To day care or not to day care…. That is the question faced by many mums and I think it is one of the toughest decisions to make as a mum when trying to juggle work and being a mum.
My little baby is 20 months old and two months ago I put him into to a local daycare centre around 2 months ago for 2 x days a week.
Now the reason I decided to put my little one is that I kept reading about how it helps development etc and I thought it may be good to see how he goes and have more interaction with little ones – plus I am incredibly busy with the business’ I run (and am a full time working mum) and although I have a nanny for a couple of days too I figured we would test it out and see how it goes.
A lot of mums reading this will be having thinking that they would never put their kids in day care or that they have no choice to put their kids in due to work and family finances. I am in a very lucky position of choosing what to do rather than having to do something due to work and I can’t imagine how hard it is for mums to have to put their little ones into daycare 5 days and the stresses that go with that and I hope the Government end up bringing in more support – such as nannies that cost half the price or the ability to claim back half of nanny costs so it makes it easier for mums that work. Family day care also seems to have a better non sickness rate too – so is worth looking at.
However, after two months doing just under 2 days a week I have decided to stop him going. It wasn’t that he didn’t enjoy it – he did and it was great for him to play with so many little ones his age but the main reason I today decided to stop him going was the continuous sickness he was catching from daycare.
Ever since he has been going (a Wednesday and Friday) he is sick each week. And then the weekend is a write off and then by the time he is better on the Tuesday he gets something else on the Wednesday. And this means the nights are worse than usual as he is sick and then I get sick (and being pregnant that is no fun) and all in all it is depressing.
Then last Friday he picked up something really nasty and by the Sunday he was in a right state. He couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat, wouldn’t have his bottle (and he LOVES his bottle) and a trip to the Doctor said throat and ear infection. So onto antibiotics he went but after 24 hours he was in a terrible state and had to go to the Children’s Hospital as he had taken in no fluids or food and was starting to get dehydrated.
And whilst waiting 5 hours at the hospital in the waiting room (still cannot believe kids are let to wait so long!!!) we saw another 15 or so kids/babies in the waiting room – all completely sick and at least 50% of them were asked by the nurses “are your babies in day care” which the answer was ‘yes’. And looking around it was just awful. Little babies sweating up looking like the life had been sucked out of them. Toddlers and babies crying everywhere and parents looking heartbroken.
My little one was in a terrible way – always happy – but now crying and lethargic and the worry you go through as a parent is just awful
After the night at the hospital he had to be given nurofen and panadol every 2-3 hours to keep the fever down and pain away then be syringed water to get his fluids up.
After 3 days more like this he finally started to get better and I cannot explain the joy when he started to want food and his bottle again! He lost 1kg in 4 days and I was soooo worried about him and to see him coming back to life after food and drink was incredible!
It was then that me and my husband decided no more daycare. I had asked the Doctor at the hospital for her opinion on daycare and she said it was good to build their immune system up and if they didn’t do it at a young age it would mean they got sickness at school when exposed to all the illness – but that she didn’t have kids so hadn’t had to go through the awfulness of the sickness.
But I have decided that I do not want my little boy to have to go through that level of sickness at such a young age and I would much rather he go through it when he is bigger and older – not at 20 months. And I know for some people they cannot do this but as I have said I am lucky enough to have this choice
So that is that – no more daycare for us. Perhaps daycare will have a place when he is a bit older. It will make juggling things a little harder as with no family in Australia we rely on nannies for help – but I do not want to put my bub through that again so am glad we have made the decision.
And for all the mums who have no choice but to put their kids into daycare – I hope they have a better run with the sickness and that you have people who can help when they are sick as it must be very hard juggling sick babies and a full time job. And this article is 100% not intended to make any mum feel bad about daycare or bash daycare. Daycare has so many positives and I know lots of kids who go and don’t care sick at all – it is just a personal account of my own experience and what I have decided on my own personal experience and circumstances.