Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Momenemies of a Daycare Mama

I have to be a slave to the man to pay the mortgage and have no relatives who are crazy enough to deal with my children for free for nine hours a day, so I send my kids to daycare.

For those of you with kids in daycare, you know that it is an awesome place. I love our daycare. The teachers are ridiculously amazing and our kids basically walk in and give me the, "Don't let the door hit you in the ass" look when I go to hug them goodbye. 

Daycare teachers deserve awards for putting up with someone else's germ-encrusted kids all day for little pay. They don't rake in big bucks, they do it because they love kids. They are saints.

But even with all the learning, hugs between tiny friends, awesome teachers and snacks, daycare has its downfalls. The Momenemies below are not directed toward daycares, just the crap parents have to deal with who have kids in daycare in general. So, here we go:

The First Day
Whether you are dropping your infant off for their first day ever away from the wicked awesomeness that is Mommy, or dropping your toddler off for their first day at a new daycare, the first day blows. Big time. The first time I dropped The Quite Contemplator off at daycare following maternity leave, I rocked with her in a rocker and bawled like a fat girl whose cake was stolen for about an hour. Thankfully, it was only hard on me. Newborns don't seem to even notice you are gone. Toddlers, on the other hand, add a little more drama to the situation. Cue dropping your child off for the first day at a new daycare only to have them cling to your leg screaming, "Mommy! Don't leave me!" Thanks for that, kid. As if leaving you here so I can work on TPS reports all day wasn't hard enough.

The Germy Kid
No, it is not just an urban myth that daycares are cesspools of germs. Hand, foot and mouth, roseola, croup, you name it, daycares are full of sexy-sounding illnesses that will invade your child. No matter how much cleaning and bleach a daycare uses, germs are inevitable. Kids are just gross and love to share (their germs, not their toys for God's sakes!). Somehow, all of these illnesses seem to be traceable back to one kid: The Germy Kid. What exactly does this kid do on the weekends that he comes back every Monday with a new plague to spread upon his peers? Roll around in the Infectious Diseases lab at the hospital? Eat contaminated meat and dairy? Lick toilet seats? Come on! Spray this kid down with some Lysol and put him in quarantine already. Mommy is out of sick days. (My lovely carrier monkeys just managed to get their entire school sick right before our big Halloween party. Suck. And you're welcome.)

The Thermometer Mambo
Speaking of The Germy Kid, his outbreaks of mucus- and fever-inducing bacteria lead many mamas to do what I call the Thermometer Mambo. 100.1 is the most dreaded number for daycare moms. That is the number that means your kid is being sent home and has to stay there for at least 24 hours. This is fine, of course, if your kid is actually sick. I love me nothing more than rocking a sick baby in my arms while I catch up on my TiVo in my jammies. But most of the time it is just teething/a cold/malaria/your child trying to sap your will to live. Every time The Quiet Contemplator got a tooth, her fever would be EXACTLY 100.1. I am not even kidding. I spent about 50 sicks days with her at home, happy as a clam before I had to be "that mom" and break out my friend Mr. Tylenol to get her below the magic number. But many times, they really are sick, and that is when you get The Call.

The Call
The Call is what you get when you have lost the battle with Thermometer Mambo, or worse. Every mommy dreads seeing their daycare's number come up on their caller ID. It is never them calling to let you know that your kid is a ray of sunshine and puppy dogs and that they just wanted you to know how much they love having them. It is daycare calling to let you know that the projectile vomiting has commenced or that your kid is on the way to get stitches. I usually answer this call in some sort of, "What now?" fashion.

The Mean Kid
Every daycare has a mean kid. I am not talking about the everyday toddler behavior all kids exhibit. I am talking about the kid that you just look at and can see that their tiny beady eyes are filled with mirth. This is the kid that is always pushing, hitting, saying "mine!", stealing toys, etc. Often, this kid is also The Germy Kid.

The Incident Report
Sometimes these are the results of The Mean Kid attacking your child, sometimes these are reports of your child finally having enough from The Mean Kid and going all Cujo on them. Either way, they are embarrassing. You end up feeling like either your kid needs to buck up and hit back, or your kid has been watching too much Ultimate Fighting and needs to back off. Awesomeness all around. I just got an incident report stating that The Contemplator had hit the sweetest little girl in her class in the face with a truck. Out of nowhere. For no reason. Can toddlers file lawsuits? I am pretty sure she has a case. There goes The Contemplator's college fund.

