Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Creche: The Guilt and the Benefits

Lately the pressure at leaving the creche/Kinder door has been getting to me.

Popps and Immy are taking their time settling in to the new centre, the Educators (not to be called carers anymore) are divine and have been assisting with the settling in process for all of us. But being that Mum, the one who has to constantly walk away from her babies as they have just been peeled off you and are screaming as though they are being stabbed, arms stretching for you is hard.

Lucky I have learnt to self soothe (my parents managed to teach me this without the help of Gina Ford or Pinky or Tizzy) and I am trying to focus on the reasons why we need to go through this.

One, Popps is five, she needs to be in Kinder or School or formal education of some kind, as we are not going down the home schooling path, whether I work or not is not the question. Even if I was at home she would still be going. I should be feeling no working Mummy guilt. (Should!)

Two, Popps is very emotional and overly sensitive, it is the reason she is not at school this year already, I have searched the local establishments of fine kindergarten repute to ensure she is in the best one available to us. So there is no guilt about wishing she was somewhere else.

Three, we have been here before Popps and I, three years ago, when I first went back to work two days a week. She may not, but I have learnt the benefits of helping her adjust. From that creche room she started playing with a little girl, Miss E, they weren't in the same room but played in the yard together. Popps and Miss E built a truly beautiful friendship for children aged 2 and 3. They have a love of sharing treasures, dancing, fairies and dressing up in anything swirly. They have not been in the same centre for awhile now, but still retain a special bond that I hope will be life long. This friendship of theirs has given Babble Dad and I new friends too (who just so happened to host a great party two weeks ago, where I may have enjoyed a red wine or three).

Persevering with the orientation at creche brings life long friendships, it teaches children how to make friends, how to communicate with other children and adults, how to adapt when things are not like they are at home. It gives them a chance to do activities that you might otherwise not do at home, new books, puzzles, bikes, water play, clay, giant wooden blocks, chickens hatching, trips to the fire station.

Creche gives me two days a week to be in the paid workforce, to retain my skills, keep up to date, eat lunch with grown ups and have extra dollars to provide treats for our household.

But, I might just have to print this out and read it as I go running from the centre in a frenzy, with Guilt running behind me trying to catch up and smother me again.


  1. I can completely understand, my little man has just started Kindy 2 days a week. I often think it's harder for us Mums than the kids!

  2. I am about to go there in 3 weeks. Hope you can keep reasoning with yourself in a postive way. Maybe printing your post out isn't such a bad idea!

  3. I'm printing out a copy too!

  4. I love our preschool /daycare - they have printed shirts to say #1 in Australia =).
    It's in a rural setting - owner lives next door on 5 acres small farms. They have cows/sheep - feed baby lambs and a vege garden. She has been there 15 yrs since her boys were little.

    The staff carry kids around on their hips (all over 2) , they hold kids up to the window to wave Mum/Dad goodbye and so patient.

    Plus they educate them LOL.

    I have no guilt but I still feel drips when I see a teary child ... just the newies.

    I hope they settle in soon.
    It is hard for mums.

  5. It's only now that middle mad is 4 that he is really wanting me to stay...and I have a collective 8 years of drop offs between my 3. I never felt guilt...and they always always loved it there. And I always felt somehow insufficient that I could so easily drop them off happily, with them happily waving me away back :). The grass is never really greener is it :).

    You are so right in all you say...if it's a great centre they will get so much out of it. Enjoy these years for them. It's a time of so much learning and they get to do it with special friends and peers.

    Hoping it gets less and less hard for you xxx

  6. I'm so with you on this! I normally have no guilt whatsoever about leaving my 2 yr old at creche 2 days a week. The centre and staff are wonderful (I extended my maternity leave to wait for a place at that centre only) and I've seen the difference it can make to a toddlers life so I know she's getting fabulous experiences (and sometimes not so fabulous eg bitten by another child, but still good lessons in life). And I LOVE my "sanity" days at work ... it also makes me enjoy my time with Jess even more.

    But at the end of last year, suddenly Jess didnt want to be there and after she was finally prised from me, I'd be leaving in floods of tears. I totally understand just how difficult that is. Yet, she was never desperate to go home when you picked her up! It was so worth persevering and shes back to her happy self. Today is a "home" day though, so we're off to have some fun :))

  7. Hi
    Popping in from AMB to follow you and check out your blog.

    Hope it all gets a little easier for you.


  8. I struggle with this as well. Mr Small sometimes cries and every day Miss Medium's eyes well with tears when I drop her at her year 1 classroom. I grit my teeth and am loving and patient, but it breaks my heart. Like you I need those days to work and it exposes them to things they need. It's a tough one xxx

  9. Oh I love your description of Popps and her little friend - even though they were in separate rooms. They must be kindred spirits. I hope she's able to find another little treasure-sharing, twirly-dancing friend to make her days something to really look forward to. Not easy for you...

  10. I so hear you! My little man always had to be peeled from me when i dropped him off at day care, screaming his little lungs out.

    For those two days a week I used to walk off to work feeling like the worst mum in the world.

    It happened every week for around 6 months. But then the last few weeks a turn around. He drops to the floor, scurries along to his mates or one of his 'carers' with not so much as a glance back at me.

    Your Popps will get there too, I'm sure

  11. Walking away from a screaming child and leaving them in the care of others at child care/kinder/wherever, would have to be high up on the top of the list of heartbreaking Mummy moments. It is just awful!
    But all of the things you list are such true & valid points, it's just so hard to remember them at the time.

    I hope your girls settle in soon & you don't have to endure the evil Mother Guilt for too much longer x

  12. You can run faster than Guilt can, I'm sure of it :)

  13. She will learn to love it. I did kinder duty on Friday at Boy 1's kinder, and there was one little girl who was clearly very sensitive. But when she got upset, the teachers knew exactly how to help her calm down and get on with things. They need that skill to be able to attend school. It might take a bit of practice, but she will get there.
    I totally understand your guilt, but you're doing the right thing. Hang in there, little lady. x

  14. Oh, it's exhausting isn't it. It took Mr4 ages to settle into preschool last year and Mr7 was even worse a few years earlier. Is so hard to walk away and you definitely take the stress with you.

    All I can say is this: it gets better.


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