give you a lots of examples):

  • A few weeks after Miss started at daycare, someone pulled me aside when I picked her up one evening and asked if I ever fed her breakfast, because she seemed to eat a lot of morning snack.
  • A month ago I received a note requesting that I send shoes with Jr every day, because they often take walks to the park and for safety reasons he has to stay in the stroller if he's in his sock feet. I send shoes with him every day.
  • Let's not get into the whole "cloth diapers have germs" business again, but when Mr picked Jr up on the day he started barfing, he was made to feel as if we - personally - had intentionally infected the whole infant room with our unsanitary choices.
  • Jr "won" the book in the picture: Healthy Eating for the Whole Family: A Collection of Recipes and Resources for Muskoka Families. They were selling them as a fundraiser, and somehow my infant son entered a raffle and won a copy.

So I look back on these examples and they sound ridiculous. But - since I obviously can't convey the way these incidents and so many others came across - all I can say is that we feel as though our daycare thinks it is their job to coach us in parenting, and that their assumption is that every family that walks through their doors must be in need of intervention.

Here are the buts:

BUT, many of the women that work with Miss and Jr are sweet, kind women who care about their well being and can tell you what they did during the day. I appreciate them, and I'm grateful that we found a place to leave them where we know they'll be safe.

BUT of course they don't know what our family is like, and what our kids eat for breakfast and supper, or if they're loved and listened to and played with every day.

BUT there are families that don't clip their kids nails, don't know how to feed them healthy food, and don't care if they go to bed at midnight every night. And need help, and sometimes need intervention. If our family gets caught up in that net but other families that need it do too, then I can handle it.

I'm a big girl now, and I can take it if someone thinks we're bad parents because I know we're not.

BUT sometimes it stings a little.

Please tell me we're not the only ones who feel this way sometimes.