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Insecure about not going to nursery

(26 Posts)
ZebraZeebra Thu 17-Oct-13 17:09:26

My DH and I decided that I would stay at home and raise our son in the early years, sending him to nursery when he is a few years old. He's currently just turning one. I am very grateful for this opportunity, love being at home with him but because of this decision, financially we don't have the "luxury" of sending him to nursery part time.

Until recently I had no concerns but lately, friends with babies the same age and at them at work and baby at nursery have made a big deal about how much their babies do, and how they are thriving. Now I'm feeling really insecure DS is missing out on something. We go to baby groups, and do lots of things but I'm having a huge crisis of confidence about our decision.

I'm not looking to start a debate of WOHM v SAHM. That's been hashed over and over. I'm really just looking for reassurance that not going to nursery in the early years is OK?

comewinewithmoi Thu 17-Oct-13 17:11:08

Well they would say that. hmm you dc will be fine being with you full time.

comewinewithmoi Thu 17-Oct-13 17:11:29

Or going to nursery. Horses for courses.

KippyVonKipperson Thu 17-Oct-13 17:26:49

Perhaps your friends feel a bit guilty about not being able to let their child stay at home with them and sending them to nursery? Perhaps a part of them is justifying their decision to themselves or making themselves feel better? I'm not saying they are but you never know. I'm sure they have just as many insecurities about their decision as you, but they aren't going to share them with everyone they talk to are they?

There is evidence to say a nursery setting for under twos isn't great, so this is better to go with than anecdotal evidence from friends. You are doing the best for your son weighing up all the pros and cons for your family, same as your friends have.

it sounds like you and your boy are going to have lots of fun and lovely times together, trust your own judgement on this one

KippyVonKipperson Thu 17-Oct-13 17:28:04

ExBrightonBell Thu 17-Oct-13 17:28:05

Of course it's ok! Babies can thrive at nursery, and babies can thrive at home with a parent. The two things don't exclude each other.

My ds is 15mo and in nursery for 3 days a week. I wouldn't want to leave him there if he wasn't thriving. Equally, had I chosen to stay at home with him, he would also be thriving, as I would be doing all the things you are doing!

The people that have commented probably don't realise they might have worried you, and are probably just happy that their children are doing well given their choices. Don't worry about what others are doing - have confidence in your decisions :-)

ZebraZeebra Thu 17-Oct-13 17:38:43

Thanks guys smile

I think if I'd said - oh my baby is just thriving sooooooo much at home, it would have left them feeling a bit insecure. It didn't seem to occur to them that there's similar feeling on my side of the fence smile

I'm very pro doing what is best for your own family, that there is no right or wrong, and that it is very child dependent on what is best - but I had such an attack of confidence, I was almost in tears.

That article is a very interesting read though Kippy!

racmun Thu 17-Oct-13 17:47:52

I had this all I ever heard was that x loves nursery, he's so happy, he's got so many friends etc etc and I did begin to doubt not sending ds.

However, I spoke to my mum and her response was 'bloody good job if they're there all the time'!!!

No parent is going to send their child to a nursery where they are miserable all day every day and I do think that sometimes working parents feel like they need to justify their childcare arrangements, of course they don't need to, but it's just something I've noticed.

Your child is probably really happy going out and about with you, going to play group, having cuddles etc etc, you just don't find the need to go on about it.

ZebraZeebra Thu 17-Oct-13 17:58:58

I guess i am worried he won't get the same kind of stimulus - or rather, the stimulus he needs to develop just being at home with me.

I've never had a one year old before grin I don't know how much stimulus they need. I know nurseries are packed full of activities all day because that's what they do, and I know they don't necessarily need that much but - if anyone has any tips, they'd be gratefully received. I suddenly feel very out of my depth.

KippyVonKipperson Thu 17-Oct-13 18:15:34

He's going to have years ahead of him at school with activities and stimulus, you don't need to worry he's going to miss out. Aged one every day is a new adventure, even the mundane to us is a new experience for them. It sounds like your the kind of mum who will be out and about anyway, your baby will learn lots from you & any groups you go to. Maybe your baby will do slightly less in terms of structured activities, but they will more than make up for that by having lots of cuddles, 1-1 time, forming a close bond which will set them up for a lifetime of close attachments.

