Live long… Laugh often… Love always.
Nobody said parenting was easy and my daughter is certainly no exception! I was a full time working mom up until my daughter was 3 years 2 months old and my son was 8 months old, I think I balanced working full time, with being a good mom and never envisioned that I would ever be a stay at home mom. Here is the story about why I had to quit my full time job.
My sister was my daughters daycare, she got to go on outings, be in a loving home where her aunt took care of her and she played with her cousin every day. My sister was going to have another baby and no longer wanted to watch my daughter so I had to find another daycare for my daughter. I did months of research, did pop in and scheduled visits to my top 12 daycares and finally found one that would be the best fit for my daughter. It was not the least expensive daycare in fact it was about 250 dollars more than I was spending on my infant son’s daycare. I liked the center, I liked that they had outside playtime, and an indoor muscle room for the kids to get exercise each day. I liked the staff, the location, the access to seeing natural sunlight instead of being stuck in a basement. I thought it was the perfect place!
I planned the transition based upon other peoples positive transition experiences into starting new daycares. We visited together twice, she did an art project while I sat in the corner, she played well and interacted well with the group. I was paying for these transition days of course. The week before I started back to school, I put her in the daycare for only four hours and came back fast to pick her up. When I got there to pick her up she was sitting by the door and ran into my arms and said, I never thought you would come back for me mom! I told her I would always come back. Then the next Monday it was time to go back to work so she was going to start her first full day of daycare.
My husband brought my daughter out to breakfast at McDonalds before he was going to drop her off at her new daycare. She ate her pancakes, drank her chocolate milk and was happy as usual. As soon as my husband told her that they were going to daycare now, she projectile vomited all over McDonalds. My husband is a sympathetic puker so he appoligized to the person behind the counter and quickly left the restuarant with her. He quickly called me and I had to leave my first day back at work and come home to spend with my daughter. I wondered if it was a reaction to her dad dropping her off or if she really had a bug so I decided that the next day, I would be late for work and drop her off at daycare. On the way there I tried to distract her with where we were going, as soon as her feet hit the parking lot, she vomited again. I had to call in sick again. This is when I started really noticing the change in her personality. She constantly cried and would not let me go, it was actually ruining her happy, bubbly personality and turning her into a worried and sad child. Besides the fact that I was afraid what kind of damage this transition was causing her, you cant bring a kid to daycare when they puke.
After day 3 of her throwing up and me crying myself to sleep at night because my daughter was so sad, I decided I had to quit my job. My daughter’s happiness was worth more than the measly few dollars I made after I paid for daycare. I loved my job and thought I could hang in there in order to keep that awesome job when my daughter went to Kindergarten and the daycare cost verses job earning cost flipped in our favor. My husband and I talked about it and we decided the best thing to do was for me to quit working. I walked in with my letter of resignation and handed it to my boss, he tried to change my mind, have me take sick days until the transition worked but I did not feel that the situation would resolve itself quickly enough to work. I walked into her daycare and told them that I was quitting my job and they thankfully did not charge me the next two weeks of child care fees since I was not earning any money.
I realized that I am now a stay at home mom and my daughters personality was finally turning back into her typically bubbly self but any mention of me leaving her and she would break down. I decided that I needed to figure out a way to retrain my daughter who used to have no problems leaving me how to stop clinging to me again. I decided to sign up for an ECFE seperating class and enroll her brother into the sibling care option so I could focus on my daughter. The first day of class I told the teachers that I was not going to leave, the second class day I was able to leave the room for 30 minutes but she cried uncontrolably the whole time, I was a wreck, the whole time I was away in the parent classroom, the only good thing was I was able to share with the above story with the parent group so they knew why my daughter was screaming in the next room.
The 3rd week she did not want to go back to class, she sobbed and cried and clung to me as we entered the building. I was going to try to regain her trust and not leave her to help with the sepration. By the time we entered the classroom she was so worked up, she projectile vomited all over the floor right next to all of the parents and children and the parent educators. As soon as she is done throwing up, she looks up at me and says, “Now we get to go home right mom?” I replied Yes now we have to. I made her stand right outside of the vomit and told her to be quiet. I was frustrated and I was embarrassed. All of the parents were looking at me like what is wrong with this lady that brings this crying, sick three year old to ECFE? I was quickly cleaning up the puke that was all over the floor, the garbage can, my shoes and her shoes. I cleaned up her vomit and appoligized profusely to the parents who hopefully remembered my story from the week before. I frustratingly packed up her stuff picked up her brother from the child care room and walked out with my head down. It continued this way for the next 4 weeks, crying nervous, begging me not to leave, until one day she looked at me and said you can go now mom. What? Really? I can go? I can hang out with the other parents?
Oh the joy, my daughter trusted these ECFE teachers enough to let me go! She gradually warmed up and her bubbly, outgoing, happy personality started coming back. By the second session she was almost the same little girl that I had before I tried to put her into a new daycare. It was a long, very trying road. I had never heard of anyone who could get so nervous that they could vomit. It was amazing to me that a 3 year old could have that strong of a nervous reaction to anything! I am so grateful that she is outgoing and not scarred for life from that experience. By the time she was 4 years old she had absolutely no problem with transitions, she walked into her first day of preschool with no tears, excited as can be to go make new friends. Now that she is 5 she is even more outgoing, loves to be away from me. She is so confident that her teacher told me the other day that she stood in front of the whole school of 800 kids and recited a poem on the microphone.
Life is all about choices and appropriate responses to situations that pop up. I am grateful for my choice to quit my job and stay home with my children. I believe that my choice has helped shape my daughter into the outgoing, friendly, happy, confident child that she is today. The best part she no longer vomits when nervous! Whew!