Leah started day care this week. It has probably been one of the most stressful things I've had to do since giving birth to her. It took me about 2-3 months to finally find a day care I was happy with. When I was still looking for places that were on my route to work, these places seemed dirty, unorganized, and too small. One home day care only used this tiny living room area as the "day care" section. When I asked to tour the place, the girl said "Oh, that's it." I was thinking "Seriously? Do you expect the kids to sit in one place all day?" Another place had a big sign that said "Please take off your shoes." At first I had walked in and didn't notice the sign, then when I saw it I said "Oh, sorry! Do you need me to take off my shoes?" The lady said "Nope. Don't worry about it." Hmm okay another red flag. I was getting pretty discouraged.
Once I made the decision to resign, I broadened my range and found one. I was happy with the administration, cleanliness, size, and amount of activity they provide for the kids. I was also really impressed with how happy the babies seemed to be. They all greeted me with big smiles and waves, kept giving hugs to the day care workers, and were excited to see Leah. The mothers I called for references all gave me raving reviews. I finally found a place I felt comfortable with.
I was anxious the entire week leading up to Leah's first day. I showed up the day before her first official day to ease her into the new environment. We stayed for a couple hours, introduced her to the care givers, and let her observe her surroundings.
Finally, the big day came. I opened the door and was greeted by all the cute kids. Leah stared intently at all of them. One of the care givers took her from my arms and Leah didn't flinch. She gave everyone a big smile and continued to look around. After about 15 minutes, I kissed her good-bye and left. I broke down in tears the minute I left the building. I even got on the wrong freeway because I was too busy thinking about how bad I felt. The entire day I felt uneasy. I didn't want to be one of those mothers who called every 5 minutes, but I did call once at noon to see how she was doing. They told me she was doing great, drank her bottle, and took a nap. When the time came to pick her up, I was expecting to see her crying, but nope! She was happily hanging out in the swing. When she saw me, I got the biggest smile ever. Yay! The first day was a success! I'm so proud of her.