A letter to my daughter as she finishes day care

leaving day care, finishing day care, graduation, day care graduation

A letter to my daughter as she finishes day care.

To my darling daughter,

Wow, I cannot believe that you have finished day care. Forever!! It is the end of a chapter and the start of an exciting new one.

When you were a baby, leaving day care felt a lifetime away. It was something I didn’t have to think about. But now I do. We are here. Today. Now.

The end of a chapter is always a time of reflection for me. As I look back on the last three and a half years you have spent at your day care, it makes me smile.

Ready for your first day

But I still remember the first day I dropped you off. It was only for a few hours. You cried as we said goodbye, and I tried to stay brave. Then I got to my car and I sat and cried in the car park. It was very hard for both of us at first. But within a couple of weeks you had settled in quite well.

You got sick a lot when you first started, and I had started a new job at the same time. It was awful. I had to ask a friend to come to our house and watch you the first day you were sick because I felt I couldn’t take a day off work in my first week of starting a new job. I couldn’t risk losing the job; we needed the money. The whole day I felt like the worst mum ever. I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you when you needed me the most.

My attitude changed after that day. You were (and are) my number one priority. And I decided if looking after you when you were sick meant losing my job, then I was just going to have to deal with it. I took quite a few days off in those first six months. But after that your immunity improved. And I still had my job!

You have made some wonderful friends there, and I know those friendships will continue. I have made some wonderful friends in those parents too. You have had so many fun experiences and participated in activities that I am not particularly fond of (anything to do with glitter!).

The day care Christmas party 🎉 🎄😄🌈🦋

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You have also had such a great bond with your teachers. They have been absolutely incredible. It has been a relief to know how much your carers have loved you, and knowing that someone has had your back when I have been unable to brought me a lot of comfort. It made me so proud whenever I was told how great you were. And you are. You are amazing, and such a beautiful little soul.

I was terrified of going back to work when you were 17 months old. You were so attached to me. I hated that I didn’t have a choice in the matter. It was a huge transition for both of us. Our bubble of safety popped.

The last three and a half years haven’t always been easy. We had to find our feet. I had to manage the work/life balance, the logistics weren’t always smooth sailing, financially it was tough at times, emotionally and mentally it was harder. I wasn’t always able to be the mum that was at all the morning teas, but I did my best and came as often as I could. I felt guilty at some stage most days. Guilty that you couldn’t be with me every day and that you had to do long hours at day care too.

Mother’s Day afternoon tea at day care ❤️👩‍👧

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But you loved it there. You have only ever complained to me on two occasions about not wanting to go.

You grew up a lot. We found our groove. And we were still our team.

We did it.  We survived. And we came out strong and ready to tackle our next chapter.

Now you have had your last day and we are spending the next five weeks together before you start school. I can’t wait to take some time off to be with you. One of the reasons why I started working for myself was so that I could spend the time with you. The long hours and little sleep that I have had over the last 12 months have been worth it.

And then after our time together, and some time with your dad, it’s time for a new beginning.

Primary school.

Gosh, I feel so many mixed emotions about it. 

I am so excited for you. I know how excited you are (mostly about seeing your school buddy everyday) and that you are a big girl now. I am excited about the friends that you will make, and if you’re as lucky as I was, some of those friends will be your friends for life. You will share so many experiences together. You will learn, you will grow and you will learn life lessons.

But along with that comes the fear. I know that I will not be able to protect you as much anymore. Some kids can be mean. You will be in a sea of children, no one to watch you carefully. What if you can’t take your jumper off? What if you run out of water and can’t use the bubbler? What if you lose your lunch? What if you are sad and have no one to turn to? What if you walk out of the school? What if you hate it? These are the things that I worry about. At some stage it is likely you will feel hurt, you will feel betrayed, you will feel scared.

But I know you will be OK, because you are strong and resilient. You are kind and empathetic, and good at making friends. You are confident and definitely not afraid to speak up if you need help. And you are independent. And if you are sad, you always come to me and tell me. And though I won’t be at school to help you and everything will be different and new,  I will always be there to talk things through with you and to pick up the pieces.

It’s going to be an exciting new adventure.

I’m so proud of you, and the person you are. I love you always.

Love,

Mummy

 

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