Dropping Off is Hard to Do | Kylie Purtell - Capturing Life

Friday, 1 March 2013

Dropping Off is Hard to Do

Back at the end of January Punky started going to daycare one day a week, on a Friday, while I'm at work. If we could have avoided it for a bit longer we would have, but due to circumstances beyond our control we had no other option for her care on a Friday but to put her in some sort of formal care.
I wish we could spend every day at the beach rather than at work & daycare

The daycare she goes to is directly across the street. It's a lovely centre and all of the staff are really great. The food is excellent and there are lots of toys and outdoor areas for them to play. Getting there is the easiest part of the whole thing hands down. The first few weeks she went she was a model child, absolutely perfect, I would put her down and off she would go to the toys without a backwards glance. 

And then everything changed. The last few times I've dropped her off she's cried and hasn't wanted me to leave her. It's broken my heart having to walk out that door and leave her there, hearing her cries and seeing her scrunched up little face, her arms reaching out for me.

I know once I'm gone she calms down and is fine, she has fun playing, she sleeps well and she enjoys the food and getting to make a big mess feeding herself yoghurt (something she doesn't get to do at home!). 

When I get back in the afternoon to pick her up she is always playing happily, usually with one of the other kids sitting by her side, she's sharing toys and showing the younger ones what she is playing with. I know she is fine after I'm gone, but it's still hard.

I don't know why exactly the change has occurred but I was waiting for it, from the very first week she went. I suspect it has to do with the fact that the first few times we left her she didn't realise what was going to happen, that I was going to be gone for at least 6 hours and she wouldn't see me again until the afternoon. Now she knows and the minute we walk through that door she knows that I'm going to leave.

I am hoping that in time she will come to enjoy being dropped off and getting to play with the other kids. I wonder if she would actually be better off with the next age group of kids, she's pretty cluey and she loves to watch and copy the older kids, but she's till a few months off heading to the 18 months-3 year old room. She's basically the oldest in the babies room and I know that she will soon benefit from being with the next age group up and the more structured activities they do, but until then its great to get there and see her sharing with the younger kids and being kind to them.
My girl is fearless. I hope she continues to be as she gets older. And I hope she gets some of that fearlessness back for daycare.
I'm just looking forward to Dave's new shift rotation starting next week, so that he can share the pain of the drop-off with me, so that its not always me leaving her behind, crying.

Did/do your kids go to care? Was it hard to leave them? Did they adjust ok over time?

Linking this post up with the ever awesome Grace for Flog Yo Blog Friday.

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  1. G started day care just after she turned two, it took about six weeks for her to adjust. The drop-off's were horrendous! But after a while she just started running in and practically ignoring me while I said goodbye. Cery is is due to start when she turns two in July, I'm already dreading the drop-off!

  2. You know what, there comes a day when you are wishing they'd cry when you drop them off. A bigger stab to the heart is when they run off without bothering to kiss you good bye (you have to chase them for that) and then when you pick them up they refuse to leave (or in my friends case, start crying!!)
    My eldest started at 1. One is still friends with a kid he met when he was 1, even though they've been at different schools. My middle was dropped down to 2 days when I stopped work and missed it terribly. Duck duck goose seems totally lame with only 3 kids...
    My youngest didn't go and when she started Occasional Care once a fortnight at 2, I could see what she was missing out on. She used to cry if we pulled up at the traffic lights outside of occasional care because she wanted to go - even if it was 6pm and I'd explain no one was there.
    This small adjustment stage will pass. Don't feel too bad about it. If it's a good centre, there is so much good there.

  3. OMG I love those pics! And I LOVE the pink shirt dress! Gorgeous.
    I still have some days when J struggles with the drop off. It's just the separation, soon the cries will be few and far between. Or soon they'll just stop tugging on your heart strings lol. When Jordan was at a busy day care centre when he was Mia's age, I found that he DIDN'T cry on days when I left him with one of his favourite carers.

  4. yeah that happens. I remember it well. Daycare is a wonderful introduction to socialising (with other adults and kids) and puts them in good stead for school and other areas of life. I had one child who used to shoo me out the door, and another than would hold onto my leg screaming. It turns out in many ways the screaming kid has actually become more resilient down the track than the independent one. It's all very interesting ...
    She'll be fine. She is loved and she is safe.
    Oh, and she is gorgeous!
    Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit

  5. Isn't it hard? My confident, outgoing, independent 5yo loved pre-kinder and kinder and separated well from me. However he is not enjoying his prep year and is very clingy begging me not to leave him. It breaks my heart! I look forward to the suggestions/replies of others!

  6. Lil Pumpkin does go,to preschool or my mum's place every weekday since I started work full-time 2.5 years ago. She still does have days where she gets upset seeing us leave, but there are mostly days when she's eager to just walk into school herself. Her dad usually drops her off in school and he says sometimes she doesn't even glance back to say good bye!

