Sunday, 25 October 2009

Should she stay or should she go?

Earlier this year, I applied for part time places at nursery for our 2 year old. One replied saying they had nothing available and would reconsider us in January. The other didn't even bother replying. I was secretly happy as I felt she was too young to go. And I was also quite reluctant to have someone other than me or my hubby change her. Then once the horrific stories of child abuse at nurseries this summer came out, I was very happy with my decision.
Life does throw curve balls. Last thing on Friday I got a call from the first nursery saying they could offer us afternoon sessions. I have been given the weekend to discuss with hubby and make a decision if tot should go.
I have to say this seems one of the hardest decisions of my life. I keep to and fro'ing.

IF SHE GOES: she makes new friends (I hope) and has some stimulation outside of mummy. Mummy gets time to clean the house, do the weekly shop and maybe in the long term, get a hobby or actually go back to work.
IF SHE STAYS: I know she is safe, we are free to decide each day what we want to do and I spend most of the day entertaining her. She laughs and sings all the time and even amazes us by singing the whole alphabet..we know she doesn't know what the letters are but her memory is remarkable. I see every development she makes and am amazed by what a wonderful child she is.

IF SHE STAYS: our house doesn't get cleaned, my nerves sometimes get frazzled by the relentless "What's that", "Why", "I don't like it" and "Please mummy PLEASE". If I spend any time on the computer, I feel guilty, then I feel annoyed as she tries to play with the keys and destroys anything I'm working on.
IF SHE GOES: she has not been left with anyone for over a year. She has never been left with a non family member or a very well known neighbour.
The nursery which only scored a Satisfactory with ofsted 3 years ago may not have the right staff to stimulate her, she may get bullied, she may get bored, she may pick up all sorts of colds and germs in general making her eczema go wild. Her routine will be disrupted as she has lately taken to napping in the afternoon. We go bankrupt with the cost of the sessions. The separation anxiety may be more than she can bear...OK more than I can bear.
What is the right age for a child to go to nursery I wonder and will we be able to decide by tomorrow? I hope so as she's getting confused about why mummy keeps grabbing her, holding on tight and showering her with kisses through teary eyes.


JS said...

My partner went through this with our 2.75 year old when he was 2. Have you thought about a child minder instead of a nursery? Ours is fantastic and lives close to us (Plumstead Common).

Plummy Mummy said...

Not really. As a stay at home mum, I don't really feel I can justify a childminder. The only reason we considered nursery was it would give her a different environment from home.

Raven said...

I feel for you and the decision you have to make. It is a real crossroads when you have to give over care of your children to non-family, whether it's as toddlers or later.

As dual working parents, our children both went to a private nursery in Eltham. They're now 5 and 7 and at primary school. It seems to have been a very good experience for both of them - they're both very outgoing and sociable! But who knows, they may have turned out that way anyway.

Only you can know what will suit your family - maybe give it a try for a period, if you're inclined to. Get to know the staff at the nursery. You can also spend some time there initially. Try to get someone to recommend one (although we went in to one 'cold'). Good luck!

AJWInBlack said...

It's a tricky one. We didn't have much choice in the beginning as we both have to work. Our daughter goes twice a week now, and absolutely loves it. The staff are fantastic, we get lots of feedback about her day and how she is with other children. She has so many friends and is starting to talk about them outside nursery too. We started when she was coming up to a year. It was a very hard decision but not one we have regretted at all. The nursery is at Eglinton Early Years Centre and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Plummy Mummy said...

Many thanks for all your comments.

JS on thinking about it. If the nursery doesn't work out, then we may consider a childminder just for a session a week to give me a break.

AJWinBlack...I tried to email you via your website but it bounced back. So glad you put a comment here as that's where she has been offered a place. :)

Anonymous said...


I think it is good to have them, at that age, in a nursery environment one or twice a week for a couple of hours each session. It gives the child interaction time with other children and the parent a mental break.



AJWInBlack said...

Oh that's good to hear! If you decide to go maybe we'll bump into each other!

Cheerful One said...

Did you decide? My twopennorth is that if she goes but you decide it isn't working out then she can stop going again.

Plummy Mummy said...

Yes decided to send her for two sessions. To begin with will only send her for a short time. As you say, will see how it goes.

Anonymous said...

I think you should def send your child to nursery. She/he has to leave home some time and children who go to nursery tend to on the whole find it much easier to settle at school, plus children need to be stimulated by other children and different environments and as much as I am sure you think you can do everything for your tot they are often much better entertained when interacting with other children without your presence.
Obviously nothing against you as a Mother but looking at various clinical studies this does seem to be the case.
It didnt bother me at all my child going to nursery and they couldnt be happier, I think they are better stimulated at nursery than they are at home. I couldnt entertain my child for a solid 8 hours a day.

Plummy Mummy said...

Hi Anon,
Thanks for your comment. In my defense I recognise the need for interaction with others and up until now I have taken my tot to playgroups, stay and play sessions, library rhyme times and art/craft sessions, softplay music classes and playdates with friends. She has had a lot of exposure to other children with me in the background.
I don't think I alone would be able to stimulate her but unlike some mums, I do have time to read to her regularly, do craft things at home and generally run around like a loony playing.
I know I am extremely lucky that a) we have these resources to hand and b) as I drive, I can take her to sessions she would otherwise not reach as easily.
There seems to be a need for a balanace which is why we are considering the day nursery a lot sooner than I had planned but I hope, fingers crossed, they take as much interest in stimulating her as I do. I also hope it teaches her to play by herself by encouraging her vivid imagingation.

Planet Plumstead said...

I must admit I was surprised when my daughter announced that she was sending little Lily to nursery for a couple of days a week when she was only about six months. "We didn't do it in my day", was my response. However, times change and I can honestly say I think she has hugely benefitted, so I was wrong. She's been going for nearly two years now and in that time she's established good friendships and does so many more activities than my daughter could possibly organise for her that I can only highly recommend it. Finding the right nursery is tough though so make sure you get that bit right. Good luck and don't look back.