Having Heart

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.

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8 thoughts on “Having Heart

  1. Jennifer,
    The unintended consequence of those thoughtless words is that you are MORE grateful for the experiences your children are having. There’s no ONE right answer for ANYTHING in life. I wish I could think faster when something is that hurtful . . . but also know that being stunned silent keeps me from saying something equally hurtful back. ❤

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  2. Well said. My daughters daycare from birth just up to kindergarten was our family. They helped to make her the great young lady first grader she is today. She loves them with her whole heart and they love her back. Humph. Have the heart to put your child in daycare. Day care teachers add to our hearts, not take away.

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  3. Some people should think a little longer before opening their mouth. Comments like that make my blood boil. Yes, you do what you need to do for your family. Stop judging others!

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  4. Too often I hear something (and something that probably wasn’t even intended to hurt) and I spend too much time mulling over it. I’m glad that you were so quickly able to remember that for you, her words aren’t true. A good reminder to me and others. Thank you.

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  5. Ooh, yeah…those judgy comments. Nothing worse. I’m sure I’ve been guilty of saying some myself at times, even though I don’t want to hurt anyone. Women are sometimes the worse to each other – we need to start respecting each other before we expect men to respect us!

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  6. People can be so ignorant. I have not yet had to put my toddler in daycare, but sometimes parents need to. No situation is black or white and it always bothers me when people think every situation is the same as theirs.

    I love the part when you wrote that daycare teachers are unsung heroes. I can’t agree more. While my daughter has never had one, I know many children who have and they truly are amazing. Many of them spend the time to get to know each child, know their schedules, know how they act. I think it’s awesome that your child has someone who loves her so much! A child can never have too many people who love them and that’s a statement I stand strongly behind.

    You’re doing the best for your family and I love that! I hope the woman who doesn’t have the “heart” to put her daughter in daycare thought about what she said and that it wasn’t really ok.

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  7. As a daycare toddler teacher, I loved reading this. While we’re all barely making over $10 an hour, the appreciation from parent’s is always very important and means a lot to any teacher.

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