In some circles it seems like day care is a dirty word. But I don't think all women are called to be stay-at-home moms. For me personally, working part-time has been a wonderful blessing for our family. Our entire family is happier when I'm working outside the home. It took me a while to feel comfortable saying that out loud (and it still makes me feel a little guilty), but it’s true.
1. She has friends! It is so cute to see Rooney get excited to see her friends every morning. These friends not only provide her with playmates, but she is also encouraged to try new things that she sees them doing, like taste new foods (positive peer pressure!).
2. She learns patience. I know Rooney has to wait at times for her snack or milk or lunch or nap or comfort or a diaper change. With a ratio of 1 teacher: 4 kids, that is reality. Although sometimes this can be hard to accept, I know that in the long run Rooney will be better off for learning patience and sharing at a young age.
3. They are partner in raising my daughter. Day care is not a competitor for Rooney's love. Rooney loves all her teachers and they are a valued partner in her upbringing. I think outside influences can be healthy and positive for our children. They practiced purees with her daily when we were still trying to figure it all out. They did her neck stretches when she had torticollis. They provided good ideas on how to introduce solid foods to her. They come up with menu ideas and introduce her to new foods (like lima beans). They teach her how to march like a dinosaur and wash her hands and brush her teeth.
4. They have toys we don't have. I don't feel as bad that we don't own a baby doll stroller or crib, play kitchen, train track, dress-up clothes, magnetic balls, or kid's rocking chair, because they have all that stuff at day care and she gets to play with it four days a week. I think we will eventually get a few of these toys at home, but only the ones that are her favorites (kitchen, baby bed and play clothes).
5. They let her get messy. At day care Rooney has painted pictures with yogurt and played with PlayDoh and eaten spaghetti. They play with the water table inside. If I was home with her I don't think I'd be giving her the social or educational stimulation she needs.
6. It allows me to work four days a week. Although I have shifted from working 40 hours a week to 32 hours, which I am overjoyed to be able to do, it has been good for me to continue to develop and use the gifts God has given me. We don't have family around so day care is crucial in allowing to work outside the home.