Thursday, 5 April 2012

Managing Day Care / Life Balance With Toddlers

This year we started sending Skye to Day Care two days a week rather than just one. I wasn't really sure if it was necessary, and I did feel a bit guilty about it, but late last year she seemed to enjoy going an extra day when there was a vacancy and I figured it was better to take the spot while it was available with the option of dropping it if it was too much, rather than trying to get her an extra day when there were no vacancies. 

I won't lie, the idea of having two days to myself was pretty appealing too. At the time when the spot was offered, Mr Bond was still working away and it was getting close to Christmas so staying on top of everything was getting overwhelming.

At first, Skye was keen to be going Tuesday's and Thursday's and made the transition smoothly, but recently she had started saying that she wanted to stay home. There was a definite reluctance to go and she was suddenly wanting to leave the moment I arrived to pick her up, whereas before she would require stamps and hugs and much encouragement to leave her 'Play Day" house. I thought it was just a phase and she would be happy to go again shortly, but I was also concerned that with all the swimming lessons and other activities going on, she was not getting enough time to just be a toddler in her own home without a schedule.

Which was one of the main reasons we had decided that I would stay at home in the first place. 

Mr Bond and I discussed it and he also felt that it may be too much for her to have two full days there while she is still so young. We agreed that I should speak to the Carer and get her thoughts on whether Skye was really enjoying her time there. I was worried about talking to the Carer about it so soon after taking the extra day, but Skye's happiness will always be the first priority and I trusted her to tell me if Skye was really benefiting from the extra day. I know many kids cope and even thrive at Day Care, but I know Skye's attitude towards going had changed so I had to trust my instincts.

As it turns out, the decision was taken out of my hands. The morning I decided to raise my concerns with her Carer was the very same morning that her Carer told me that she would no longer be operating on the Tuesday and Skye could either apply for another day, or drop back to just one day per week. 

She had been just as worried about telling me as I had her! 

I explained my concerns and we decided that dropping back to one day would be the best way to go. She assured me that Skye was in fact loving her time there, but she did seem to be getting overwhelmed by it. I was offered a rostered Friday which could be shared with another child on a fortnightly basis but decided against it. She will be starting Preschool next year (scary!) and before I know it she will be going to "Big School" and we won't have the choice of how many days she goes and I don't want to push her into too much before she is ready. 

It was such a relief that the decision had been made for us and I am looking forward to having Tuesday's with my little girl again. There have been a lot of things I have wanted to do with Skye this year but haven't because she was already so busy or the activities fell on the days she was in care. If anything the extra day was restricting us so I am happy to be cutting it back.

I may feel differently in a couple of weeks though...
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