If it really worries you how about writing a short diary each day of what you've done, that way you'll start to see how much you do each day and you could also write a list of ideas to do with your baby and stick it on the fridge for inspiration, ticking them off when you've done them. Babies at nursery don't get to go on long pram rides or trips to the park, supermarket shops, swimming. For every activity a baby does at nursery they'll be others you do instead.

I say all this as a parent who will be sending their one year old to nursery part time soon, I have concerns about my choice too and envy your decision. I would prefer to do what you are planning but unfortunately it's not an option for our family, but I'm sure my boy will be fine and get lots out of it. It is tough through, whatever you do!

ZebraZeebra Thu 17-Oct-13 18:49:18

It is Kippy and I really value your input and perspective. I don't think there's any right or wrong choice, and I don't think either comes without its angst. There's so much merit in both, in doing either. I think I'm generally just lacking in confidence in my parenting, really.

It's very true, what you say about every day being an adventure and how many years of learning there is ahead. We do go out ever day and he's a total daredevil in the playground, loves other children, loves rough housing, and dancing and music. I'll keep doing what I'm doing, though the diary is a great idea - a great way to demonstrate to myself it's not just going to the shops and stuff smile

ilovepowerhoop Thu 17-Oct-13 18:59:24

neither of mine went to nursery until their free hours at age 3. Doesn't seem to have held them back at all (now aged 7 and 9)

Tailtwister Thu 17-Oct-13 19:10:12

To be honest, I don't think there's any need for a child to be in nursery before the age of 3 unless it's for childcare purposes. Both mine when 2 days per week from around 16 months and were/are fine, but I didn't get the feeling that they got a huge amount out of it until they were over 3 (although they were happy there).

I wouldn't read too much into it tbh. I don't necessarily think your friends feel guilty, but it's just the way their lives are now. They will get regular feedback from the nursery about their DC doing this and that and they're just sharing that.

Personally, I'm in no doubt (from reading up about it and from my own personal feelings on the matter) that being at home full time is the best case scenario for the first few years. After that, a few mornings from 3 until school is beneficial imo as it prepares a child for the school day. The thing is, you have a choice to be at home and you should feel happy about that. If it comes down to it you could do a morning or two before 3, but don't feel pressurised into it just because your friends are doing it out of necessity.

ladymontdore Thu 17-Oct-13 19:23:29

What tailtwister said.

DollyDaisy Thu 17-Oct-13 19:31:14

All the evidence points to one on one care being the best option for the early years - so if you are in a lucky enough position to be able to provide that, then perfect!

My DS won't be starting nursery until he's 3.5 as that will be one full year before he starts school - and I feel lucky that we are financially able to enable him to stay at home until then

ZebraZeebra Thu 17-Oct-13 19:54:11

As far as I know - as much you can only know what people choose to tell you - they've chosen to go back to work, rather than it being a financial necessity. Which is absolutely valid and understandable - they have worked hard to carve out the careers they have. For us, as a family, we chose me being at home over being financially comfortable. Again, a valid and understandable choice.

This particular group of friends talk about how they couldn't do the SAHM thing, how they need their careers, and how glad they are of their choices and how their children are thriving. I get all of that. I was ambitious in my own career. I'm happy they're happy. I suspect if I spoke about how I believed DS to be thriving at home, they might walk away from that conversation feeling a little like I do now...Because I guess that's part of being a parent - questioning choices and second guessing yourself.

Believe me, I'm not judging their choices. I don't think any of it is easy. We chose to be skint. That was part of the deal when we chose me being at home. Money is a worry and I guess that was under-lying in my thinking too - did I make a mistake giving up my career and decent paid role if DS would ultimately be better off in a nursery? Again, please let me stress - I am very grateful to have the opportunity to stay at home. I guess that was also part of the strong reaction to the idea he might thrive elsewhere - it never occurred to me otherwise, and it kinda felt like the rug being pulled out.