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

  7. I feel for you. I haven't had my boys in formal care, so I've never really had to deal with this, although I have left them crying at the gym creche a few times. I haven't gone back since early January because of how distressed they were. I want to go back again soon, am just mustering up the courage. At least she seems to be a champ for the rest of the day. P.S she is looking so gorgeous- love the beach photos x

  8. We've had Dex in structured care 2 days a week since he was 1, some days even now the drop-offs can be hard although most of the time he doesn't even wave as he runs off to find his friends.

  9. My youngest 1.5 years SCREAMS his head off at every drop off, clings to me like a koala and cries as soon as he sees me for pick-up, it used to really eat away at me, but I know he's happy throughout the day which is the main thing xx Hang in there it gets easier and they do so much cool stuff there :) xx Em @ Have a laugh on me

  10. Poor Mia, and poor Mummy! I dreaded that happening when I started taking Flynn to daycare but not once has he ever really cared! He gives me a kiss and says goodbye to me and Tully then he runs off to play. When I start back at work in 6 weeks Tully will go to the same family daycare as Flynn so I'm not expecting a huge problem - she'll be with her brother and she already sees the carer three days a week when he take Flynn...

  11. it is hard isn't it. I have been looking after a little boy since school started. He is four and still not keen on the whole saying goodbye to mum, despite him being fine within 10 minutes and having a great day. I struggled leaving my eldest in care, so much so I didn't with the next two. I am thankful every day that somehow we manage to make the whole one income thing work. Fairy wishes and butterfly kisses lovely, I hope she settles down again soon

  12. I haven't had to do day care thankfully, but I think if I did, I would be a mess. Ava is not keen on being left with anyone apart from Boatman.

  13. no doubt you get this advice form everyone but it won't be long till she runs off from you as soon as she is there. Mrs Illiterate infant has to chase Miss 2.5 around the room to get her to come home - she hides becuase she doesn't want to leave

  14. Oh Kylie this is so normal. you are exactly right, the first few weeks they don't really get it, and then they realise what's happening and they ball. It definitely improves. Our little man is going through this at the mo nut I have faith he will change again. Hugs to you xx

  15. I've heard this is pretty common Kylez. E started preschool recently, and she has been buzzing off with friends from the word go. I was relieved! Last week, she was clingier than usual. Apparently, the kids who are super excited about their new environment have a bit of a dip sometime later as their reality sets in. It picks up again. xx

  16. Oh you poor thing, I know exactly how you feel as you are walking out the door. I have had it happen occasionally with the 4 yr old last year, he was in preschool just one morning a week and it was devastating for a few weeks. He would hold on to the car door for fear life, I had to make the not yet 2 yr old walk in so I could carry the 4 yr old (kicking and screaming). He was always fine after about 15mins, they would ring me to let me know.

    Turned out, it was right before he got Scarlet Fever and was in hospital. He missed probably around 2 months, when he went back. no drama at all.

    She will get better, they have always told me that they notice most kids go through a stage like this. And it may get better, and then if there school holidays, it may get worse again straight after.

    Getting Dave to support you both will be a big help, you can't take all of that emotion on by yourself, esp at the moment!

  17. This is one of the hardest things you will ever have to do as a mother! Ned was the same. Ok the first couple of weeks (he did two days a week from 14mths) and then once it really hit that he was going to daycare regularly he cried every morning. Walking out the gates hearing his little scream broke my heart. But it wasn't long before Ned loved going to daycare. Even on weekends he will say "is it a school day?".

    As you probably know from my blog and IG, I help out my sister with her daughter Mala. I was doing the dropping off of both kids (Mala is now in the nursery room, Ned in the preschool room) and while it is hard to even get a kiss goodbye from Ned, Mala bawled her little eyes out because it is all new for her. Like Mia, once I have left (or her parents when they drop her) she is fine and has an awesome day making new friends and exploring new spaces.

    All I can say is things will get better.

  18. My youngest started kindy (three days a week) three weeks ago and he has cried everytime I have dropped him off. He is my fourth and so I know, from experience, that it does get better. But knowing that doesn't make it any easier for the parent doing the drop off and it didn't stop me from breaking down and crying as soon as I reached the carpark on thursday. Seeing our children upset is always heartbreaking - hang in there xx

  19. It's totally heartbreaking, isn't it? The first few weeks were so, so tough. And the twinlets would always take it in turns as to who was going to cry that morning. They're absolutely fine now but I still hang around for a little bit because I have the time to and well, I want to. Hang in there, it does get easier and that fearless little girl you have won't let you down xxx

  20. It is the most dreaded part of the day for me too. I always call and see if he is doing okay and he usually settles before I get to the end of the street but still I carry that cry and that 'don't leave me mummy' look with me all day. I hate that we can't spend everyday at the beach too. I hope one day he will understand. They will understand that I'm working so hard for them. To make life better for them. In a couple of years things will be easier and I will be there more. That is the plan anyway. I guess I just wanted to share all this because I wanted you to know you are not alone. I hope she settles and your days are easier for you all. Much love.


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