The It's-Almost-Cheaper-to-Stay-Home Sayer
Let me cut this one off right at the knees. No, it is not almost cheaper for me to stay home with my kids than to work and send them to daycare. I am not raking in the McGotbucks working at a non-profit and all, but daycare costs less than I make in a year. Also, staying at home doesn't pay for insurance, or provide for retirement, or the many other frivolous needs mama has. And, since my husband is in the ├╝ber high-paying profession of being a 4th grade teacher, mama has to work.

The Guilt
Like all mommies, daycare mamas have to deal with The Guilt. Was my kid too sick to go into daycare today? Is The Mean Kid going to make them cry again? Is it really cheaper for me to stay at home with them? Am I a bad mom for working when we could make it on Spam and cheese if I just stayed home? The Guilt sucks. But, like all Domestic Enemies, some days it sucks big time and some days it only sucks a little.


Want to read more Momenemies? Read my post about Momenemies of the Mom of a Newborn or head on over to Rants from Mommyland for more fun.

If you share this post, I will buy you a pony. I suck at Twitter. I am OK at Facebook. Pinterest is my bitch. I am also on Bloglovin' and Instagram

33 comments:

  1. I've been following your blog for some time now and this post absolutely rocks! Given I just went back to work last week after baby #2, I have "The Guilt" every.single.day. But deep down my heart does flutter at the thought of daycare :)

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    1. Thanks, Monica. It is a hard place for mamas, but an amazing place for kids!

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  2. I swear I only have 2 blogs i read who are working momma's. I can't seem to find any others, probably because they are all so busy and have mom guilt!
    I am on baby #1, who will be 5 months next week (that went fast)and working full time. I love that she smiles & reaches for the daycare workers, but it breaks my heart at the same time. I have serious mommy guilt, and I hate that my small window of evening time with her is often cranky time. Amazingly we have stayed out of germs way (knock on wood).

    you rock, keep up the blogging, i know its hard with kids and working!

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    1. Thanks, Jennifer.I ti hard being a working mama! It is also hard being a SAH mama! Damn parenting catch 22!

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  3. Monica is one of my good friends...we have babies around the same time & deal with the same schmidt - including daycare guilt. She has 2 boys and I have 2 girls (maybe future in-laws ;)). We work at the same non-profit and have husbands who sometimes travel for their jobs. We LOVE you... and beer...and our babies (of course.

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    1. That is fantastic. I would kill to have mom friends like that! Move to the Lou!

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    2. The one thing I dealt with last week that no one ever talks about is the dreaded "after hours" pick up... horrible traffic made it impossible for me to get to my kids. Hubs left at 5:45 from his office and made it 10 mins after they closed. talk about guilt...and the expense of paying afterhours costs....

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    3. We are one of the first to drop off (at 8) and last to pick up (around 4:30) every. damn. day. WTF? What do these people do that they can go to work do late and get off so early? I Feel like a giant turd every day because of it.

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    4. LOL! I drop off between 7:45-8 and pick up generally by 5:30. I'm not the first or the last, but some nights we are damn close to being the last...stupid big city traffic

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    5. There are kids in our daycare group (infant room) that I have NEVER laid eyes on! (i am an 8-5er and often last one there) One kid is there at 10am and often picked up by 2pm? WTF is RIGHT? Does this kids parents even have a job or just using it to go the gym? Which is cool, I get it, but its a pricey place and by no means part time. I guess I am just jealous...and guilty for being one of the last ones. sigh.

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  4. Yay! Working Mom Blog! Me too! Me too! And really... where are we?

    Anyway, who is that Germy Kid? That Vector? That Hanta Mouse? I swear, we have had no less that the bubonic plague rampaging through our house for the last 2 weeks... Somebody get me a Hazmat Suit.

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    1. S, one July we got the stomach bug, pink eye, the croup and hand foot and mouth. ALL IN ONE MONTH. ALL IN ONE KID!