NewBlueShoesToo Thu 17-Oct-13 20:24:07

Nurseries often send home some form of written account of the day. If you wrote down all the things your toddler does in a day you would see how busy small children are.
I'm not suggesting you do this because you probably know by how knackered you are by the end of the day!
I have loved being at home with my children. I think as long as you do a few different activities, get some fresh air and exercise, play with different types of toys and meet other people and children then you are doing fine. I also think that it's good for small children not just to do children's things, I think they learn loads from going to the supermarket or the post office, watching you cook and helping (hmmm?) with chores.

evertonmint Thu 17-Oct-13 20:30:12

Happy parents with excellent childcare (be it paid for or parental or grandparental) makes for happy, thriving babies IME. Whether that is completely at home, or full time at nursery or a mixture is generally neither here nor there.

You can't usually tell by the time they get a few years into school whether they stayed at home for 2-3 years or were in nursery from a few months old.

NewBlueShoesToo Thu 17-Oct-13 20:41:01

I agree with Everton that whatever you do try to do it confidently and without guilt because happy parents generally have happy children.

waterrat Thu 17-Oct-13 21:07:23

I really think you should not worry - he is only 1!! If you had said he was 3 I would still have thought he would be fine - but he is a baby - they love their children like you love your son - of course they want to dwell on how much they love their childcare setting - it's such an emotional decision leaving your child - you have to focus on te positive

My son loves his childminder and it is very fun for him being with other kids - but he loves me more ! I'm sure he would be just as happy if I gave him a busy enjoyable life every day too -

They are not aiming their comments at you - an you need to accept they will want to focus on the positives of childcare - an you are being polite not mentioning how much you think your son thrives with you - I think that it is a given tht a 1 year old is happy with his mum so nobody thinks to mention it !

Cosmo89 Thu 17-Oct-13 21:17:29

Great post waterrat.

lovepigeon Thu 17-Oct-13 21:18:50

I had a similar panic over whether I had made the right choice in going for a childminder (though mostly 1 on 1 so more like a nanny) rather than nursery when DD was about 16 months. I was convinced she must be missing out on all the activities and social aspect so revisited all the nurseries planning to switch to one. Stayed a few hours at one and realised I was worrying over nothing - at that age DD still wanted an adult to take an interest in what she is doing at all times and she was not much interested in the activities that were set out. There was always a child or two crying and the whole experience just seemed really stressful for her. I'm sure there are nurseries that are great but I was not happy with the ones near me and dd is so happy and secure with childminder I never have to worry. I think age over 2 and half start to see some benefit but not before.

WidowWadman Thu 17-Oct-13 21:24:17

"All the evidence points to one on one care being the best option for the early years - so if you are in a lucky enough position to be able to provide that, then perfect!"

Does that mean that having siblings is bad for the pfbs?

FWIW, if the childcare setting is great, then that's great. If you're happy staying at home with your child then that's great, too. No point in feeling guilty about either choice, both are valid, provided both child and parents are happy.

Mine were in fulltime childcare from 9 months, and I don't have regrets at all. But I don't feel that my choice was superior to that of my friends who stayed at home longer, or only work part time etc either.

ZebraZeebra Thu 17-Oct-13 21:27:56

Brilliant posts from everyone! Will stop worrying as you've made such great, rational points. Thank heavens for the MN forums!

He is only one, and that's how I viewed it, and it was all cool...and then this seed of doubt took hold and well, you know how it is.

MiaowTheCat Fri 18-Oct-13 07:40:26

Have you not realised this with parenting yet... everyone will 99.9% of the time paint a picture of awesome mummyness and family glory. The ones sending kids to nursery will feel guilty as shit their kids are missing out... the ones staying at home will feel guilty as shit their kids are missing out - notice a common theme? For us it's not financially viable for me to go back to work - so I'm at home with the kids - which I don't resent at all - I love doing it... the amount of stimulus they get? Possibly interesting - considering DD1 spent most of yesterday sat in a bucket singing row row row your boat!

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