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will I ever feel better about leaving DS in nursery?

(17 Posts)
papillonrouge Sat 17-Sep-11 10:19:05

DS (14mo) has been in nursery for a couple of months now - after a tricky first few days he seems pretty well settled. He clearly likes his keyworker (goes to her for cuddles in the morning, gives her big smiles) and apart from the fact that they can't get him to sleep for long enough so he does get overtired and a bit upset as a result, he largely seems happy there.

However, I just can't shake this heavy feeling about the whole thing - I wouldn't exactly describe it as guilt, I just don't think nursery is the best environment for any child under 3. (and I should stress that I haven't been very "attachment parenty" about anything else - DS was in his own room by 10 weeks, we did mild sleep training, we are quite into routines - I thought I'd find nursery a breeze!) I don't like the idea of them being in the same room day after day, having to witness other children being upset, modelling behaviour on the other children around them...I just find the whole set up depressing and a bit like an orphanage (and we are paying over the odds and travelling to go to the only nursery I liked enough so don't think it's a quality issue).

I looked into childminders but none had availability in my area and I do need to work so will have to get over myself at some point. Just wondered if anyone else has been through this and come out the other side?

papillonrouge Sat 17-Sep-11 10:30:51

Just re-read my post - I should stress that I don't judge anyone else for thinking nursery is good - I just wish I was able to feel the same as it would make life so much easier!

DuelingFanjo Sat 17-Sep-11 10:31:32

I have few words of wisdom but wanted to sympathise and register my interest in the thread as my ds (9 months) is going to nursery from Monday and I too feel crap about it. I have been quit attachment parenty (ds is in my bed still) but he has been left with my mum for whole days. We've had two mornings of settling in and I have hated it. Ds is still not settled and I am dreading Monday morning.

I don't think all the stuff you can read on here and in the press about nurseries helps and it's natural to feel guilty and worried. I never thought this would be so hard and feel like I will have to grit my teeth and get on with it.

I hope it gets better for you, everyone I speak to says their kids really do love it and it all works out ok, it's just hard getting used to the change.

Bohica Sat 17-Sep-11 12:07:39

I have always worked whilst raising out children and only became a sahm when DD3 came along because we couldn't afford childcare on my NHS wage. I have recently returned to work and DD3 is in nursery four days a week but she is now 3 so I don't feel anxious because she can talk to me about her day.

I didn't feel anxious about leaving DD1 & DD2 because I LOVED their nursery, it was a seymour house one and it was bloody expensive fantastic.

Does your nursery take the babies out during the day? Our nursery has a buggy cart and they take them to the park, shops and library, weather permitting.

Doe you have other nurseries you can look at and get a feel for?

Jules125 Sat 17-Sep-11 12:14:21

Read some of my recent posts!

I put my baby in nursery for a week at 9 months at the beginning of september. I felt exactly as you do - but I decided to try to take the rest of my maternity leave (fortunately my boss was supportive) and remove her from the nursery. I've now found a childminder I really liked that I can leave her with next year when I really must go back to work - and I feel a lot better about that. In this area (SW London) there seems to be plenty of CMs available.

Not really helping you so much as you are past a year now. Can you find anyone to nanny share with as an alternative.

mamjo Mon 19-Sep-11 19:46:50

I returned to work last week and chose the childminder route rather than nursery because I thought I would cope easier thinking she was in a home, having outings and sharing in normal family life.
My childminder is fab and DD loves her, but I still have the same heavy heart. Her routine is out of the window and she is really clingy which she's never been. I am hoping that I just need a period if adjustment.

Sorry, not much help really.

DrCoconut Fri 23-Sep-11 00:08:46

DS2 is nearly 6 months and starts nursery 3 days a week next week when I go back to work (have to, I'm not a career woman). He cried at his settling in today and I feel really rough about the whole thing. Everyone thinks I'm being over emotional and just says things like "he'll be OK", "you're worrying too much" etc etc. I just hate the thought of him crying for me and me not being there and I really wish I could afford more maternity leave. That said it would only delay the inevitable and I would just face this further down the line. The other thing is wanting to thump the people who are saying I must be pleased to be going back to work, how fab it is to get my life back etc. I have the life I want now and don't need anything else at this stage. DS1 (well into school now) who has ASD has been so much more stable with me home too. I don't know how I will drop the boys off and plaster on the happy face for work. My job is rather public facing so a meltdown is not an option unless I can time it spectacularly well sad Then I think of a colleague who lost her child and feel really spoilt and selfish for being so self pitying. Someone please say it gets better!

nickschick Fri 23-Sep-11 00:20:38

Im a nursery nurse and Im also a mum, no mum ever really leaves their dc without thought,its a mother guilt thing smile.

