Daycare dilemma…

I was just working on Avyu’s May menu for his daycare. They post online, the menu for toddler breakfast and lunch, and every month I go through that and score out anything that Avyu cannot have, which would be 80% of what they have listed, and write in the pre agreed upon dishes for him. This is an exercise I have been doing every month since he was diagnosed. Ajit also questioned me once, as to why I do it every month, when by now they know his routine. I think it is a mom issue. I feel like I have to be as clear as possible, as they sometimes have new staff. and writing down his daily meals, makes me ensure he is getting a well-balanced diet.

I have been really lucky with the daycare Avyu goes too. He has been going since he was 4 months old, they adore him. This is the third class he has been ‘promoted’ to.  Every time  he starts a new class he has few days of fussiness, but it all settles down into a lovely routine for him. The best thing that they do for us is help me with his diet restrictions. they provide the food to the kids here, we pay upfront. For Avyu, for each meal they make things he can eat, allergen free. He is the only kid there with so many allergies, there are other kids with a mild milk allergy etc. They work with me every time, I meet or talk on the phone at least once a week. I do not think I will ever change this setup, except of course when he needs to goto school.

This made me think back to the time when I was searching for daycare. It was decided that when i was pregnant that I would be continuing to work, which I what I wanted. Some family issues made it impossible for my mom to help me out. She was there for a month after Avyu was born, and my mother in law for 4 months. Talking with people at work etc I knew that there would be a waiting list, so I got started really really early. I got on one of the best ones where we live, and I am still on it. No spot ever opened up. I got on waiting list at 3 other places while I was pregnant, in Feb of 2009. Avyu was born in September, and I promptly called them back a week after he was born only to hear that none of them had an opening and that they would call me eventually…

It became a borderline obsession, fixing a day care for him. Since everyone I called said, no spots yet and we will call you back. The postpartum feelings did not help one bit, I had hallucinations of my kid having no one to care for. I would call daycare providers at any free time I got, after caring for new-born, feverishly for 2 weeks, and finally set up appointments to go see them. Of the 10 or so I would have seen, only one appealed to both of us, Ajit and me. I liked it the minute I set foot. Unfortunately, I was not even on the waiting list there. We signed up and hoped they would call us in the next 4 months.

Days went by without any news, and I still clearly remember how tensed I used to be. Finally I got the call in December, 3 weeks before he was due to start and the one we wanted took us in. Little did I know then, really, how lucky we were to be called. Now the daycare is his second home, I am able to work peacefully only because I know they look out for him so much. Slips ups do happen (mostly because I had forgotten to tell them something), never a big one, and they call me immediately.

I get a lot of people who says , “Oh he is going to daycare, why weren’t you able to find someone else to take care of him at home” or even better, the ever classic, “I cannot imagine a stranger caring for my kid”. Well I found someone, a good day care provider 🙂 After seeing all the internet posts on babysitters, and the related abuse, there is no chance I would let my kid be alone with a stranger. Daycares have more security, you can vet them, by talking to other parents. They do better work because of the liability issues. People need to understand not everyone can do exactly what they want and circumstances play a major role.

Picking out a daycare is a very big step. Moms are always torn between going back to work and staying at home. The best friend a working mom can have is a good daycare. Do your research, go and look at places, talk to other parents who send their kids there, finally you will know it in your gut, if that is the one!  Also get on waiting lists very early, they get filled up so quick.

Working or not is a personal decision and is totally the mom’s to make. It has to be convenient to do so, and it has to be what you want. You cannot work, because someone else is doing it, either way it is your life. There are days when I think, maybe I want to be home with my kid, but more often than not it is a fleeting thought. If you want to work, work, make sure you find the best alternative you can. Any scenario has its pros and cons, and somehow people are more supportive when you decide to stay at home for your baby. I want to put it out there that you can balance both, very well, all it takes is a little planning. Do not let anyone else guilt you into doing what you do not want to do. Being a stay at mom is very hard, some days way harder than being a working mom, because you do not catch a break from the rowdy little ones, so do what you heart pleases! My take is being a working mom does not make you a bad mom:)

I see the benefits of sending Avyu to the daycare already, he talks a lot, he eats on his own, he can name all the alphabets and number 1 to 10, on the other side he also falls sick more. But to me personally, the pros outweigh the cons. It is such a wonderful sight to see him play with his friends, and almost all evening he is wearing only one shoe and is all giggly from a good day out….

p.s The picture is to show how small he was when he started daycare!!



  1. smitha said,

    May 5, 2010 at 12:15 am

    hey ..I am touched….very nice..kudos Anu …you are a great mom!!

  2. Nithya said,

    May 5, 2010 at 3:14 am

    Wish there were such trustworthy daycare set-ups in Indian cities!!!

    • avymom said,

      May 5, 2010 at 8:43 am

      I totally agree on that! I have a lot of friends who tell me that. Makes working parent’s life so much better!

  3. Veena said,

    May 10, 2010 at 1:22 am

    Hi there! Hopped here from the Indusladies ebook. Couldn’t slip away without dropping a comment because of the positivity reflected in your posts though you are braving the challenges of allergies. It’s really important to be aware and informed about these, if not for my own baby, then for the kids around me who are diagnosed with allergies. Your posts about dealing/living with allergies really helps. Great Work!

    • avymom said,

      May 10, 2010 at 8:18 am

      Thanks for the lovely comment, Veena. Nice to see my writing reaching out to people, which plays a big role in keeping me upbeat and positive.
      Will check out your blog too.

  4. Ashwini said,

    May 12, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    Hello, very well written post and very informative to deal with the allergy problem.

  5. November 19, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    […] posted a while ago about the dilemma (Daycare Dilemma) and issues about sending your kid to daycare. Well this post is about the exact opposite feelings, […]

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