A few months ago, when my daughter was 15 months old, my partner and I decided to put her in daycare. I'd been offered a job teaching a writing class in a high school and simultaneously started writing part-time. With no family close by, and a need for a quick solution, we started our search. We found one option that didn't have a two-year wait list, and took the leap. So for three months now, I've been getting a crash course in the struggles only moms with kids in daycare can understand.
I became a mom through adoption, after a five year struggle with infertility, so while our financial situation didn't make staying home with our daughter for 15 months all that easy, I couldn't quite bear the idea of her being with someone else more hours than she was with us, especially for the first year of her life. However, by the time she turned 1, two things became clear. First, she has a social personality that made us feel confident she would thrive in daycare. And second, I started to feel like I couldn't give her everything she needed to learn and grow at home. I know some stay-at-home moms don't have that feeling, but I felt like she needed more than me and our little apartment and trips to the park in order to grow and thrive.
Overall, we've loved our daycare experience so far, and I am so grateful that I can mostly not worry about her while I work all day. Still, that doesn't mean these struggles aren't reality and a little exhausting for moms who have decided (and are financially able) to put their kid in daycare.