How to Survive going back to work with your child in care

The first time I returned to work, I lost my mind - literally. I cried on my way to drop off my kid, when dropping off said kid, on the bus ride to work AND at work. Sadly, I have had 4 kids in care and it never seems to get easier. It is however not impossible to go through it and come out somewhat sane...
Here are my secrets to surviving baby’s first days and months in daycare:
Know your daycare - What are the policies and procedures? Knowing these things can and will likely ensure safety measures are met. Illness policies will always outline when your child cannot attend care; showing up at the door with a sick child, trying to determine if he/she can stay is inappropriate. It is likely to upset everyone involved.

Time - Calculate the amount of time you need to get ready and get to work on time…then add an extra 20 - 30-minutes. Allowing time to deal with anything that comes up ensures that you will not be frantic before you even leave the house.
In addition, I noticed years ago that my child would poop around the same time in the mornings - lots of kids do. In that case, I found it easier to wait and get him cleaned up before getting in the car and having an uncomfortable child.

Plan - Prepare as much as you can the night before. Get everything that you need together for the next day. If your provider has requested items for care, load them into the car or leave them at the front door, so you will not forget them in the morning rush.
Be Open - Chit chatting with your provider is important. Get to know your provider by taking advantage of updates and invitations to discuss issues relating to your child. While childcare providers don't know everything, they know quite a bit about your child, so take their advice without being offended or angry.

Routine & Flexibility -  I would say this is the most important factor in everything and anything you do, especially when it comes to children. Establish a routine but always expect the unexpected.  You may wake up with a sick child on the morning you have a big meeting, or you may find way too much snow to make a smooth drive to your daycare and get to work on time.
It happens! Establishing routines, having backup plans and being flexible will help you stay sane and keep your child from seeing you have a meltdown.

Do YOUR thing - Being a mom of 4, I would say this is the hardest thing for me. There is no time for me. There's time for work, the kids, and time for hubby, but no time for me to just do's something that I am working on.
If you like to wake up early to listen to your favorite songs, or have a cup (or 2) of coffee then's that what you need to do. Putting alone time into your routine is very important.

Be considerate of your provider(s) - So your day is long. Chances are if you need to be at work at 8 AM then your child needs to be in care before that time. This means that your childcare provider is up and alert, as she prepares for your child's day. Dayhome or daycare centre, childcare providers are human. They get tired and have long days too. Taking out your stress on them will only end badly.

Ensure you have all requested items (diapers, wipes, etc) in a timely manner. Ensure you call if you will be dropping off or picking up late, and that you relay important information that could affect your child's day.

When push comes to shove, try to communicate as much as possible with your provider. Always  remember that there is no replacement for mom or dad, but working together will always be the best option.


marie at: March 17, 2015 at 10:05 AM said...

Useful Salma. It's tricky and stressful sometime. But when we see our kids happy in daycare it makes everything much better.
As for time for myself, it's a work in progress and I have just one child!

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“A hundred years from now, it will not matter what kind of car I drove, what kind of house I lived in, how much money I had in the bank…but the world may be a better place because I made a difference in the life of a child.”
~ Forest Witcraft

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