10 things that happen when your child starts crèche
So it’s finally happened. I’ve returned to the office and, sigh, had to cut ties with mini-me, who has been attached to my hip/leg/any body part within reach for the past year and a bit.
Here are some of the things that I’ve come to realise since the child has been unravelled from the cotton wool and let loose in crèche.
1. You will forget the child is in crèche
It will take at least a month before you realise the child is not in the same room as you/asleep upstairs. Every time you hear a suspicious noise, you will spring up to check if the child is OK. You will go to park in the parent-and-child spots in Tesco and sheepishly have to reverse when you cop the car seat is empty. And no doubt, no matter where you go, you will feel like you’ve forgotten something VERY important.
2. You will assume crèche staff have magic powers
Either that or they are trained hypnotists! I like to call the staff in my daughter’s crèche ‘The Child Whisperers’. I come to collect her and get told she was as good as gold, ate ALL her dinner and slept for more than an hour. ‘She’s great at tidying,’ they say … Oh really? Because the bombsite otherwise known as my living room shows no evidence *Makes mental note to buy mini hoover and put the child to the test.
3. You will feel like the worst parent EVER
There will be tears from the child AND you, now known as ‘The Abandoner’.
4. You will get the biggest hugs
While on maternity leave, I couldn’t help feeling a tinge of jealousy when the child would hyperventilate with excitement when daddy came home from work. She would cling to him until bedtime with poor mammy forgotten about until morning. Now I get the hugs and the kisses, and it melts my little heart.
5. You will wonder what exactly you did with your child every day
The child will come home with a notebook that says they have been painting, singing, playing with cars, completed three jigsaws AND ate dinner AND had a nap, all before noon.
6. The child will have a best friend and first love by the end of Day One
After her first day, the child had a stalker called Thomas following her every move, and an older girl called Lily who had already taken her new bestie under her wing.
7. You will learn to let go
As early as Week One, you’ll realise that the child will return to you every day relatively unscathed and that they can survive the big, bad world without you by their side every minute of the day.
8. You will learn to let IT go
I’m not talking about the song here, but let’s face it, that’s inevitable too. No, I’m talking about letting go of your way of doing things. So the crèche gave the child juice instead of water or used a different, less organic brand of yoghurt. Take a deep breath; it’s not the end of the world.
9. The child will surprise you every day with something new
Be it new words, a dance, a song or a mannerism, they are learning quick and fast from their peers. And when you’re not around them all day, you will notice these changes even more.
And without fail….
10. The child will get every bug/cold/illness going
To put it mildly, the child will have a nose like a tap for at least a year. Good for their immune system, bad for your sanity – and YOUR immune system!
Kate White is a writer, editor and mammy to toddler Abbey. She lives in north county Dublin with her farmer husband, but you'll never catch her in a pair of wellies. Tea is her best friend.