The Downside of Daycare

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We’ve had our kids in daycare since they were each about four months old. Our health insurance is provided through my job, and so we can’t really afford for me to stay home. Plus, I like working, and especially teaching. Overall, I really like that our kids are in daycare. I like that their days are active and full of interactions with people and experiences that they wouldn’t get if I were just home with them or if we had them home with a nanny. I like daycare especially for Bean’s age because they have an actual curriculum they teach and he is always coming home with new things he has learned and new stories to tell us.

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Gracie is a little different. With toddlers and older kids, I can see a benefit in daycare, but in infants and babies I have a hard time justifying daycare. I love Gracie’s teachers and she does, too, and I know that they love her right back. But I still cringe just a little bit when they say things like, “We got her to drink out of her sippy cup today!” I smile and squeal right along with them, but inside, for just a split second, I think, “Damn. I wish that had been me.” So, the first year or so of daycare is harder for me. But if I had to say I am either for or against daycare, I’d still say that I’m for daycare.

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The part of daycare that will never, ever be justifiable to me, though, is the sickness.

(I’d just like to pause and tell anyone who is pregnant and going to have to put their baby in daycare to turn away for a minute here because I’m about to have a bit of a cyber meltdown and I don’t want to scare anyone.)

I try not to blog often about Bean and Gracie’s health. For one thing, it’s one of those privacy lines Chris and I set for our family on the blog and I try to respect that. But for another, health issues for some reason bring out all kinds of meanness in people on blogs, and since I already have a healthy dose of guilt for having my kids in daycare, I’d just prefer not to hear someone else make me feel worse. So, specifics aside, can I just say how awful it is when your kids are sick all the time from daycare?!?!?

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We’ve been to three different daycares and they’ve all been the same, so I know it isn’t one facility issue. Gracie has a much stronger immune system than Bean does, so she isn’t so bad. But Bean Man seems to catch whatever goes through his classroom. He has a weak little respiratory system and so when things settle into his chest, it becomes a real problem. He was very sick over the past three weeks, almost to the point of hospitalization, because we couldn’t get his little chest to clear out. He was on breathing treatments through his nebulizer (which we call his “nebby”) every four hours for the past week and that, along with some really strong antibiotics, seems to have kicked it finally. But it has been exhausting for his little body.

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Sick kids are never good. When one of my kids are sick, my whole world slows down to a snails pace. Everything else I do is through the fog of knowing “my baby is sick.” It’s exhausting and mentally taxing and I pretty much walk around feeling like I’m doing everything wrong. But when your kids are sick because of daycare, there’s another level of emotion that goes along with sick babies for me. There’s the guilt because I’m the one who put them in daycare. It’s my fault they are sick. And so when they are crying with a fever or coughing in the middle of the night, I not only worry about them being sick or uncomfortable or tired or upset, but in the back of my mind (and usually not so far in the back) there’s also the guilt that I carry that gets heavier and heavier.

On top of the guilt and the sickness itself, there are the logistics that go along with a sick baby when you’re a working parent. Chris and I have both used up all of our time off for the year taking care of sick wee ones. For me, every day I take now is an unpaid day, which we can’t afford. For Chris, his job is a little more flexible, but as a manager in two different positions, he really can’t miss all that often either. So, when someone gets sick, Chris and I get stressed out about having to miss work and we take it out on each other. Because who else are we going to take it out on? The kids? It’s not their fault. It’s not mine or Chris’s fault either, but the frustration has to go somewhere and so we get frustrated with each other. We’re lucky to have family close by now (I really don’t know what we’d do if we were still in Connecticut), but we try not to unload on them too often because it’s over an hour drive to our house one-way from theirs and we feel like we can only ask so much.

