I have experienced daycare guilt – a particular brand of mom guilt found within the working mom guilt sub-category – every summer of Zoe’s life. It’s gotten worse each consecutive year.
As her friends grew browner and more golden-tanned each month of summer, Z always stayed about the same thanks to being cooped up in daycare most of the week. Sure, we take a nice family vacation here or there, and I take a day off whenever possible to spend with her at the pool – but that never seemed like enough.
She has NEVER known the joy and freedom – and yes, even boredom – of weeks and even months on end of doing nothing but running wild and free in the neighborhood.
Until now. This year, for the first time, we finally said no to daycare and said yes to a nanny. A wonderful neighbor-friend has stepped up to be Zoe’s summer nanny, and we are overjoyed. Now she and the dogs can be wild and free, living their best lives, while her Dad and I work. It’s only the first day, but I can already tell it’s pure magic!
Thanks to the tech wizardry of our Ring doorbell and her brand new Gizmo Gadget, I get glimpses of what our little Z is up to much of the day – playing in the backyard with the other kids, taking her scooter or bike out for a ride, and hanging with her nanny and our dogs on the patio. It looks like a glorious way to spend the summer months. I am SO HAPPY she’s getting to experience all of this instead of being cooped up indoors for much of the day at daycare!
If you’re a mom experiencing daycare guilt, try to be gentle with yourself. They do learn a lot there and they make great friends – and they do go outside now and then! Who knows, maybe soon I’ll be longing for the structure and reliability of daycare.
But for now, I am really happy she’s old enough for me to feel comfortable leaving her with a nanny. I probably couldn’t have done it much earlier than this, but now that’s she’s 8, she and I are both ready. I feel really confident that this is going to be a great summer. She’s old enough to have good common sense, she can call us if there are any issues, and she won’t give the nanny too much monkey business.
What childcare options do you like best for summer? I’d love to hear in the comments below or over on Facebook.