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  5. Oh, I think I know who the germy kid is in my son's class. And I blame his older brothers who have those ever-so-developed immune systems. This is GREAT! And, I am relieved to know I'm not the only one who has given him tylenol, hoped the thermometer has gone down, and sent him in. :/

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    1. TQC doesn't get sick anymore really, she is just a carrier. Excellent!

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  6. I relate to this so much since my daughter just started daycare about a month ago. She's no longer sick, but I've been sick since a few days after she started. Not fair, but better than us both being sick.
    I've already gotten 'the call' once, but it was teeth and Tylenol fixed her right up. I don't look forward to the vomiting call.

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    1. ADD Daddy and I were sick the ENTIRE first year of daycare. Get well soon!

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  7. I am reading this as I listen to the 18-month ear infected crabass cry it out for the 25th minute. For God's sake, child (AND MINE! AND YOURS!), take a nap! It's been a long 6 days of whining and NOT sleeping, nagging, and tantrums (you could say that for the tot and me, I suppose). I was getting my coffee just now, thinking about the reasons that boy should be in daycare, because my sanity has been stolen and is being held for what-happened-to-my-happy-kid ransom. I work at home. But not when the toddler is a frickin wreck. Your message is like a bizzare dream to me: I wish I knew what the daycare nightmares were about because it would mean my work is getting done and my tendencies (you know, THOSE tendencies) wouldn't be tested like this. *sigh*

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    1. Oh lord, Katie. Hang in there. And for the love of god, please have a drink.

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  8. I am a WAHM, and I swear to God I wish I made enough money to send my kid to daycare at least ONCE. A. Week. I truly believe that daycare helps so much with socialization for kids, especially for us parents who loathe other parents. I really don't care about the color of your kid's poop, I barely care about the color of my own child's poop. I'm sure your daycare would accept thank yous in the form of bulk Lysol and donated toys that your children no longer play with, but ask anyway :) It might make some childcare indentured servants very happy.

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    1. That is a whole 'nother ballgame. You get the best AND worst of both worlds. HA!

      We give good xmas gifts and I donate clothes, bibs, etc. I know where my bread is buttered. Ha!

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  9. 1 mean kid, 2 incident reports. Despite this, I love that my kid's at a daycare where they work with the trouble maker rather than boot him to go make trouble elsewhere.

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  10. OH AMEN TO ALL OF THIS. I send my little one (almost 3) to daycare, too. I was nodding my head so hard I thought it was gonna pop off and roll across the floor. The hand, foot, and mouth is what got me. My daughter contracted that early this year and it was a NIGHTMARE. She just got through with a bout of croup, which I'm sure came from The Germy Kid in her class. And our daycare's incident reports are ridic. I got one once that said 'Bit by friend on playground'. Friend? What the hell sort of friend BITES YOU ON A PLAYGROUND? The vampire kind?

    Anyway. I was referred here by a friend & am glad I came. Looking forward to reading more.

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    1. Hand foot and mouth is te worst thing we have ever had. My friend got it from her kid and a few months after it made all of her damn finger and toe nails fall off. Apparently it is pretty common. GROSS!

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    2. Fingernails FALL OFF? Holy fuck, I cannot even. My husband got it but his fingernails stayed intact and on his damn fingers where they belong. That's like something out of a horror movie. Jesus.

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  11. This is seriously an amazing post & hysterical. I can relate 100% percent.

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  12. The best part of them getting sick all the time those first few years of daycare is that they don't catch anything once they finally hit grade school! Found your blog today...love this post. What I don't think you mentioned is the SAHM's that make you feel like crap for working. I seem to have a ton of those. They keep making me feel like I am an awful mom for working...even though I provide the insurance that keeps our family healthy! And of course keep that damn roof above our heads... ;-)

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    1. I so agree. Neither way is 100% perfect, we just all have to support each other.

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  13. you completely nailed this. that is exactly the profile we have at our centre too. im some ways its good these years go so quickly.

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  14. YES! THE MAMBO!!! watching and waiting for the thermometer to read is like waiting for a pregnancy test! and the corollary, my kid got sick at daycare and is thus too sick to go to daycare. mother! great post, caught my eye in the margins, glad i read it! :)

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I love hearing from you. It reinforces that writing this blog is not just a silly waste of my brain matter. If you leave a douche canoe comment, I will delete it. I am powerful like that.

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