To the Mom Sending Her Child to Daycare for the First Time

daycareDear Mama,

I can’t lie. Making the decision to send your child to daycare is bittersweet. It won’t be easy leaving your sweet baby in the care of their daycare teacher for the first time. 

Up until now, you have been the source of their comfort, their playmate, and their primary caregiver. Through all the diaper changes and sleepless nights, you’ve had such a wonderful experience bonding with the tiny human you created. Your baby needed you the most. 

As their first day of daycare nears, your last day of being with your baby around the clock is almost here. This milestone will affect you mentally, physically, and emotionally. 

It’s never easy leaving your child with someone else no matter who they are. Here are a few things all moms should know about sending their child to daycare for the first time — from a mom who’s been there. Spoiler alert: It’s going to be okay.

Daycare will be harder on you than them

I’ve been in your shoes twice. My most recent experience was just last month. The second time around was the hardest because my son had been by my side for the first 15 months of his life. Thanks to the pandemic, I’ve been working from home since the week after I found out I was pregnant. 

Then, he became mobile, and trying to keep him entertained between Zoom meetings, answering emails, and carrying my daily workload became too much. My husband and I agreed that it was time for daycare, but I wasn’t ready.

He had been with me 24/7, so it’s expected. I had been there for all his firsts. I knew his likes and dislikes. I knew his routine. This decision weighed heavily on my heart, but I knew it would be best for both of us.

Your feelings are normal

Once that first day arrived, I choked back sobs. The internal struggle wasn’t like anything I had experienced. After all, I’ve been here before. As a full-time working mom, I’ve doubted the decision to work many times even though I love my job. 

All these emotions and feelings are 100% normal. It’s okay if you’re questioning your decision about enrollment up until the moment you drop them off. It’s okay if you cry at drop-off on the first day and even on the 100th day. 

When my daughter started daycare, I cried all the way to work, checked in on her multiple times, and was probably one of the first parents at pickup. I did the same when my son started as well. I wish I could tell you that this would be one of the easiest things you’ll ever do, but that may not be true for you. 

It gets easier

Now that I’m on the other side, I’m here to tell you that it does get easier. The first few days were the hardest. Your mama heart will be tempted to grab your babe and walk the other way. You both just need a bit of time to adjust.

In a few weeks, you’ll reflect on your decision and be grateful. You’ll be comforted in seeing how well they are thriving. Your village will grow, as you’ll meet some other amazing families. They’ll offer you the support and validation you need since you all will be going through this together. 

As the first day nears, give yourself grace. Plan ahead for a day of a whirlwind of emotions and maybe set aside time to do something nice for yourself since you’ll be child-free.

The Mom Who’s Been There

Kayla Trapp
Born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida, Kayla Trapp is a wife and a millennial mom of two littles. During the day, you can find her working hard as a corporate professional and by night she’s making memories with her family. As a believer of intentionally celebrating all life moments, Kayla’s blog, The Trapp Haus, was created. You can follow her journey over on Instagram @TheTrappHaus where she shares her imperfect life, DIY projects, crafts, and everything in between.


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