Monday, April 19, 2010

First Day of Day Care

This morning, my wife and I dropped off three-month-old Vinny for his first day in day care. It is also, of course, my wife's first day back at work since January. It was an emotional morning, especially for my wife. Really, this episode highlights one of the differences between moms and dads.

For the most part, I was excited to see the little guy in a new environment with all kinds of new things and people to learn about. I, of course, was a little sad to be leaving him with someone other than mom, who has been the greatest caretaker he will ever have.

But while I was "a little sad," my wife was very sad. There were tears. She is going to miss the baby very much. She has been caring for him every day and night for three months, and now someone else is going to be in charge of that. I imagine she is going through some very complex emotions right now. I did my best to comfort her, but I know it is going to take a few days, or even weeks, for her to get used to leaving her "prince" in someone else's hands.

Or maybe she will never get used to it. In fact, it is probably a healthy sign for a mother to always believe that she is her own baby's best nurturer. After all, I would not want to live in a society that is too comfortable with the idea of parents offhandedly leaving their children for other people to take care of in their place.

For now, we simply understand that this is an economic reality for our family that we both have to work. Fortunately, the baby is in very caring hands. But it still does not make it easy...

Does anyone remember the first day they left their little one in day care? Any stories?


  1. Funny enough, I, the author of this blog post, already have a story! I received a call from the day care center about 2 hours after we dropped Vinny off. I actually heard Vinny crying in the background. The kind woman asked me if he uses a pacifier. I said, "yes," and told her that we provided a few in his bag. She said she could not find them. I forgot to pack them!

    When Vinny is very sleepy, he needs his pacifier to fall asleep. I was not able to do anything at the time, it being a busy Monday morning at the office.

    About an hour later, I decided to call back and, yes, I heard the baby crying in the background. So, I told her that I would run to the local supermarket, buy a few pacifiers, and drop them off. I did so, and was able to see the little guy for a few minutes (the center is only 5 minutes from my office). He was actually quite relaxed, sitting on someone's lap.


  2. yes, I cried the whole way to work! That was 20 years ago.

  3. Mama wasn't just the sole caregiver for the last three months--more like the last 12 months! You didn't mention whether or not she is breast feeding. If so, add a lot of hormonal changes, painful swelling, inconvenient leaking or milk pumping to your equation of what she is going through, not only the breaking of that personal, private, emotional, mother-child bond. Be ready to do some patient encouraging! My prayers are for you.


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