Some deep thoughts on working full time, daycare, and toddlers

Peanut is pretty much a full blown toddler these days and I have a few things that I want to talk to you guys about.

A few weeks back Jon and I spent almost a day trying to teach Peanut where her nose is.  We were so proud of ourselves when she touched her nose.  The next day, after picking Peanut up from daycare, we asked her to touch her nose, which she did.  We then asked her to touch her ear, which she did.  And her hair, which she did.  And her eye, which she did.  And her belly, which she did.  Le sigh.  What are the chances that we actually thought her the nose trick?  I’m going with slim to none since there is almost no way that she picked up the rest in one day.

On the one hand I am so proud and so excited to know that our daycare is teaching Peanut all sorts of awesome tricks.  It really solidifies our choice in daycare and I’m excited to watch her grow.

On the other hand, I’m so sad to know that there are going to be many things that we will not teach her.  These aren’t a big deal and I know that there are way wore things for me to consider, like her not learning things at daycare.  But let me just sob in the corner for a minute here as I deal with the fact that someone else taught my kid almost all of her body parts.

(and also how to give a high five…that one I may actually be bitter about)

This actually goes to a few other points that I want to make that all lead to one and the same conclusion – I really need to learn how to let things go.

We decided to stop bringing lunch to day care and let them feed Peanut the same thing that the other kids eat.  I must preface this by saying that I actually reviewed every single meal they have planned within the rotation and spent a lot of time talking to the director at the daycare about making sure that Peanut doesn’t have too much sugar or sodium.  The decision was mostly driven by the fact that Peanut was really dipping in her growth weight scale and the fact that we noticed that she eats better when she has what everyone around her is eating (never underestimate the power of peer pressure).  Let me tell you the teeth grinding that I am doing when I pick up P and she is having a vanilla wafer with the other kids around a table.  It’s a struggle between knowing that this isn’t going to kill her but will indeed help her put on a couple of pounds and my control freak nature.

Hence, I need to learn how to let go.

On the same note, I’m also having a hard time keeping up with the level of home cleanliness within my comfort level.  I’ve gone from vacuuming the house once  a day to once or twice a week.  I know that a dirty house isn’t going to be the thing that I remember looking back, but seeing the dust pile up in the corner of the baby gate gives me anxiety.

Another thing I have to just let go.

Don’t even get me started on the bottle to sippy transition.  I’ve let that one go.

I guess I’m just finally facing the fact that working 40+ hours a week, having a toddler, and still keeping up with all my hobbies that I refuse to let go of will mean letting some things fall off the list.

Our toddler is starting to sprout little teeth – that’s new around here.  I can’t tell you how excited we are to see them (and relieved that we don’t have to wonder if something is wrong) and how much we are looking forward to not cutting all her food into pea-sized squares.  What I am not a huge fan of is all the whining the accompanies growing teeth.

This is where the positives of daycare come in.  It’s actually rather awesome that the daycare has to deal with all the whining during the day and we get to pick up our toddler at the end of the day.  She is usually so excited to see us that there is limited to no whining going on back home.

Another positive that I’ve recently learned about is the fact that daycare will actually teach your kid how to use the potty.  As in, we don’t have to (although it’s encouraged to keep up with it at home as well, which we intend to).  Anyone else think that this is pretty cool?

And that completes my rant deep thoughts for this Friday.

Submitting this one for Favorite photo in April.


  1. I am RIGHT THERE WITH YOU today. I picked up Robby from daycare yesterday, and he was blowing kisses. Wu-what? I’ve never done that with him. It’s adorable, but it also made me really sad to think that they were the first ones to GET the kisses. As for hobbies? Oh goodness, when’s the last time I did more than 1 blog post in a week?!?! Just know that I feel your pain, and I’m only a gchat away ;)

  2. You vacuumed once a day? Holy moly. I’m lucky if I get a chance to do it once a week. Right now we’re in Week 2 of needing to vacuum.

    I’m on the other side of the spectrum. Nate isn’t in daycare and I hate how much he doesn’t know that he probably would if he was in daycare. So many times I’ve read something or someone says, “Does he…” something and I go, “Oh, uh, yeah, I guess I should teach him that.” It’s a huge amount of pressure to know that unless you teach your kid his ABCs and how to sing songs, no one else will.