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The hardest part for me is deciding when to send the kids back to school after they’ve been sick. We need them to go back ASAP so that we can go back to work, but we don’t want to push them back too soon before they are healthy enough. There’s no worse feeling in the world than on your child’s first day back to daycare after an illness and having the daycare call and say they are running a fever again. It literally brings me to tears as I drive to pick them up. How could I have sent them back? What kind of mother am I? I am tearing up just thinking about it, so let’s move on…

Last week at the height of Bean’s illness and at the end of my rope, I stopped by the front desk of my daycare and pulled the sweet manager aside for a minute. “Please tell me,” I pleaded. “Are my kids sick more often than other kids here? I can’t tell if this is just the price of being in daycare or if I’m doing something wrong. Because I feel like I’m doing something wrong.” She gave me a hug and told me gently that unfortunately this was just part of daycare. My kids were no sicker than any others, no sicker than her own son even. It was encouraging to hear, but that afternoon when I took Bean back to the doctor for his last breathing check, I asked every nurse who came in and our pediatrician the same question. Was this just my kids? Was I doing something wrong? My pediatrician explained it the best. She said that not only are my kids in daycare, but they are both under three years old, which makes them more susceptible to illness. Add to that how close they are in age and the fact that they play so closely together, which means they are always passing things back and forth, and it’s just a breeding ground for a hot mess.

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“But no,” she said. “Your kids are just going through the regular cycles of being in daycare.”

On one hand that relieved me, but on the other hand I felt even worse because the next day I was going to be sending my kids back into the jungle (cue the guilt). But that night around 2am, Bean spiked another fever (cue the guilt) and we had to figure out who was going to stay home with him again (cue the frustration and argument).

See how that works? It’s awful!

I realize that reading this, many of you are probably thinking that if I’m this upset about it, then I should figure out how to keep my kids out of daycare already! But as bad as this sounds, it really isn’t like this all the time. We’re just coming out of a couple months here of sickness and my frustrations are at a peak at the moment. It’s times like these low points when I pacify myself by praying prayers of gratitude that the Good Lord saw what I couldn’t when he left me unemployed two years ago so that I had to switch careers and become a teacher, and now I have summers off with my kids. Summer is just around the corner and I can’t wait to keep my kids home and healthy for a few months, and I know that when it’s time for me to go back to school, we’ll all be glad that the kids are going back to school as well. They’ll miss their friends and their teachers, and I’ll miss my students and my paychecks!

But for now, I’m just in that place of parenthood where I feel like I’m doing it all wrong.

So. That’s that.

And now, I’m going to sneak into my kids’ rooms, make sure their feet are all under the covers, and give them little butterfly kisses without waking them up. And then I’m going to go downstairs and pack my lunch, Gracie’s diaper bag, and Bean’s backpack for tomorrow. Because it’s Monday morning for a working parent family.

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41 thoughts on “The Downside of Daycare

  1. I look so forward to warmer weather and the fact that it means less (sometimes they still crop up, ugh) colds/respiratory junk. Last winter I don’t think Levi never DIDN’T have a cold. This year, it’s been stomach bugs and food poisoning on many occasions. I still can’t decide what’s worse. So sorry it’s been a hard few months, but this summer by the pool it will be so wonderful with both children all nice and healthy, Lord willing!

  2. I know exactly how you feel. Today is our little one’s first day back in daycare after having a horrendous week of Gastro. I feel all the guilt of having her in there where she got sick and want to be at home with her. Sigh. She was so happy to see other kids though- my only consolation.

  3. Keri

    Katie, let me offer you a bit of perspective as my kids are now 14, 13, 11, and 9. My children never attended daycare but they are in public school and every year for he first few months they contract every.single.illness that goes around. We have usually met our insurance deductible by January.

    So cut yourself some slack. You are not making your children sick by attending daycare. It’s just one of those things that happens, and unless you plan on homeschooling and living in a bubble it’s just part of having kids!

    1. If you take a moment and think about it, would you rather have your 6 month old baby fighting off a sickness or food poisoning…. Or a 5 year old?
      THAT is the difference of catching all the inevitable sicknesses that are going to happen at some point.

  4. Kelly H.

    I was where you were 6 years ago but with twins in daycare. My son was sick all the time. It is so hard and frustrating. I came hear to tell you it does get better. My kids now have an immune system of steel. Once they reached elementary school almost nothing got to them. All the kids that stayed home were the sick ones. Between both my twins, they have had 3 sick days in three years. We have not been on antibiotics in almost two years Hang in there.

