I knew sending my son to daycare after a summer of bonding with his mother day after day as she enjoyed her summer break from teaching would be tough. I’d already dealt with leaving my new bundle of joy a week after he was born to head back to my full-time job. It was terrible. I know the father going back to work is what many believe should be done. That we don’t need the extra time to bond with our new child or to stay and help our wife to adjust to this new being that is now our responsibility. We should be eager to head off to the warehouse, office, or whatever type of work we do so we can start bringing in the security of money for the family. But I just don’t like that mentality. I want to have the time to enjoy my new family.
This past week was when the transition of home all day mom became working mom. The new school year was beginning and the week of teacher meetings began with the dread of sending William to daycare. My wife had searched for the better part of two months looking for a daycare we could both afford and felt was a good fit for our son. She found some places she loved, but they were more expensive than hiring a nanny. She also found other places horribly dirty and wouldn’t trust having the person watching our son. The search for the perfect daycare was making my wife anxious and made me scared that we wouldn’t find a place we felt comfortable with.
Thankfully my wife works with many new moms and began calling and texting them with questions. After a few calls and suggestions we were given the name of a lady who ran a daycare out of her home. My wife and son visited and she felt we had found a suitable place for William to be cared for during the workweek. Finding a place we were comfortable with eased our anxiety a bit but we still dreaded the day fast approaching for when we’d have to trust someone else with the care of our firstborn.
I didn’t realize how tough it was going to be on me as my wife headed out the door with my son to take him to his first day of daycare. Like I said, I’d gone back to work a week after he was born and hadn’t gotten to spend many full days with him for the last two months, but when I started strapping him into the car seat a lump grew in my throat and tears began to fill my eyes. I fought this feeling as I picked up the seat and handed William to my wife because I wanted to be strong for her. She’d been fighting tears and would start getting upset every time it was mentioned for the past couple weeks, so I wanted to try and show her everything would be okay even if I didn’t feel that way. I shut the door behind them as they walked down the stairs and quickly got ready for work. The thought of my son being held by a stranger in a strange house made me angry, anxious and scared, but I also knew this was are only option.
We are entering week two of daycare and so far everything has been going great. My son is getting along with the daycare provider and seems to be enjoying the other children in her care. We’ve been told he loves sitting and watching the older kids playing and is always talking. I’m happy things are going well and that he is fitting in nicely at daycare, but it doesn’t mean I won’t continue to worry about him when he’s there or whether this is the best choice for us as parents.