Every family situation is different. They all have their own dynamics, so I am by no means trying to say this is how everyone should do it. But, here's a little story about my first year of experience with daycare.
When Rooney was just a few months old, she started going to an in-home daycare in our neighborhood. It had all sorts of awesome benefits including, but not limited to:
- Low ratio of adults to children
- At-home feeling
- Relaxed rules and regulations
- Accommodating hours (7:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.)
- Her own room to nap in
Aside from these benefits, perhaps my favorite was that in those early months, Kelsey and I worked at the same company and would often drop off and pick up Rooney together. This meant we both got to share in the relationship with our daycare provider, we both were able to hear about her day and we both got to spend the same amount of time with our daughter.
As time went on, my wife realized she needed/wanted to spend more time with our daughter, and yearned for a career move that would allow her some flexibility to spend more time with Rooney. We were excited when she was offered a job with our church for 32 hours a week. This granted her what we now call "Wednesdays with Rooney."
This offered some great benefits as well:
- An extra day at home for Kelsey and Rooney
- On-site daycare so Kelsey can stop by anytime throughout the day
- Faith-based learning environment
- A more structured program
All was good except one thing that has been a pain point for both Kelsey and I since the switch, and that is that Kelsey is the only one who drops off and picks up Rooney from daycare almost every time.
Aside from a few illnesses, this responsibility has fallen on Kelsey for obvious reasons. And to be honest, it's been a rough part of the job transition for both of us. I feel like I'm missing out on a lot, at times feels a lot of burden having to keep track of it all by herself and then relay the details to me.
Bah! Having to communicate can really suck sometimes! We've been working hard at it, but still have a long way to go. Kelsey's gotten really good at finding crafty ways to keep me in the loop including email updates like:
"Rooney ate 5 French toast sticks and pooped twice already today!"
"Only napped for 10 minutes today. She's going straight to bed when we get home."
The email updates are great, but my absolute favorite is the surprise photos! Here are a few snapshots of Rooney in action at daycare.
Sometimes, it's the little things that keep us going every day.