  5. Even kids that age who are not in daycare get sick a ton. Unless they and their parents live in a lysol bubble, germs will come in. And until the get older and a stronger immune system and have better personal hygeine (handwashing, not putting fingers in or near mouth) then they are going to get sick often. You and Chris are around germs and will bring them home, even if you don’t get sick, so even if the kids were home they would be susceptible to illness. My point: Don’t feel so guilty please, illness is a part of childhood. Better to go through it now than when they are in grade school and missing out on that.

    I hope Bean feels better soon!

  6. Oh gosh do I know EXACTLY how you feel. And to make matters WORSE, 2 of my sister-in-law’s use the same sitter as I and they are constantly asking the sitter if I am giving my kid this or that; like the think I will deny him meds or something! I was at the end of my rope this past Friday feeling BEYOND defeated as we headed to the dr yet again.

  7. Sara R.

    You are so right about going through your days in a fog when your kids are sick. That is exactly how I feel. My son stayed home with me until he was three. Now that he is in preschool, he is sick all the time. Luckily, I only work part-time, so I can stay home with him a lot. But, there is always the guilt of sending him back to school, so I can go back to work. My daughter is a couple of years older and she rarely gets sick now, so it DOES get better. Hang in there!

  8. rachael Hardin

    Katie I was a day care teacher for a long time. This stuff just goes around and around. Just wait. Bean will be the one in school that is NEVER sick! all because he was sick so often when he was little. Even as a day care teacher I was sick my first 3 years all the TIME then one day I wasn’t and now 7 years later I am never sick.I’m a Stay at home mom now and my kids are still sick all the time. ( I home school too!! )

  9. I so hope they both start feeling better soon. Your doctor is right – it will get better, and if they weren’t in daycare, they would spend the majority of their first year in school sick. My mom stayed home with me, primarily becuase I was raised on a farm in the middle of absolutely no-where, so kindergarten was my first exposure to other kids and all kinds of bugs. I think I missed somewhere around 15 days that year, and we didn’t go every day! I totally understand where you are coming from though – the mommy guilt is awful and doesn’t seem to get any better as the children get older. Hang in there – just a few more weeks till summer!

  10. Thanks so much for this post, Katie, and for all your posts on being a working mom. I’ve just moved to the States from Canada, where most of my friends are taking the year-long paid maternity leave allowed (and paid for, at a percentage of salary) by law. Some take up to two years, when they combine it with 6 months’ legal paternity leave and some unpaid leave. So you can understand that I seriously don’t have very many role models of how it actually works, logistically and emotionally, to go back to work when your kids are 3-4 months old. I am not sure that this will be the path for me, but posts like this, and the comments left by your readers, are extremely extremely helpful. And, FWIW, I was not in full-time daycare when I was little (at home until age 2, then half-day preschool sometimes, but I did have a twin, so maybe that was a germ machine). Anyways, I was also sick all the time. My nephews whose mum stays home with them are way way way sicker than my nephews whose mum works and they go to daycare. I think it seriously has a lot more to do with variations in immune system than with life situation. Don’t feel guilty! Please! Feel proud that you are helping lots of mums, and prospective mums, by writing posts like this!

  11. Meredith J

    First of all, don’t let anyone ever tell you what they think is better for YOUR kids and family! If daycare is the right thing for you guys, then don’t listen to what anyone has to say about it! My kids (when I have them 🙂 …) will be in day care, probably before they’re 6 months old. Who the heck afford to live on one income these days! NOT US!!! Stay strong mama! You’re an inspiration to what I know It’ll be like for me in a few years when we start having the babies! 🙂

  12. liz b

    I know as part of your night time routine you give them both baths, but maybe try switching up your routine and giving them a bath as soon as you get home to wash off the germs. A friend taught me this trick of bathing as soon as they get home (her daughter was sick the first year of school) and now she is rarely sick.
    also as soon as you pick them up hand bean a wet wipe (anti bacterial) and use one on gracie too.

