During one of our playgroups last week, we were asked about some of the challenges we face being a parent. For me, I find the biggest challenge I face on a daily basis is all of the choices I am making on behalf of my daughter. Once of the biggest choices for me has been whether or not to put my daughter into daycare more often.

I am starting to understand why moms with one child have a nanny, or why stay-at-home moms (as opposed to work-from-home-moms) put their child or children in daycare. Being the sole entertainer for your kid(s) all day can be a challenge. Before I had my daughter, I couldn’t relate to why you would need help with only 1 child. Now – I get it. The thing is, when you are at home with your kids, you’ve got the house to take care of as well as the child. Laundry, dishes, making meals, cleaning up after meals – all of that still has to be done.  Not to mention running errands and appointments.

A good friend of mine has very little help with her son. He is now 1 year old and she has had so little time for herself over the past year. I have been able to send my daughter to daycare twice a week since the beginning of September and I am going to admit that I am so happy to be able to do this. This is such a shock for me – as I have always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom.  When I realized HOW HARD it is, I found that daycare has been a lifesaver. Of course, I do work from home as well, but I could work less (my income would remain the same) and spend more time with my daughter. What’s great about the daycare we found is that she is doing developmental activities as well. She has so many different toys and activities to do there, they sing songs, do circle time, feed her fresh health foods and she’s on a regular schedule there. No one has to run to the grocery store to pick up the ingredients for dinner. No phone interruptions. No one watching Survivor (guilty pleasure). And she loves it there.

I’ve had an unusually busy week with my business, so I decided to put her in to the daycare today as well (as an extra day). She was so upset to leave when I picked her up that she refused to sit in her car seat. The bottom line here is that I’ve stopped feeling bad about my choice to send her to daycare for part of the week. It’s not what I planned and it’s not what I thought I wanted, but it turns out – this is what works!

What’s your biggest parenting challenge? Do you struggle with sending your kids to some kind of care outside the home (or do you have a nanny)? Share with us in the comments below.

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