    So I think both sides have their difficult spots. If Nate was in daycare, I’d probably be wistful about missing out on all that stuff, too.

    • Candice- that is SUCH a fresh perspective…I didn’t think about all that pressure! I change my mind about the first half of my whining – I am super thankful ;)

  3. I can’t believe how big she is getting, Kat! So adorable. And….enjoy the fact that the daycare does some of the hard stuff. BUT don’t let it take away from you, either, because you and and Jon “teach” her a lot of what you may not even realize. (Or you do… ;) )

    Happy Weekend!

  4. And, btw, your new header is SO cute!

  5. Right there with you…

    Only I will add that my son knocked his top front tooth out at daycare this week, root and all, and so this week I am particularly bitter about daycare and all that it entails. It’s tiring, being that angry and bitter. I’m trying to let it go too.

    • OMG Hilary – I don’t think I would be able to easily let that one go. I know kids need to get cuts and bruises to learn things…but that’s a bit much for me. Is he ok?

      • He’s completely fine; it could be so much worse (so I keep telling myself, just takes a bit of convincing you know). And it’s so superficial, SO superficial, but I miss that perfect smile just missing the teeth he doesn’t have yet.

        The dentist said he 2 year old daughter just knocked hers out recently too, so I suppose it must be reasonably common.

        • I’m not kidding, but I think I’ve read like 5 other blogs recently with 2 year old that knocked their teeth out.

  6. Staying at home can sometimes feel like you were supposed to get an Early Childhood Education degree… but nobody told you that beforehand! It’s a whole new world, and to be honest, it’s sometimes {quite often} exhausting having to think that hard! I’m right there with Candice, I didn’t know to start singing the ABC’s or working on colors or anything like that… until one day I just do, and Zoe responds well and seems to like it. Now, we sing the ABC’s when she asks for it and the other day she started asking about colors so we work on that constantly… I guess, truth be told, I just follow her curiosity and try maximize teaching opportunities… but my brain has to constantly stay “on”.

    As for the behavior issues that daycare has to deal with but you don’t… =) That is DEFINITELY an upside to daycare!

  7. Peanut is adorable!

  8. I know I already commented on this post on Twitter, but I just wanted to say now that I’m on a real computer and not my phone – I am so glad I am not the only person who used to try to vacuum every day. My husband thinks my housekeeping standards are way too high and I was telling him about your post over dinner in a “See!! I am NOT THE ONLY ONE!!” context. Tee hee.

    Also, you may find with the bottles/sippies that once you let go of it a bit, she’ll naturally start moving towards sippies, especially if they keep offering them nonchalantly at daycare and such. At least, that seems to be how my 3 are – as soon as I throw up my hands and go NEVERMIND, they suddenly do what I wanted them to do in the first place *eyeroll* sigh. (OTOH, sometimes they don’t. See: Potty training and my 2 1/2 year old…)

  9. Wow, reading the comments is making me nervous that I’m planning to work from home without a sitter or daycare. I’m wondering if I need an early childhood ed student to come in a few days a week or something. I am a little jealous that daycare will handle potty training for you. I look forward to not handling human waste a million times a day, but I’m terrified of the whole thing.

  10. It’s hard to let things go and I’ve struggled with that too. Every time someone who’s not me watches my daughter, they are going to do things differently (even if it’s a babysitter to whom I give minute instructions), because they are a different person. Even my husband has a very different parenting style in some respects (especially when it comes to safety and to what level of frustration is appropriate), and it’s hard to just step back and let him do things in his own way (silly because he’s a great father).

    But I tell myself that it’s really valuable for my daughter to get experience with other methods of doing things. Then she will get experience in learning to deal with a much wider variety of people (something that is necessary every day in general life) and hopefully become more flexible. It’s actually one of the things I like about daycare (and am looking forward to my daughter experiencing once she starts going). So really it’s good for Peanut!

    • Grace- that is so true! I love that P gets lots of different “styles” between me, my husband, and daycare.

  11. The proverbial rock and a hard place…giving in without compromising your core values (too much) and finding that sweet spot of balance. As moms, we can’t do it all, all the time, and we just have to let go..but it’s hard! In yoga (when I used to teach), I used to tell my students to find that place of strength and surrender. I try to remind myself with that in parenthood.

    Reading this post, reading what your natural tendencies are…makes me very happy that Gina introduced us! I can relate to it all :)

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