mom holding baby on first day of daycare
Parenthood Work Stories

To My Sweet Daughter on your First Day of Daycare

By Ashley Gillis

For 14 weeks it has just been you and me.

Some mornings we slept in as long as we wanted and didn’t bother with unnecessary things like time and schedules. Other mornings we were up and out the door ready to start our adventures at one of the local mom groups.

But this morning, I wake you up and it’s different. I’m not in my normal yoga pants and t-shirt with my messy bun. I am in my business clothes, my hair is done and my makeup is on. But you don’t notice a thing — to you, I am Mommy. I get you dressed with tears in my eyes. We smile and laugh with each other. I marvel at your beauty and how much you have grown over these 14 weeks.

I put you in the car, like most mornings when we head off to our mom groups, but today is not a trip to the park or the library — today is going to be a shock for you. Today, for the first time ever, I am going to leave you with someone that you have never met, at a place you have never been.

I met them, of course. While you were in my belly, your Dad and I drove all over town finding the perfect place to take care of you. We walked around, asked questions about their newborn curriculum (yeah, like that is a thing), and met the teachers. We knew that they would take care of you as well as we did and that you would make so many friends while you played all day. We knew that the people we chose to take care of you were loving, nice people that would never hurt you.

But this morning, that doesn’t matter to you. What matters is that Mom is leaving.

As we drive, I tell you how much I love you and how I am going to miss you all day. I sob, uncontrollably, but try not to let you see in fear that it will make you upset.

The worst part of all of this, is I can’t explain to you what is happening. I can’t tell you that Mom is going away for a bit, but will be there at 4:00 p.m. to get you. I can’t tell you that you are going to be okay. I can’t explain to you that you are going to daycare and are going to make so many friends. Believe me I try, but you’re only 14 weeks old, you just know Mommy. I walk you in, hand my beautiful girl over to a caretaker, and walk away.

It is probably the hardest thing I have ever had to do.

I want to tell you that although I am not with you all day, I love you. You are the air I breathe, and my heart and soul. I couldn’t live without you.

I know you are going to be okay, but I love you more than anything.

I just want you to know that when you are day care — playing with your friends, napping in your swing, or drinking the delicious milk I spent hours pumping — everything I do for you is out of love.

I will think of you all day long, and love you with all my heart.

Have fun. Be brave, play with all the kids and learn as much as you can. Hang out with the big kids in the room, they’ll be the ones you will learn the most from. But most of all, know that you have a loving Mom and Dad at home that can’t wait to pick you up and spend the rest of the day with you.

Your Mom

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