My baby starts daycare next week, and I’m absolutely terrified. Until this point, he has been in the care of me, my husband and my mom in our home. The thought of him spending his days with strangers scares the crap out of me. What if he freaks out when I have to leave him in an unfamiliar environment? What if he is cranky or scared or gassy, and his caretakers don’t know what to do because they don’t know him? What if he doesn’t get the attention and care he needs and deserves?
I’m sure most moms feel this way when their maternity leave is up and they head back to work. I have done everything I can to try to feel comfortable with him going to daycare. We visited several facilities before choosing the one we liked best. I even had my mom come visit with us at one point just to reassure me that we made the right choice. I’m certain he will be in good hands, but I still hate the whole situation. I’m convinced that no one can care for my baby like his parents, but this is the route we are having to take right now. And it sucks.
But besides leaving him with strangers, there are so many other things I’m afraid of. What if he begins to like his daycare providers better than me? I love that when he sees me, his whole face just lights up. Maybe it’s selfish, but I want him to love Brett and me best. Are we going to get enough time with him during his days? I keep trying to calculate in my head how many hours of the week I will get to see him when he is awake. It just doesn’t seem like enough. What if he starts calling some other woman “mama?” I’m pretty sure that would break my heart. What happens when I miss the first time he crawls, says his first word or takes his first steps? I’m trying to prepare myself for those moments, but I don’t really know how.
And what if he loves it? I’m sure it will take some time, but I’m sure at some point he is going to love being at daycare with friends and all sorts of fun things to do. When that moment comes, it will be great. For him. At this moment, it is one of the biggest emotional challenges I have ever had to tackle. I just hope and pray it’s the right choice for my little guy.