Making the decision to stay home with her baby or return to work may be one of the hardest things that a pregnant woman will have to decide. For many Mothers, it is not an option, they must return to work. That is what happened to me with my first child. My baby’s first day at day care is one that I will not forget.
It was late July when I returned to work and my baby was 3 ½ months old. It was a hot and sunny Arizona summer morning. I awoke earlier than usual to be sure that I had everything that I needed. Today was my little boy’s first day of day care.
I took care in picking out one of his cutest little outfits to dress him in. (I would learn later that I should save my favorite outfits for weekends when I would be with him and could keep them from getting stained.) I had the diaper bag packed. I had all the things that they asked me to bring. I had an extra change of clothes, a large package of diapers and wipes, bottles, and formula. Then I had the other things that I thought that he needed. His own mobile for the crib, a special blanket from home, two of his favorite books, his pacifier, his favorite musical toy and my list that I created to help the strangers that would be watching him, know more about him.
I arrived at least 20 minutes early, telling myself that I didn’t want to just drop him off but the entire time was agony for me. It is the feeling you get when you hold in a cry. There was a tightening inside my body that started at my throat and moved into my chest. It hurt to swallow. It hurt to breathe. It was going to be hard to leave him but I promised myself that I would not cry.
I tried to smile as I saw the crib that had a little sign with his name on it. I attached the mobile to the crib and placed his blanket inside, replacing the one that was already there. I put him down by all the fun toys in the middle of the room but he was already aware that something was going on. He did not cry as I began to cross the room but his eyes did not leave me for one minute.
I spoke to the infant room employees and found all the places that my items would go.