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When you are a stay-at-home mom, momming is your job. You are working from eyes open to eyes shut, and often also in between. It really is a round-the-clock occupation, for which you make no income, take no breaks, and have no downtime. Even weekends aren’t time-off, because you are never not parenting. (It really sounds tiring just thinking about it!) We mamas deserve and need a day off, and you can actually get that if you put your children in childcare! I’m a huge advocate of enrolling your children in part-time childcare if it is financially possible for your family.
Now, you don’t need to put them in a program where they are out of the house five full-days a week — although if you need that for your own sanity, I wouldn’t begrudge you! If you are able to have at least two mornings a week where your child goes to childcare or preschool for a few hours, it will do wonders for you!
5 Reasons Why You Should Put Your Children in Childcare
1) You can run errands solo (*listen as the heavens open*)
After you have lived the #momlife of running errands with children, being able to cavort around town by yourself feels like a tropical vacation. Take your time, maybe actually try on a new shirt before you buy it, dawdle, do whatever the heck you want! Shop for what you want at the pace you set for yourself. It’s sublime.
2) You can actually, really and truly, clean the house
Have you ever tried to clean with little people around? “Clean” exists for exactly, oh, 1.34786 seconds before our kiddos pitter-patter their dirty paws over everything that was just gleaming. We all know that sweeping with a toddler around is practically impossible (why do they love to see/feel what’s in the bits you’ve collected?!). Get a chance to actually clean, and then revel in the gloriousness.
3) You can get adult time, such as a coffee date with fellow SAHM
Playdates are a great way to get your kiddos and yourself some social time, but let’s be real, the social time for you means half-completed sentences and knowing looks at your mom friend as you each chase your wild animals around the cafe patio. With your cherubs in school or daycare, you can *dare I say it* actually talk, in full complete sentences, with your “commadre” (yes I think I just made that term up). You can chat freely about the topics that you usually use code for because your children are present. You can drink your yummy lattes in open mugs for goodness sake without fear of a child knocking them over or using it as a swimming pool for their Hatchanimal!
4) You can allow yourself to rest and recuperate
Being a full-time SAHM is hard. Really freaking hard. It is relentless and exhausting, even if you have a pretty chill kid. We mamas need breaks, and we deserve to take them. Getting the opportunity to veg is so important. You matter. Your rest matters. You need a chance to recharge your batteries. You will be a better mama for it.
5) You will miss your children!
If you are around your children every second of every day, you don’t get a chance to miss them, and you know what they say: “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” With your children in part-time childcare, you will miss them in the best way — in the sort of way where you appreciate the solo time while you also can’t wait to see them and spend time with them when you pick them up.
Putting your children in childcare gives you, mama, the opportunity to accomplish tasks that are a hundred times harder with kiddos around. It allows you to practice self-care and to refill your mama cup — and we all know you could use a more full cup to pour from.
PLUS, the points above don’t even begin to go into how wonderful it is for your children when they go to childcare!
Your children will learn how to be a person without your constant presence. They will discover how to engage with other authority figures, and how to coexist with other small humans. They will become equipped with invaluable social skills such as taking turns, using kind words to express themselves, lining up, listening, doing what is requested of them, and following directions.
And, sure, you can teach them some of those things at home, but there is huge value in their growing ability to participate in a group setting outside of the home and under someone else’s direction.
Stay tuned for a post on how to pick the right childcare for you and your family!
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Christina is the writer behind the blog Real Life Mama. She is a mom two littles, a 4-year-old daughter and a 3-year-old son. Christina and her family live in San Diego, where she is a full-time mama, part-time mental health therapist (LPCC), and round-the-clock blogger, writer, and author. If she ever gets a moment to herself, she can be found singing at the top of her lungs, cooking, and crafting. Thanks for reading!