Long term childcare effects(8 Posts)
My son is due to start school this year and I wonder whether if I 'd stayed home with him instead of sending him to childcare since he was a baby whether he would be a more emotionally stable and confident in himself child. The nursery staff say he's very emotional just now and they can't get him to do anything without a big fuss. I think he's not as bad as they say . I wonder if he's turned off by them because he doesn't have respect for them. I wonder whether he's got too many adults telling him what to do .His childminder his nursery staff and us as parents. I feel really sad to think he may have been different if I 'd dedicated more of my life to him rather than working. I feel I 've failed because I actually don't think I could've coped being with him. When I was on maternity I found it difficult because I didn't have value of my own. But I wonder if maybe my husband hadn't put pressure on me to work full time whether I would've actually been able to cope if I felt supported. He made me feel like "why should I get to stay home when he's out at work" and I can see his point. Having 2 salaries has enabled us to relocate and be in a good situation. And actually it's sometimes quite detrimental to a relationship if the father is out working and feels resentful towards the mother and child and their relationship. It's that age old question should a mother work ? Should a young child be looked after by others than the mother? I 'll never know whether he would've been different and whether my experience as a mother could've been greatly enhanced by spending more time with him. And now I 'm doing the same with my daughter who's just a toddler . Although I have a better balance . Still full time working but free to pick kids up mid afternoon and spend the hours before dinner together which is something a lot of mums don't have and I 'm grateful for . I can't voice this issue to anyone else just grateful to have somewhere to write down how I 'm feeling.
You'll never know. If you'd decided to stay home with him you could easily be posting to ask if he'd have been more confident and independant if he had gone to nursery. It's impossible to tell. He is still very young and he may well find his confidence later.
We all do the best we can at the time with the information and resources we have. Don't beat yourself up.
I totally agree with SnuffleGruntSnorter.
DS2 had a big wobble at child care before starting school. If you and/or the nursery staff have started talking to the him about starting school, concern about such a big change might be involved. He went on to manage the transition without any problems at all; hope that helps.
There will be lots of studies out there contradicting themselves and many parents who will say that you have done the right thing, that children who stay at home with mums/dads will also get wobbles and have issues with starting school. I am an experienced child minder and I see that so much depends on the nature of the child, their own personalities. But children can get confused about different rules and routines. I can see in my setting that some children (whose parents work full time) give in to their children at weekends and don't stick to many rules as they feel guilty that they work all day. Those children can (not always) sometimes have lots of material rewards, lots of toys, and parents spend every minute with them at weekends whereas during the week they have to share adult with many other children. THis can be hard for little ones, but again stay at home parents may have other issues to deal with, such as children who struggle to share, are not happy in larger groups, have issues socialising, etc. This is obviously a generalisation and by no mean the truth for every family.
Thank you so much for your comments. I hadn't thought about it being maybe a bit of apprehension before starting school BlueChampagne but it could well be. You're quite right Cuttheraisins about setting consistent rules within different settings and I think I'll have to be particularly careful not to give in to him on the weekends. Thanks SnuffleGruntSnorter for saying he's still young. I think it's just that thing about when they start school you think it's the end of an era, they're no longer going to be 'toddler' or a 'preschooler' they're a big boy/ girl! But it's not the case, they're still young and will enjoy many more years of innocent childhood before growing up!
I went back to work full time when mine was 7 months. He went to a CM for a couple of years then nursery until school. He is, if anything, over confident. His behavior for the last few months at nursery/pre-school was atrocious.
Don't blame yourself, they all come with their own personalities.
Some kids who don't have any time in a care setting outside the home till they start school find it very difficult to adjust. Mine went in on day one and never looked back. Again - maybe that's just his personality and he'd have been the same if I'd never worked outside the home.
Both my DC have been in childcare (full or part time depending on my work situation) since they were about 8 months old.
DD1 slots in anywhere, is confident, outgoing and sociable (she had to move creche at about 2.5 - on her first settling in day, a new member of staff couldn't believe it was her first day as she had slotted in so well)
DD2, is shy, not very confident and hates to be separated from me (although is absolutely fine once I am not in sight anymore). I am expecting a lot of upheaval when she starts school in September.
2 children, same family, same sort of childcare (DD1 possibly a little less stable over the years due to having to move creche), completely different responses. It doesn't have much to do with childcare, it is more down to their differing personalities. In fact, I suspect DD2 would be worse if I was a SAHM - at least this way, she has to interact with other people (which she is fine with once she gets to know them, and which is why we have a lovely permanent childminder now instead of the creche environment).
OP, if it makes you feel better, I have been SAHM for 8 years and worry that I'd have been a much better parent if I'd worked - it's just me and them in the week due to DH's long hours and I had a moment last year when it struck me that they'd have been better with someone else not getting tired and frazzled with them for at least part of the week.
once you get to school, you'll see all sorts at the gate - plenty of children with SAHMs struggle to leave their parents just as with working mums. I think it comes down to the individual too.
Only thing to be sure of is that we'll all end up feeling worried/guilty about something somewhere along the line!
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