Daycare. The word can elicit many emotions for mothers. As a mom who puts her child in daycare, I am thankful for providers who give my daughter the loving care she needs. I choose to be thankful because all too often, it is easy to let ourselves feel guilty for sending our kids to daycare while we work. Heck, as a mom who works from home, I sometimes even feel guilty for working on projects around the house or running errands. But we have to remind ourselves that it is our privilege (and our joy, most of the time 🙂 ) to care for our families, no matter what that looks like: working, staying at home, cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping – doing whatever it takes to keep the ship running as smoothly as possible.
Many mommas have a tribe to help them keep the ship on course. This tribe could be your close circle of friends, your church family, or even your childcare providers. As I get to know my daughter’s daycare teachers, I am realizing just how important they are in my village. And that’s just one of the reasons I am thankful for my daughter’s daycare and the benefits it has had for her.
1. Expanding social skills.
My daughter is turning into the sweetest little social butterfly, making friends with the kids in her classroom. She says “hi” and “bye” to everyone each day, and I can tell she truly enjoys being at daycare with her friends and teachers. I love that my 20-month-old tells me the names of her friends when she gets home – it’s like she’s telling me about her day. Or at breakfast, as though she is looking forward to seeing her friends soon. Through time spent with other kids at daycare, my daughter is learning how to share and be polite and is gaining other social skills important for her growth.
2. Learning developmental skills.
My daughter started talking around 15 months old, and while I’d like to take some of the credit, I have no doubts that her teachers at daycare have helped her rapidly expanding vocabulary, from naming body parts to animals to outdoor scenery and more.
Then there’s potty training. I never thought I would start this early, but my daughter was beginning to show signs of readiness as I was teaching her to communicate when she needed a diaper change. At the same time, daycare started to transition her to learning how to use the toilet (mostly not being afraid to sit on it). I didn’t think she was quite ready at home, but just recently she went potty in the toilet at daycare for the first time. Daycare for the early potty training win! Here’s hoping it sticks and goes well at home. Now I just need to figure out what I’m doing. 🙂 Wish me luck!
3. Getting creative.
I love that my daughter does creative and crafty things at daycare, continually keeping the doors of my refrigerator covered with her homemade artwork, from paintings to colored pictures to stamp drawings. I’m not a crafty person, so I love that my daughter has the opportunity to do fun, artsy things while she is at daycare – like making me a Mother’s Day gift. And I love displaying her art with pride.
4. Growing my village.
I count on my daughter’s daycare providers to let me know how she is doing and to care for her needs during the day. I am thankful for their guidance and expertise, as well as their love for my little girl. It is clear how much they care for her, as I see how much she cares for them.
I have a village of people – from family and friends to my church community – to help and support me when I need them, and I include my daycare on this list. They help keep me in tune to my daughter’s needs and are looking out for both her and me as her momma.
I couldn’t be more thankful to have found a great daycare and all that they provide for my little girl.