An open letter to my childcare provider(s)…

Dear Childcare Provider(s),

Just 12 short weeks after the birth of my children, I reluctantly and timidly left my children in your protective care.  Forgive me for being an emotional wreck that first day.   I didn’t sleep the night before that dreaded day, and I arrived for drop off sooner than I should have to allow myself extra time to say my goodbyes and to ease not only them, but myself, into this so-called “new routine”.  You see, the truth is, you were a stranger, yet here I was, trusting you to watch my baby!

The overwhelming feeling of guilt weighed heavily on my heart as I closed the door and slowly walked away.  I cried the entire drive to work and then some.  I second guessed my decision a thousand times. Was I doing the right thing? Was I making a huge mistake by going back to work? Would my kids resent me or feel abandoned? Would they forever blame me for leaving them in your care for the better part of the day or worse…feel unloved?

Not going to lie, those first few weeks and months were incredibly difficult and downright stressful.  But, as the months wore on, my anxiety lessened and so did my doubts.  The “new routine” became the norm.  I watched them grow fonder and more trusting of you with each drop off, and felt a slight sting of jealously when they didn’t want to leave. Although there are many friends and family who love my children, the attention and care that you bring to each of them is beyond words.  Thanks to your nurturing and creativity, my children have thrived and become so smart and independent.  They, now, look forward to seeing you and all the other children.

Thank you for making them feel welcomed, loved, and safe.  Thank you for offering up a hug when they’re sad or upset.  Thank you for fixing their hair when daddy can’t and for not judging their miss-matched outfits (also daddy!).  Thank you for reading their favorite story over and over and over again.  Thank you for letting them be creative and artistic at the expense of your attire and classroom’s appearance (no way I’m letting them make a sun out of glitter in my house).  Thank you for wiping their butts and being patient with their potty training abilities or lack there of (no one likes to handle bodily fluids that aren’t theirs).  Thank you for teaching them to talk, read, and write and that a “2” is not an “S”!

Thank you for keeping me informed of their sleeping, eating and behavioral routines. Thank you for understanding and reminding me “it’s just a phase” when I was worried my child was demented.  Thank you for kindly disciplining them and teaching them manners.  Thank you for taking care of them even on my day off, so that mommy can actually get the house clean or enjoy a child-free latte.

Even though it is difficult to be away from them while I’m at work, I have peace of mind knowing they are in such good, caring, loving hands and know you will call if the need ever arose. It is with a big smile and generous heart that I say THANK YOU a thousand times….. Thank you for loving my children between the hours of 9 and 5, Monday through Friday!

Sincerely,

Addie and Luke’s forever-grateful Mother

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