  13. I taught kindergarten for 5 years and I got sick a LOT in those first two years. And now, even though I am no longer teaching, my immune system is AMAZING. Maybe germs do go around faster in daycare, but there are plenty of other places that kids can pick them up. And of course you know that there will never be a shortage of mommy guilt, not matter what choices you are making. We do the best we can with what we have and then we have to let go of the guilt!

  14. I’m glad you’re talking about this because *every* day care kid goes through this. And here’s what I’ve heard: the pain we’re going through now will pay off in kindergarten. The kids who never had day care exposure will drop like flies, getting sick in the same way our wee ones are now, and our kids will have immune systems of champions and thrive in the school environment where attendance counts. So. There’s that.

    I’m with Meredith. Nate goes to day care three days a week. Except for Tuesday, when he has therapy as soon as we come home, Nate goes right in the tub. He doesn’t get to touch his toys or eat a snack or hug Hobbes. We scrub the germs off and *then* we play. And I have noticed that he’s been sick a lot less since we started doing this. We also always use cart covers and I stopped letting Chad rent Nate a “Mall Racer” car at the mall because I don’t think those things are ever cleaned. Germs freak me out. Nate has an ear infection now, his first since November. That’s a historical triumph for us! But he’s had other weird illnesses in the meantime (like the croup – twice back to back!) and a hive outbreak, which our pediatrician attributes to a virus. Every kid in Nate’s school has the faucet nose; Nate’s never had it but I know he’s touching stuff that has been snotified. But there’s so much good from day care – learning social skills, learning to work with adults other than ourselves, and general learning itself. It all balances out. (You’re doing good, mama!!!)

  15. It is NOT just your kids or anything you’re doing wrong. My 10 month old is on ear infection #6, on top of other daycare crudiness. Of course it’s heartbreaking, but ABSOLUTELY not your fault!

  16. Kat

    Aw man I SOOOOO FEEL YOU! Peanut’s been so sick lately – it seems like it’s something or another every single week. I’m crossing my fingers that this is the last of it before the summer months start and we can catch a little break.

    I especially feel ya on the “who has to stay home” front…no one ever told you that sacrificing a day at work is going to feel so terrible – when you’re a kid and you get to skip school you say hooray! even as an adult and not feeling well, I don’t mind taking the day off and staying home to better everyone, knowing that I will be right back and in much better spirits the following day. But with a sick kid, especially with a fever, you can’t get work done from home and you have to take the day to just watch them not feel well. Kills me. But what kills me even more is sending her to daycare when she’s still snotty or coughing but hasn’t had a fever in 48 hours. O M G mom guilt.

  17. Annemari

    I am from South Africa. It is the same here. My son also struggles with his chest. He turned 4 this year and I can see a difference only now. He is starting to actually have a immunity against all these germs. He still does get sick but at least not 2-3 times a month! Also took out his tonsils which helped. Remember that we get all these viruses when the seasons change. We are on our way to winter this side so everywhere you go people are sick. You guys are on your way to summer so people get more sick. All that I can say is good luck and we all feel the way you do. I am actually surprised you did not mention this earlier, I sometimes want to go mad with sick babies all the time….

  18. I stay home with Zoe, and even still… we’ve been through MONTHS where we couldn’t shake an illness. Part of it was b/c her pediatrician’s weren’t really listening to me b/c her symptoms didn’t show up in the office, and part was just because we didn’t really know what was going on. But still? It sucks to watch your kids struggle with being sick. I can’t imagine the added stress of having to call in to work/need to get back to work. You’re a good mom, Katie. A great one. Every decision that we’re faced with has an upside and a downside, right? You being at work has so many benefits for your kids, and for you, you’ve said that 1,000 times. The sickness will eventually end, but in the meantime…. hang in there!

