Toddler’s first Childcare experience – and a Mama letting go a little

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Being a full time working Mama isn’t easy but it is my choice and I believe it is the best one I could have made for myself and my family.

I could go into the endless reasons why I work, and choose to work, but they are very obvious and similar to the millions of other people who have families and hold down jobs in various forms.  Namely, I want to provide for my family and not rely on anyone else to pay for it – whether it is my husband or society – if I am capable in any form of doing so (not just because I qualify for society to pay my way).

Side-line to the story of course, but it is also made far easier for me to choose to work by the fact that my parents are able to provide my childcare (not free of charge though, we live in balance as much as possible).  Our little one is slightly over 2 yrs old now, so doesn’t qualify for free childcare through local government funded spaces, so my experience with childcare is very limited.

This weekend though we had a wonderful family short break at Crieff Hydro Hotel in their self-catering lodges where free childcare is provided for up to 6 hours a day for those aged 2-12yrs.

We were there at the hotel with my sister’s young family, which made it easier in some way to consider using the childcare facilities as they would be going together and see each other there (lessening my chances of toddler distress/mother distress in my eyes).  I didn’t feel comfortable with leaving him there for any longer than around 2 or 3 hours at the most a day, purely as it is a holiday to be together and enjoy, but our little one seemed to have a good fun time.  Well, no tears from what I could tell.

Overall though, I felt I should let him test out a short stay with other childcare options, to also help me prepare for when the time comes for nursery and longer days away from people I trust or my own care.  He is my first child and I think the first is the hardest to make all the “next steps” in his development, and I’m very glad that my first experience of using mainstream childcare was a success for us all.

To see him enjoy himself and mainly being able to trust effectively strangers to look after him really was a milestone for any new mum, and one that I’m glad I pushed myself outside my normal comfort zone at this stage to do and get it “out the way”.  To see him go into the play area without his cousins for the last morning session without crying or looking back to us, gave me the assurance that we have raised him to be independent enough not to be scared at new adventures in life.  Yes, it can feel as deep as that – even though to other parents it may not seem like a big deal.

My little dude isn’t a baby any more and hasn’t been for a while, and I don’t regret that.  Instead I can see that we must have taught him enough to feel secure to explore the world and not look for security all the time of his parents.  I will take that as a “tick” any day of the week.

Sometimes we get those moments where as parents you really don’t want them to progress as quickly as they seem capable of, but stepping outside of comfort zones really is the best for the little ones in question.  It  isn’t all about what makes the parents happy after all within reason.

That is a tough lesson to learn sometimes and one that might make us a little weak at the knees to watch.

Love MFF xx

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