Thursday, April 3, 2014

theory and practice

In theory, Gummy started at the daycare centre yesterday. In practice, she went for 2 hours and Mr. A picked her up. 

In theory, this daycare centre is the right fit for us. It's close to our home, it's a licensed child care centre, it had a space available for Gummy starting in April. We have friends who sent their son there between ages 1 and 2, and they were very happy with it. In practice, I'm not sure it's the right fit at all.

In theory, she would go to this daycare centre 3 days per week. In practice, I never want her to go back there again.

In theory, she is miserable at the daycare centre because of her secure attachment to her parents, and her distress is a healthy sign. I wholeheartedly believe that's why it's been hard for her to go to the daycare centre. BUT in theory, that should be the extent of what makes ME miserable: the fact that my baby is struggling with being left in the care of others. In practice, I cry every time I think of having to leave her in that awful place and thank her father for taking it on himself because it would break me in half. I am unsettled about the physical space (the room she's been assigned to looks like a storage closet); some of the other kids in the room (a few very rambunctious boys, one of which I will probably see in my practice in a few years); and the quality of the caregivers (nice and nurturing enough, but somehow flat in their affect and interpersonal skills).

In theory, I should give this a chance. In practice, I am interviewing nannies and pulling her out of there.   

26 comments:

  1. My theory about parenting is that people should do whatever they feel best suits the intersections of their needs and their child's needs, unless what's happening makes the parents (or child) miserable and crazy, in which case they should change the situation in whatever way is possible. This is making you miserable, and you're changing it, which seems completely reasonable to me. I hope you find an awesome nanny who is warm and comforting.

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    1. thank you so much for your support. It helps.

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  2. Hey...sorry it's been rough. Whatever you need to do, do it.

    I pulled LG out of her first (home) daycare setting after 1 day, even though that meant I had NO childcare when I went back to work. All worked out in the end...

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    1. Thanks Gwinne. It helps to know that you had to do this and it worked out. Oh, it must have been really stressful to pull LG.

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  3. Yes, it was. But having reliable childcare that you BELIEVE in is worth everything. It's what allows you to do your job and be a whole person. You'll find what works for you, gummy,, and the mr.

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  4. I'm sorry you were off to a rough start. It sounds like one of your situations where trusting your gut may be better than theory. Hoping that you'll find an arrangement that all three of you feel good about.

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  5. We had a really, really rough start with Gwen's daycare in Germany. What you said about the caregivers, I could've said about ours when we first met them, and for much of our initial interactions. We didn't have any option but to persevere, and I'm glad we did: It is now so clear how much all of them really and truly love Gwen, including the one that I had thought was stand-offish. (The day I picked Gwen up and she clung to her sobbing "Agnes, Agnes!" was not especially nice for *me*, but I figured was a good sign nonetheless...) And when I overheard Agnes calling Gwen her "süsse maus" once when neither had yet realized I'd arrived, that was the nail in the coffin of my earlier misgivings. (This is not to say YOU should persevere -- how can I have any idea what's best for your situation?)

    I sure hope you can come up with an arrangement that makes everyone happy. Good daycare arrangements can be a WONDERFUL thing.

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    1. Must teach Bun Bun and Bunlet's caregiver to call them süße maus...

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    2. süße maus is the in term of endearment. All nannies do it.

      Its good to read that you persisted and it was fruitful. I haven't pulled Gummy yet because we don't have an alternative, so I figure we will either find a great nanny or she'll have to say and be one of the caregivers süße maus.

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  6. I'm so sorry that this daycare center isn't a good match for your family. I completely agree with gwinne: having childcare you BELIEVE IN is key! Praying for a solution to come together quickly!

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    1. Thank you for your prayers, dispense. I appreciate it.

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  7. Have to also say that as a psychologist, you are likely to have very useful gut instincts about interpersonal dynamics and those under-the-surface things that can make a big difference to Gummy's happiness!
    Our sensitive and clingy 1.5 year old needed a lot of reassurance for the first several weeks when we started with her nanny. I think we were a bit over-sensitive, in a way (one of us stayed home with her and her nanny for over 2 weeks) but when we went to work in the end she never cried. Don't think either she or us could have handled the daycare you describe! She's now 3, LOVES her same nanny, all is well. There's enough guilt in just going to work (and ENJOYING it so much, as I do and I think you too)... definitely don't add to it by staying with a place you have secret anxiety about! Hope you find a lovely alternative.

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    1. Yes, there is guilt about enjoying being away from my girl and feeling happy while she is miserable. Thanks for sharing your story. I'm really glad your daughter has a great nanny. Sounds like you worked really hard to make it work, and I think that helps a lot.