  19. Like Nate’s Mom said, I have also been told that my kid will have a rock star immune system when he gets to kindergarten. I sure hope so because he’s covered with snot on a daily basis. Not sure if that’s just part of being a boy or daycare. Probably a bit of both. There is so much guilt when it comes to being a mom. I’ve really learned to just accept some things. I financially and mentally cannot afford to stay at home. We need the money and I love my job. I was driving myself nuts with guilt about so many things that my anxiety level was through the roof. Then I just stopped. I’ve learned to just accept some things that just ARE. Daycare and the resulting sicknesses are just one of those thinsg. I can’t change it, I do the best I can to keep our home clean and try to instill good hygiene habits. I fight the things I can fight (like my kid being bit repeatedly by the same kid) and just let go of the rest. It’s been hard to get to this point but so far we’re doing good. There’s nothing in the world quite like mommy guilt, huh…

  20. Amanda

    (((Hugs))) I know the feeling. Our insurance is tied to my job and well honestly my salary is double my husbands so we cannot afford for me to not work. My kids stay with my mom 3x week and go to school 2x a week but get sick often. I think it comes with the territory…

  21. I’m sorry… It’s so hard when your kids are sick. Just don’t let yourself feel guilty (haha impossible I know)… being exposed to more germs now will build their immune systems stronger. Also, summer is around the corner and then in the Fall, Bean will be 3 and hopefully a little stronger. I don’t know how you do everything that you do… I really admire you for it!

  22. I love reading your post about daycare. I have to start my daughter in daycare after this summer, she will be 8 months old and I am just glad I can kinda know what to expect.

  23. Leslie

    I’m sorry for your situation Sick kids are hard to deal with. My kids don’t go to day care, but they still seem to pick up a new bug once or twice a month. It’s not your fault at all. Kids just get sick. Hopefully Bean and Gracie will be fine till school is out and then you all can have a nice relaxing summer.

  24. It’s not just daycare. I stayed home with my kids but Hayden was just like Michael – he had a weak little respiratory system and germs that would give other kids a stuffy nose would land Hayden in Urgent Care and on a nebulizer for a week. It seemed like every time I took him to church or the grocery store or had friends over to play we’d be at the doctor 2 days later. The world at large is a germy place which most people don’t notice but if you have a kid like Bean or Hayden . . . it feels like sickness is lurking everywhere.

    On the bright side: Hayden outgrew that tendency by the time he started school and he has RARELY had sick days since then.

  25. Jess

    I struggle with the exact same thing…all of it. From the babies being in daycare for their first year to who’s going to stay home when they are sick. I am on the guilt-train with you!

  26. Tracy B

    Katie – I’m a Mom of two boys myself now, who have both gone to daycare and we’ve had these same issues. But, I must tell you – one of my younger sisters was never in daycare a day in her life and had the same issues it seems you’re having with Bean (lots of lung issues, asthma, respiratory infections, etc..). I agree with all of these folks who are telling you to cut yourself some slack. You can’t control what your kids catch – even if you tried! You’re doing your best, you seem to be a great Mom, your kids are loved and well cared for…..and that’s far more than many kids out there have!

  27. Kim T

    I got the most helpful comment from a doctor and the most unhelpful comment from a doctor on this very subject. The unhelpful comment first – my pediatrician said when my daughter was about 6 months old and still had an ear infection – “Isn’t there any way you could not put her in day care?” That sent my mom guilt into overdrive. We lived out of state from our family at the time and there was quite literally no other option. I don’t think the dr. would have wanted us to live in poverty just so my daughter didn’t have to go to day care. The helpful comment “it’s pay now or pay later”. This doctor explained how kids build up immunities and those in daycare will end up being much stronger when they get to school. And while having a sick baby or toddler is scary, they often weather these illnesses better than older kids and teens. So either way they are going to get sick, so it’s now or later. Hang in there. I found that phase of life to be almost number one on frustrating scale. Luckily my girls are 9 and 12 now and they don’t get sick as often. When they are sick they can sleep at home alone for an hour two if my husband or I need to go the office.

    Good luck. It will all be fine.

