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I remember the knot in my stomach when my husband and I made the decision to put our kids in daycare. On a stormy afternoon, we toured the facility we had picked, 35 minutes from our house.

After the tour I knew without a doubt if my kids had to go to daycare, this is where I wanted them to be. 

The knot I had in my stomach, in the beginning, has since gone. My son started coming home every afternoon talking about how much he loved “school” and how much he loved his teachers, which helped ease my worries. Little did I know a month later, those daycare providers would become the talk of our nightly bedtime conversations with our toddler. I watched as he blossomed into a new little boy who was making friends and learning so many new things as he grew before our very eyes.

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Those ladies have watched my 7-month-old daughter laugh for the first time, and learn to find her voice.

They’ve rocked her over and over again when she was inconsolable.

They’ve given love when I had no other choice but to leave and go to work. 

They’ve given medication when little teeth were trying to make their way through gums.

They’ve sent pictures. They’ve texted.

They’ve played on the floor.

They’ve watched as she learned to sit up on her own and learned to crawl.

They’ve watched a shy little 2-year-old turn into a funny 3-year-old.

They’ve taught songs and colors and shapes.

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They’ve made crafts to bring home so our refrigerator now looks like an art gallery.

They’ve done water days and worked on potty training.

They’ve dealt with their fair share of fits, I’m sure more than we do.

Most importantly they have loved them, believed in them, and cared for them five days a week.

As hard as it is to admit, those teachers see our babies far more than we do, and knowing they are in the arms of people like that makes it a little easier to come to terms with.

So, to the daycare teachers who are helping me raise my kids, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you do for them and for me. You will never know how much you mean to our little family. 

Kelley Shrader

My name is Kelley Shrader. First and foremost, I am happily married to my husband of five years and a mother to two beautiful kids. Aikman who is two and Ellisyn who is five months. I work full-time as an office manager for a rapidly growing company. Growing up, I always loved writing, and as I got older I got better and found it so good for my soul. I hope I can be that for other people, especially other mothers. My favorite things to write about are motherhood, postpartum, and marriage. It can be so hard, and I find it rewarding to be able to put my thoughts on paper about the good and the ugly side of it all.

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