Sending our little one to crèche

The big question, crèche or no crèche?

Let’s be honest a lot of moms are fully capable of keeping their kids at home and giving them the education and stimulation they need which is amazing and I will praise them for that because it takes a lot of work but it’s definitely not every moms cup of tea.

Most moms are career woman who don’t have the option of staying home as they have to provide for their family or they just choose to work which I don’t believe there is anything wrong with that too because that is just as difficult, working and having kids is definitely not for the faint hearted so big ups to them too.

I had my first born young and I did not have the option of staying home and so Zac went to crèche , the most affordable one I could find that was safe and he actually did great and loved it, on weekends he would cry and not understand why crèche was closed.

This time round for me though being a stay at home mom, I had the amazing choice of actually keeping Eli, my two year old, at home with me.

I wondered was I stimulating him enough?

I honestly believe Eli is a highly intelligent toddler, he just turned two and he counts by himself over ten sometimes to twenty which he has been doing for awhile, he also knows all his shapes and is learning his colours which keeps me thinking if he went to school would he not have learnt so much more? His eager to learn.

Eli is a covid baby meaning he has not seen a lot of people and rarely as in never plays with other kids. I started realizing the effects of covid when I started taking Eli for walks to the park and he would see another human and scream “Mommy, scared” and then close his eyes and refuse to go near. Also whenever we had guests he was terrified and refused to interact with the kids saying once again, “ Mommy, scared”. Seeing other people was not normal for him and playing with kids was something that terrified him.

Me being the social butterfly I am and having experienced a non covid baby realized this is something he needs help with and I started thinking about crèche.

The thought of him playing with other kids excited me so much, the thought of him getting to experience friendship made me adamant that he needs to try it at least.

Eli is also a really busy child and I’m not going to lie, the thought of having a little time to myself put me at ease too. I decided to discuss it with his dad who was not interested at first but I convinced him to give it a try.

We found an amazing crèche close to us and we were set. We chose this crèche because the teacher keeps in touch with you throughout the day and she also sends you pictures and a full report at the end of each day telling you about his day and what he accomplished.

I decided to put Eli in half day only as I believed half day would give him enough stimulation and enough time to play with his friends plus I’m not sure we would survive without each other that long. Maybe me more than him?!

Days leading up to crèche I was filled with anxiety, is he going to be okay? Will he like it? His going to cry! His going to hate me! But maybe he will learn and make friends right?

The day came and I put him in warm comfy clothes and his dad and I dropped off his brother at school and then took him in. When he got inside and he saw the huge playground filled with scooters and building blocks and jungle gyms, he got excited and smiled. He played abit and then we took him to his class to meet his teacher and classmates, he walked with caution and stayed close to me and his dad, we sat with him and encouraged him to play and interact, he started playing and talking to his teacher but as soon as a parent came in to drop off one of his classmates, he would run to me screaming scared. We stayed abit and my husband decided it’s time for us to leave, the moment I’ve been dreading for days has just come. I knew what was about to happen, we were going to leave and my son was going to scream and cry and eli does not just cry , he screams and cries like his heart is broken and he fights, it’s a lot to handle and it’s high pitched, my second worry being is this teacher going to be able to handle this. My son is a lot to handle. Sensitive and emotional.

We say goodbye as the teacher says she believes its best we say goodbye and not run away. We say bye and he breaks down and screams and cry. We sit outside his classroom just listening to him scream and cry while we die inside, do we just pick him up and go home or do we give this a try?! We push forward and prepare to leave the school and of course I start crying that mom guilt of abandonment comes flying in. I get home and my anxiety is huge, I don’t even know what to do with myself , that me time that looked so inviting now looks empty and all I’m thinking about is when will I fetch him and have I made the right decision. So me being hard on myself comes home and lays in bed in the dark hating myself like how could I take my son to crèche, moms are nuts hey?! And yes I’m a tad dramatic but I swear this is why I don’t judge moms because I know far too well, that we judge ourselves harshly enough! I sent my son to crèche, he cried and now I’m laying in the dark under the covers with my whole face sulking. My husband comes in and tries to calm me down and get me out of bed by offering to go with him for a drive which works. We go and the teacher sends me pictures of Eli playing saying his calmed down and his starting to interact with the kids, I feel a lot better and thank the teacher, one of the reasons I love this school, is that the communication is everything! Back in the day with my firstborn there was no way the teachers was giving you their personal numbers to keep in touch, it was hardcore mom times, you just got to pray and hope the first day is going well! No one is calling you or sending pictures telling you your kids okay! The teacher messages that I should maybe fetch Eli at 12 instead of 1 to ease him in. 12 comes and I jump out of bed to pick him up, I get there and he is red in the face screaming and my heart dies, turns out it was nap time and he fell asleep in his teacher and she tried to put him down and he was not having it. I put him in the car and he wouldn’t even go in the car seat, he just screamed and refused to let go of me, I had to wrestle him in while assuring him everything is okay and race home to get him out and just hold him. I put him in bed with me and I just held him and he fell asleep, we both did. I spent the rest of the evening wondering if I made the right decision, Eli seemed traumatized. I couldn’t sleep and didn’t want to take him back, my husband said just give it another try. I’m the type of wife that literally wakes up at midnight and decides to message my husband all my feelings while his asleep next to me. He woke up to lots of I don’t think we should take him back texts. The morning came and we decided to give it another try, I kept saying we going to your school and he seemed okay, we got to the school and he walked in excitingly but when he saw his class he refused to go in. He went in and we said bye and left. He cried. Five minutes later his teacher sent me a picture of him smiling and playing. She said he settled a lot faster as the day went by she sent me lots of pictures and she said he is doing so well, his progress is really amazing, his first day he refused to eat but today he had all his breakfast and two bowels of lunch, he also didn’t cry at nap time and when we picked him up he was smiling and not crying.

It took Eli two weeks to settle in and when I say two weeks, I mean me dropping him off and there being no tears. I honestly am happy with our decision to put him in crèche, his already starting to converse a lot more, everyday I feel like he comes home with new words he has learnt and he honestly does seem happier.

Children are resilient. Our fears are the only thing holding them back.

I did research and found out that a study was done that found "high-quality centre-based childcare may be linked to lower levels of emotional symptoms." Basically, being around children their age, under the supervision of professionals is really good for kids' emotional and pro social development

The study also found the children who attended high-quality centre-based care for at least one year had lower rates of emotional, conduct, relationship and attention problems later in life than kids who were watched by a family member or babysitter. The study's authors suggest interactions with trained staff in the centres, along with having to follow rules and getting extra stimulus from playing in the supportive environment give kids a social and mental behavioural boost.

We have decided to make the enrolment official. Will keep everyone up to date with Eli’s crèche adventure and with how I’m figuring out having some me time.

Good luck Mama’s & Dada’s, you got this!


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