  28. Unfortunately, that is part of daycare. Having worked in daycare before, I know that first hand. However, as a teacher of 1st-3rd graders now, I’m the one bringing home the germs most of the time. 🙁

  29. Our family is going through the same thing right now with our first little one! It’s funny that this post came up today as our house has currently been taken over with “Hand Foot and Mouth”…no fun! The joys of daycare 🙂

  30. HeatherM

    First of all Bean gets sick all the time because he has weak lungs (and I’m guessing asthma), not just because he is in daycare. I have weak lungs too, and I too was raised in daycare from when I was 6 months old. I caught every bug going around in the daycare, and every bug went straight to my lungs. Then I caught every bug going around in kindergarden… and in middle school…and in the college dorm… and I’m 29 years old and I still catch every bug going around at work and on the commuter train- I’m on my third cold in the last 3 months. So it’s not your fault. It’s just the lungs that Bean got.
    And honestly, if Bean wasn’t catching bugs at daycare because he wasn’t in daycare, he would be catching bugs from the nursery/ children’s program at church. Or at the grocery store. Or because the weather changed. Or because somebody looked at him the wrong way (kidding- but sometimes it feels that way). I have asthma, generally weak lungs, and a poor immune system, and I can testify, it just sucks to be sick that much. I can relate.
    Second, the nurse at your pediatrician’s office is right- a big part of your trouble is because you have multiple children under the age of 3. Here are some stats for you, from when I worked as a nurse on the pulmonary floor of a large Children’s hospital: 75% of all patients admitted to the children’s hospital are under the age of 3, and 75% of all pediatric hospitalizations nationwide are for respiratory issues. This is because when kids are under the age of 3, their airways are so much narrower, so a little bit of mucus or inflammation can cause a big problem. Think of how a little mucus would clog a coffee stir compared to a McDonald’s straw, compared to a 1” diameter pipe. The bigger the kid grows, the less a little mucus or swelling is a problem. The other reason kids tend to be hospitalized with respiratory issues less after the age of 3 is that then they start to be able to verbalize their difficulty breathing- they can say “Mom, it’s hard to breathe,” so you don’t have to wait until they get so bad that you can see they are struggling to breathe (because they are pretty bad at that point). Soon, you will be able to start teaching Bean to tell you when he is having trouble breathing or when he is wheezing, just like he tells you when he needs to go potty. Also, Children’s hospitals have a historically low census in June, July, and August- when school is out, and kids get a break from sharing their germs- so know that it will get better in just a couple months too.
    With that being said, it is important that you do everything you can to, well, try to minimize the damage the colds can have on both kids (especially Bean) and on your family and your careers. There are things you can take action on here- you are not completely powerless (that is good! I’m not blaming you here). I’m a peds pulmonary nurse, and also an asthmatic with a poor immune system, and this is what I teach my patients when they are hospitalized.
    First, look for patterns in when Bean gets sick. Is he typically hospitalized or near-hospitalization or on Orapred in April/May? I know that is my worst season, and I have to take extra precautions for my asthma during those months, including taking extra care to avoid germs when possible (even if it means avoiding family), aggressively treating my allergies, keeping the windows closed even if the weather is nice, changing the furnace filter even more often, making my husband vacuum and wash the bedding regularly, etc. I also go on a stronger dose of preventative steroid medication during this time (if Bean is on this, I would guess he’s on pulmocort or flovent- ask if there is room to go up on the dose of these preventative meds during his bad season), and keep some prednisone on hand at home (with my doctor’s permission) to take as soon as I start to feel bad, because I know there’s a good chance I will need it- and hopefully with liberal use of prednisone I can prevent things from getting worse). I have to also make sure that I am getting LOTS of sleep and eating very well too. If you haven’t had Bean allergy tested (they can test it with a blood sample now), I would encourage you to do so- maybe this summer if nothing else. Then you can take extra measures to address any allergies he is specifically allergic to. In particular, since Bean has been hospitalized once and nearly hospitalized a second time before the age of 3, I would strongly encourage you to seek out a pulmonologist (lung specialist), to help you develop an action plan for Bean’s bad seasons. Chances are colds will still probably happen, but hopefully they will be less severe, and maybe even less often with some of these tips. The trick is to identify Bean’s asthma triggers, and prevent them as much as possible.
    I hope this helps you know that you are not alone, and most of the problems you are facing would still be there even if Bean wasn’t in daycare, and they will still be there after your kids graduate from daycare. And I hope this gives you some ideas of steps you can take to try to make things a bit better, and helps you feel a little more empowered and a little less powerless in this situation. Good uck, and I hope your babies get better (and stay better) soon!

