Working Parent Guilt: How to Clear Your Conscience When Choosing Childcare

daycare alternativeIf you’re a working parent, you’ll likely need outside help to make sure your young child is consistently cared for. While some parents rely on other family members or a live-in nanny to provide this assistance, that’s not always possible — nor is it always in the best interests of everyone involved. Many parents determine that enrolling their child in daycare or in a daycare alternative like preschool will be of great benefit to everyone in the family.

However, even if your local preschool program or daycare facility provides a safe, healthy, and stimulating environment for your child, you may still wrestle with feelings of guilt. This is perfectly understandable and quite common. No one can determine what’s right for your family except you.

If you have carefully vetted your choice in childcare center, preschool, or other daycare alternative, you’ll logically know that your child is in highly capable hands. Still, you may struggle with feeling like a “bad parent” because you won’t be caring for your child yourself at every minute of every day. It can be difficult to dismiss those feelings of guilt, but we’ve found that the following considerations can help.

Your child will be more independent and ready for school
The time your child spends in the preschool classroom will be extremely valuable in preparing them for what’s to come. Around 51% of three- to five-year-olds attended full-day preschool programs in 2015, which may seem like a lot to some families. Enrolling your child in programs like these will make them a bit more self-sufficient and less clingy overall. It can be tough for both parent and child to let go on a small scale, but it’s an incredibly important lesson to learn. Although spending quality time with your child is vital, this time without you can allow them to grow in other ways. This will help them to feel more ready for kindergarten and beyond.

Your child will be more comfortable socializing with others
There’s no doubt that your personal parenting skills will benefit your child, but there’s only so much they can learn from spending the majority of their time at home. When you enroll your child in a daycare alternative like preschool, they’ll interact with other adults and children their age. Their social development will grow by leaps and bounds, which can help them both at their local preschool program and at home. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with guilt when you drop off your child in the morning, remember that your decisions are actually going to benefit their development in countless ways.

You don’t have to endure guilt trips from other people
We’ve discussed just a couple of the ways that early childhood programs can promote development. Keeping these benefits in mind can go a long way in keeping the mom or dad guilt at bay, but they won’t always be enough for other people in your life. While most people do understand how great preschool can be for children, some may feel very strongly about caring for a child at home or through other daycare alternatives. If you find that friends or relatives feel the need to assert their own opinions about your family decisions, remember that you don’t have to invite that negativity into your life. Being able to establish some distance (even just momentarily when the subject arises) will let you prioritize the needs of your immediate family over the opinions of well-meaning family members and acquaintances.

Although many parents would love to stay home with their children during their formative years, this simply isn’t possible for those who work full-time. However, it’s important to keep in mind that choosing a daycare alternative like preschool will provide countless advantages for your child and for your family as a whole. Letting go of that guilt starts with remembering how much your child will grow through their participation in these programs. To find out more about how our curriculum can help serve your family, contact us today.