When your child starts daycare or preschool, it can be an adjustment for the adults in the family as well. You may be returning to work, or simply wondering how to get used to your child being in daycare. Here are some tips to help parents adjust to their child being in daycare or preschool.
Going back to work
Whether it’s the end of your maternity leave or you are re-entering the workforce, going back to work can be stressful. This is entirely normal – you have spent several hours a day playing, learning, and bonding with your child, so returning to the daily grind of work can be jarring. Many parents feel separation anxiety of their own during their first few days. You may wonder how your child is doing without you, or even feeling guilty about having to leave him at daycare. You may also experience struggles managing your new schedule and responsibilities.
The importance of daycare
Firstly, it is important to remember that you chose your child’s daycare provider because you knew that he would be in good hands there. While you’re at work, your child is being played with, sung to, read to, talked with, fed, and diapered. Daycare is a wonderful opportunity for your child to practice valuable social skills, learn educational concepts, and develop his independence. A good daycare center will also encourage two-way communication, and allow you to check in to see how your child is doing from time to time.
The work/life balance
When it comes to managing your work and home life, there may be some hiccups initially, but soon you will begin to see where you can make improvements to ensure you’re not underperforming in either area. For example, you might cook and freeze several days’ worth of dinners on Sunday, so that you don’t have to worry about grocery shopping and meal preparation along with daycare pickups and your work responsibilities. Also, discuss dividing up home duties with other members of your family, to make it easier for everyone.
Parents returning to work can struggle with the adjustment to daycare. However, it’s important to acknowledge your feelings, and allow yourself time to make the transition back to working life. Soon, you’ll find that your new daily life has become normal and enjoyable – for both you and your child.