Last week on my day off, I convinced my husband the weather was just too gorgeous to go to work. After taking our dog on his morning walk, he promptly agreed and called work to let them know he would not be in that day.
We spent the entire day outside doing our favorite family things – brunch on a patio, going to the Dallas Arboretum and ended the afternoon getting ice cream sandwiches from a food truck. It was the perfect day, the kind of day my three year old, Evelyn looks forward to.
Except this time, she didn’t join us because I still dropped her off at daycare that morning.
Prior to becoming a parent, I didn’t see the big deal in utilizing daycare services when the parents weren’t working. Obviously I still am not 100% against it, but I have now come to the realization that it isn’t the “good parent” thing to do. I mentioned my perfect day on an online forum and was attacked by some of the moms telling me that daycare is only meant to be while the parents are working, not for them to go off (selfishly) and have a day date.
Instead of getting defensive, because in all honesty I don’t care what random internet strangers think about me, I started asking if there were any situations that they deemed justifiable to still utilize daycare other than work. The common response was that only things like a doctor’s appointment is the only exception to this “rule”.
I brought up that in the past, I have sent her to play the entire day with her friends while I stayed home and cleaned the entire house. Why should I have kept her home with me when I know she would have more fun at daycare than with me while I cleaned (and then destroyed everything right behind me like the little tornado she is)?
Personally, I still don’t see the big deal. After our day date, my husband and I picked up our daughter together who was so happy to join us for a picnic dinner at the park, still grabbing the last moments of the gorgeous Spring day. When I picked up Evelyn after my cleaning fest day, we both came home and she and I were able to spend the rest of the day just enjoying each other (and making messes again) without any chores looming over our head.
I still haven’t been convinced that dropping Evelyn off at daycare, even though I’m not working, makes me a “lesser” parent. However, I am open to discussion. Do you ever drop your children off at daycare when you are going to do something they could just as easily join you? Why is the consensus that doing so is different than hiring a babysitter for a date night?
All of that being said, I will admit that during our date, both my husband and I spoke mostly of our daughter and how much we missed her. We made a promise that on the next gorgeous day we were playing hooky on she would be joining us, eating sticky ice cream right along with us.
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What are your thoughts on daycare?