Almost as long as I have been a mom, I have been a working mom. With this comes a certain level of guilt. Leaving your child in the care of someone else and working for 8-10 hours a day. Do dads feel this the way moms do? I don't really know. My ex didn't seem to have a problem with it. He could be gone for 15-18 hours at a time.... but ya know this isn't about him!
Anyway, over the years that mommy guilt about day care has faded at least with the two older kids. I got them happily and securely to the ages of 12 and 10, currently. They know I love them, they know how to take care of themselves for their age, etc, etc, etc. They have great memories from growing up and never mention how I left them in day care but then they were in it less hours during the day than L is currently. They were in day care only about 8 hrs a day, while L is currently in day care more like 11 hrs a day.
So he is 4 yrs old. The first 3 mths of his life I was home with him, then my mom watched him during the day until he was about 8-9 mths old. He went to day care for the first time after that for about 3 mths. Then I started to stay home with him. So for the next 2 yrs I was a Stay at home mom. This was from about May 2003 - July 2005.
In August 2005, I started working again. He was sooo ready to go to day care or like he calls it "school". He has done great with it. I could not be more proud of him. He has just learned so much over the last year plus....
This past week after a really rough morning, we drive over to the school. He didn't say a word the whole trip. We get there, I get him out of his car seat and he stops, looks at the day care and says in the sweetest, most sincere voice.... "I really like this school.".... I paused, heart melting, mommy guilt fading. I smiled and said, "I'm so glad you like it."
So maybe all the hours he is spending at day care aren't too bad. I mean I spent a lot of time picking this place. I spent years molding this child to be this great kid and now he is growing and learning in a new way.
And, my mommy guilt over it is fading fast!