I picked up my youngest today after “the call” from daycare came. If you are the parent of a child that is in daycare, then you get what I mean by “the call.”
She had a fever and needed lots of snuggles. It was a nice afternoon in which we read a lot of books.
I am always amazed by daycare teachers. Miss Anna told me that Gabby was not herself that morning. I love that she knows my daughter that well. Daycare teachers are unsung heroes.
I was reminded of how recently I had a conversation with an acquaintance. I had run into her the week before at the daycare. I asked what room her son was in and after speaking about his teacher, I asked what room her infant was in.
Her response struck me hard in the gut. She said, “Oh, she isn’t in daycare. I don’t have the heart to do that.”
I did not take her comment well. In fact, I took it as a direct attack on all parents who must not have a heart when they put their babies in daycare. This may seem extreme to some and I am pretty sure that she did not mean it in that exact way but it felt hurtful to me.
What I said in the moment in response to her: Nothing.
What I said in my head over the next hour in various ways: No one has the heart to put their baby in daycare, but sometimes they have to and sometimes they want to.
Too many parents judge other parents for their decisions and we need to make it stop. We need to have the heart to accept that every parent is going to do things differently and that there is no right way, just what is right for your family.
I am grateful for the daycare experiences of all three of my children. They had loving teachers who knew when they weren’t themselves and loved them up almost as much as I would, if I was there.