  31. I find this is just true of kids in general, daycare or not. Every time I set foot in a play place the kids get sick but what’s the alternative, never take them any where fun? I hope we are just building up their little immune systems to fight off the rough stuff for later. Give yourself a break on the guilt, it’s such a wasted emotion! You guys are doing a wonderful job!

  32. Keiko

    I totally know what you mean! And the guilt! I agree that daycare is beneficial to older kids but I still feel guilty for so many things for not being home with Serena. It’s a constant feeling for me. And now we face the decision of whether we are going to put our son into daycare after my maternity leave is up. And the illnesses he is going to catch… That alone makes me want to keep him home at least for the first year. We aren’t as lucky this time around because Mike was able to work nights so we were able to keep Serena out of daycare her first year.

    But that said, have you heard of juice plus? A bunch of my friends swear by it. Their kids are sick less often and over all more healthy. I’m looking to put Serena on it. If you are interested I can send you more info! One of my friends just out her kids on it cause her kids kept getting sick and they are in school, not daycare so don’t beat yourself up cause they are getting sick from daycare. Daycare or not kids are getting sick.

  33. No matter what choices we make, I think as Moms we always second guess ourselves. When I hear all the thing you like about daycare, I question my decision to stay home. Yet I think all the anxiety demonstrates how we’re doing the best we can each day! If we didn’t question ourselves then we would be in trouble. Just think all the immunities your kiddos will have from daycare! Every big they catch is one they’ll never get again. Just be faithful Momma. You are doing your best!

  34. I haven’t read the other comments, but I have to say just hang in there. My boys are almost 5 and almost 3 and my 5 yr old hardly got sick this year – it was great! I think now he’s finally getting the hand washing (and counts to 20 while he suds his hands up) and things seems so much less germy in his preschool room.

    We are actually playing the same game right now. My husband stayed home yesterday with the feverish 2.5 yr old, and I’m home this morning. After lunch, I’m going back to the office. ugh. It’s tiring and hard and I hate having to call in to work. But it will get better – it’ll just be getting through those first 3 yrs of daycare that’s the worst.

  35. Nikki

    We are in the baby planning stages, and are very lucky that I will be able to go from full time to part time to raise our child. My Aunt will be watching the kiddo the days that I do work, and I do worry about what will be missed by not having our kid go to daycare, but we will make the best out of the situation! That’s all we can hope to do. Keep it up Katie. I think you’re doing an awesome job!

  36. My daughter is eight and has been in daycare or school since she was three months old. The first year we were at the doctor every two weeks. Now she’s in second grade and has not missed ONE DAY of school due to sickness — not in kindergarten, not in first, not in second.

  37. Ariel

    My brother was severely asthmatic as a child (he also had a nebulizer we called a “nebby”). He was sick a lot as a kid, even without going to daycare. But now he’s almost 26 years old, rode his bike across the country, and is very athletic. I think being sick as a kid helped teach my brother patience and general good natured-ness.

  38. I am so sorry. I run a home child care out of my home and we get every cold…. I guess it comes with the trade 🙂 but my kids get it and the daycare kids get it and the school kids get it… I can only hope it makes us stronger for the future. I use so much lysol I should buy stock 🙂 You are an awesome mom and we all go through this 🙁

  39. elana

    I feel for you. Reading Doing Time, a book about daycare, made me realize I had to make different decisions to avoid the sickness, etc. We have gone without vacations, etc and scaled back but it has been a happy sacrifice.

  40. Jamie

    You described my life to a t. Just tonight, we are battling yet another fever that just won’t break… it’s so frustrating and my marriage is severely suffering. When does this get easier???

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