I Threw Up On My Daughter’s First Day of Daycare

I Threw Up On My Daughter's First Day of Daycare | Houston Moms Blog

The end of my maternity leave snuck up on me far too quickly with my first baby. I tried my best to soak up every single minute with her, but before I knew, it was time for me to return to work. I was lucky that for my first month back, my mom was able to keep my daughter at her home. It was a fairly easy transition since I was handing my tiny baby to someone I trusted, someone who loved her and who had successfully raised four kids of her own. However, that arrangement had an expiration date since my mom needed to return to work as a teacher when the summer was over.

My daughter’s next step was daycare – and emotionally, I was completely unprepared.

The first morning, I found myself sobbing on the forty minute drive from home. As we got closer, I grew more upset, and I swerved into the gas station parking lot down the road from daycare. I jumped out of the car, grabbed the baby carrier, ran into the bathroom and threw up.

I had obviously researched this daycare. I’d talked with friends, requested references, checked the state website, done a drop in visit, and questioned the director. There was no question my daughter would be safe with them. But I didn’t know the woman who would care for my baby every day. Would she love her the same way I do?

I finally pulled myself together, made it to daycare, and handed my daughter off to the woman who turned out to be a wonderful teacher. She snuggled her, fed her, rocked her, and played with her for the whole first year of my daughter’s life. She might even deserve an award for gracefully tolerating me as an overbearing helicopter mom.

Fast forward four years, and my second maternity leave was coming to an end. I’d requested the same teacher, and my son’s first day of daycare was very different. Instead of being overwhelming and stressful, the moment when I handed my son to the same teacher was bittersweet. My maternity leave was over, but I knew he was in good hands. I was confident he’d receive the same love and attention that my daughter did. This time was easier.

If you’re a mom that is excited to return to work and comfortable dropping your baby off the first day – that’s awesome. I’m glad you’re confident in your decision and know where you {and your baby} should be. But if you’re like I was the first time – knowing you’re doing what’s best for your family, but hurting from it — stay strong.  It gets easier. In the meantime, do whatever it is that helps you get through the day. Call and check on the baby. Go to the daycare on your lunch and feed him. Before you know it, that baby will be excited to go to daycare and play with his friends. He’ll thrive, even. Just give it time.

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