As we progress and grow in our lives, we experience new things. Interestingly, I did not think about all the additional transitions I will have to go through as a Mother. Now I am here and learning how to manage my emotions and adapt to changes in our lives. I am also very aware that this is only the beginning, and many more transitions are coming our way as parents. This is year two of a very long journey with our son.
In this blog post, I will share my experience and how I am preparing for this new phase in my life as a mother.
MC's Journey: Navigating our Childcare changes
Our son was born at the height of the pandemic, which meant that my husband and I had to start our journey as parents on our own. Our family lives far away, and with the travel restrictions, they could not come to visit us. As a result, we cared for our newborn on our own and continued to do so for the first 14 months of his life. I learned to navigate caring for him while working full-time from when he was 3,5 months old. At the beginning of 2022, when infection rates were lower where we live, we hired a nanny who came in for about sixteen hours a week while we covered the rest of the time. I am fortunate to work from home, which worked very well for us. Now that our son is turning two years old in a few weeks, we are ready to expand his social circle. My little baby is starting Daycare. We know that he is ready, and it is a part of his development. However, thinking about the transition has been very emotional for me. For the first time in his life, he will be away from my husband and I, in someone else's care outside of our home.
How am I preparing myself for the transition?
Until we had a child, I had no idea how the school system in the US worked. I was a little more aware of how schools worked in Germany because I lived there for a long time and learned from my sister and friends who had kids. So, when we started talking about our son starting Daycare, my husband and I had to read up and talk to people around us. We are still learning a lot of new things. I am looking forward to expanding our community of parents as well.
Accepting the feelings I have
When people asked me in my early adulthood what my weakness was, I would say that I do not do well with changes. A few years ago, I realized that I have actually experienced a lot of change in my life and the change itself is not the issue. I now know that the impact of the change is what concerns me. Although I have accepted the change, I still feel emotional about everything that will be different due to the change. When I think about our son going to Daycare, I am very excited for him. However, the thought of him being away from us for hours a day makes me uneasy. I have been spending time thinking about what I am worried about and finding some techniques to help me adapt.
We had about six months between when we enrolled our son in Daycare and when he is actually going to start. It has given me a lot of time to get prepared in my mind. If you know me, you know that I use preparation as a technique to address nervousness about new and significant milestones. I am very thankful that I have planning skills that I apply to get my mind ready for the change. Once I have a plan, I find embracing the changes in my life easier.
Preparing my family
With our son going to Daycare, all our routines will change. My husband and I have started talking about the adjustments we will make. The next area that I focused on was ensuring we have everything our son will need for Daycare. I was shopping for things as if he was going to college. It is important that we have the critical things covered for his first weeks in Daycare. We can then learn about what else we need and get those. This is all part of the learning journey that we are embarking on.
Being thankful, brave, and hopeful
I am embarking on this journey with a lot of excitement for our son, as well as looking forward to how much he will learn from Daycare and then school when the time comes. We are incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to care for our son at home over the past two years. I know that I will smile when I look back in a few months and remember how nervous I am now. As with other transitions, I know that we will thrive and succeed as a family.
I would like to wrap up this post by celebrating all the amazing parents and caretakers who are caring for children. It is a huge responsibility that grows exponentially every year. Being raised by a single mother and seeing my sister being a great mum, I have great role models who have gone before me. Thank you to all parents and caregivers !!!