When my mums left their dc with me I can truly assure you that I loved those dc almost as much as I love my own .....I nurtured and cared for their dc and because its my profession I was able to care for all their needs physical/emotional/linguistically and day revolved upon the happiness and welfare of their dc and whilst I was doing the job I trained to do their Mummies were do jobs they had trained to do from the obstetrician (who was there when i had my own dc smile to the customer services lady who put my club card points on -to the hairdresser to the lightbulb tester.

It will get better and it will get easier because life is like that - you get used to what is.

You will always be their number one mummy and I will always be their nursery nurse - but you do your job and I do mine.

Some of my charges still come and visit me smile one is a mum herself now and several do very unusual work but theres a place in my heart for them all.

DuelingFanjo Fri 23-Sep-11 12:07:28

nickschick thank you so much for posting. It really makes me feel better to know that, despite how much anti-nursery stuff there can be on the net, there are people like you who really do care about the happiness of babies and children in nursery.

I have had to hide a few threads lately, just because I am putting my son into nursery at the moment and I am still waiting for the getting used to it bit.

DrCoconut hope you are ok. Everyone says it will get better but I imagine it's not easy if you really are unhappy about being back in work.

nickschick Fri 23-Sep-11 12:14:36

Fanjo the nursery I worked in wasnt a very modern place nor was it very hi tech but I can honestly say the nursery nurses loved the children (I actually took one of my children to his first day at primary school- I dressed him at nursery and we walked to school together,because his mum had a very important job and unfortunately couldnt take him)- its hard though leaving your baby with someone else I used to tell my childrens parents im not as good as a mum or a dad but im the next best thing.

gourd Fri 23-Sep-11 12:50:38

If you aren't happy with the childcare after a few months I think you need to seriously consider changing it. It does take some time to not feel guilty, but I was really happy with my CM within a few weeks and once I got my 4 day week I felt quite good about it as I still get a whole day a week just little one and I. Is it possible for you to cut your hours? Would that help you feel better about leaving your child the rest of the time, or is it really the nursery itself that you don't feel is quite right for your child? Are there any other nurseries in your area that seem better? You could try checking local CMs again for availability. The most important thing is, does little one seem settled and happy there? If not, then perhaps after two months it is time to try somewhere else, even if it's another nursery. What you don't want though is to end up swapping from place to place as that could make your child feel insecure, so any change of childcare provider must be well researched first.

nickschick Fri 23-Sep-11 17:50:02

The OP said her ds on the large is happy being at nursery I think the issue is 'mummy guilt' which no amount of advice or experience will ease ......the only thing that may help the OP is knowing that many sahm have similar guilt that they arent working and their dc lack the material things etc.

Some dc go to nursery and their Mums just go home .......

DuelingFanjo Fri 23-Sep-11 21:43:53

that is a very good point, not all children in nursery have parents who work outside of the home.

SmethwickBelle Sun 25-Sep-11 12:41:39

I looked at a lot of nurseries and some did feel a bit orphanagey for want of a better term - small room, not much variety in the day activities, although ostensibly clean and regulated. I settled on one that had a totally different vibe, and four years on have no qualms about leaving the babe/s there, the positives are overwhelming, - reading your post I'd suggest you look at a few more nurseries, or investigate a childminder. As you say you're fairly laid back in general terms but something about this setting isn't quite right.

StephA Fri 07-Oct-11 13:49:21

Just wanted to add my thanks to nickschick for her post from the point of view of a carer. That's exactly what I hope to find in the carer I've chosen - such understanding!

papillonrouge Mon 17-Oct-11 08:57:56

Thanks so much to all for posting...I am so rubbish with MN - I think I'm going to find the time to read and respond then life gets in the way (well, full time work, housework, toddler care and pregnancy in my case!). A couple of months down the line and I do feel much better than I did...DS is visibly quite happy when I collect him and the nursery workers so clearly care and spend quality time with him. There are still days when they haven't been outside and a poor child who is still to settle is crying his/her eyes out and trying to come home with me and DS when I hate the whole set up, but on the whole, I am starting to see the advantages. I am about to go on maternity leave again so will do a bit more research but honestly think we have the best nursery there is locally without it being an hour's round trip just to take him there.

Good luck to everyone else going through this and I hope we all find childcare arrangements that make us feel ok...I do keep speaking to parents of 4 year olds who have come through the whole thing with perfectly well rounded and happy children so it can't be that bad!

StaceySprague Thu 20-Oct-11 04:22:27

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

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