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  8. Oh Augusta, I'm so deeply sorry! I wish it had worked out, because I'm imaging that facing all of this has been an emotional hurricane of guilt and fear and distress, not to say a practical pain in the ass. I think Jenny put it perfectly: If you can change this, you should. And also, what Gwinne said: You need total (okay, almost total) faith in G's safety and happiness in order to be whole.

    I absolutely expected to tour daycares and find the best fit for us, but that's not how it went down. I toured one perfectly nice one, where a friend had her kid and was happy, and where the caregivers seemed fine, and...the reality of leaving my child in that perfectly safe but not HOME space with those perfectly competent but not ME people was so unsettling I couldn't even look at more daycares. I feel like this amounts to me saying daycare is bad, and boy do I NOT BELIEVE that in any way. I think it's entirely possible that if I'd walked into a different one, they'd be there right now. And I know so many people who have made this transition with relative ease. But I ALSO think there are some caregiver history/ baby temperament combos that make it much harder to do this transition. For me, I think my history of not having needs met and being left created a red mist of terror about the whole thing.

    I very much hope you find a someone who sets your mind and heart at (relative) ease and never look back.

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    1. Thank you for your support, dearest Bunny. It feels like a huge shit storm of emotions and stress right now (not unlike the latest photo posted on your blog), but I believe it will settle. I wish I knew when.

      I agree with your observation about how our own history plays an important role in this new challenge, one that I hadn't fully foreseen until the emotions hit me full force. Sometimes I feel like such a goose. I know all these things, but I discount the sway that my emotions will have once the situation is upon me. In other words, I never had a great feeling about the daycare, but I silenced that because of practical reason and perceived lack of alternatives.

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  9. I'm so sorry that the daycare has proven not to be a good fit for you and Gummy. But I agree with everyone else on here. You are a smart woman and your gut should be trusted. I know that you will find someone that puts your heart at ease and loves Gummy (almost) as much as you do.

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    1. Thanks so much, Suzanne. Your support means a lot to me.

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  10. Our nanny sucked, but E managed to be okay for that period of time. I echo what Bunny said, as my daycare choice was more about me than E.

    Our nanny came straight out of a daycare and I know that if her daycare employed this bright living soul, it was a great place to keep your kid. It is just awful to have to make a choice in the most precious gift you've got being watched by new people.

    I will wish a nice sweet mouse calling angel to trust G with. You deserve to know she is cared for in a way that you feel okay when she is not with you. Lots of hugs from Philly.

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  11. I remember just HOW MUCH your nanny sucked and how you happily fired her ass. That's the part about having a nanny that scares me a little: there is only one person interacting with your child, and so if that person is crappy, your child is getting crappy all day long.

    Thank you for your hugs and good wishes. They mean a lot to me, Misfit.

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  12. You're doing great job. In theory, you're Gummy's mama; you know what's best. And in practice, still you're Gummy's mama. You got this. I love this post.

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    1. I'm taking those words of encouragement to heart. Thanks, lovely!

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  13. I'm sorry that this is such a tough transition for you both and for Gummy. I agree with others that your gut instinct is to be trusted. I'm sure you've sorted out gut over simple transitional feelings, especially with the way that you have been able to ease into it. I hope you find a wonderful solution and fit for you. My friend in high was a nanny for a couple years for the same family...they had a great relationship and were a great fit. It can be done. If you do go that route I'm sure you'll find a great fit as well.

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    1. Thanks for your encouragements, Michelle. I think it is possible to find great childcare. I just hope it happens before I lose my mind.

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  14. I hope you've been able to find a better solution! Definitely gotta trust your gut - even if there is nothing "wrong" with the place, it just might not be right for gummy or you. You'll get this figured out, and don't be afraid to push til it IS right. It sounds like you enjoy your job and having that part of you back, and you'll get this squared away. I got MAJORLY lucky with my nanny - I was super-freaked out about leaving buddy and only interviewed 3 people, but one had a killer recommendation from her former family and essentially I trusted this other mom since I didn't trust myself and my ability to evaluate someone in my sleep-deprived freaked out state. Thankfully it has worked out and really makes a huge difference in how I feel leaving the house everyday. We're not loaded by any means, but I just knew myself and that I wanted buddy to get one on one care (and the convenience of no drop-offs and pick-ups). We'll re-evaluate when he's older and might benefit from a more preschool like experience, but for now, we love having a nanny. Good luck!!!!!

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    1. These are such better problems to have than the ones we had a few years ago, hey Mrs. Brightside. So nice to have you back in the blogosphere, and in my comments box. I have missed you.
      I'm really glad you found good care for buddy, and it helps to read that in your experience, a nanny has worked out super well.
      Thank you for your support.

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