Breaking Up (with your daycare provider)

| October 2, 2013 | 1 Comment


 We’ve all been there.

Ending a relationship with someone who you genuinely like is a hard thing to do. Maybe it’s the super sweet guy where there’s just no spark, or the supervisor at the job that you’re ready to move on from, or – if you’re me at 5 pm on a Monday evening – your daycare provider. As if it’s not bad enough that you’re doing it in front of her child, she tears up and expresses how much she’s going to miss you and your child and what a privilege it was to have had the opportunity to care for your monster darling. Did I mention that you’re lying to her? Yep. You’re lying.

Because coming up with an excuse was easier than admitting the truth: It just wasn’t working out.

It wasn’t her, but it wasn’t us either. It was a situational thing. It was knowing that my three-year-old wasn’t totally in love with the place and knowing that I felt trapped with an impending contract and nursery school tuition as big as 6 months of car payments. Without her, there would be no nursery school and without nursery school there would be no her. I didn’t like it. I didn’t like a lot of things, like when my toddler started making biblical references all over the place and I knew damn well he hadn’t learned them from anyone in my family. Or when he brought a toy from home only for us to be told we needed something “baby friendly” to bring (he’s almost 4). But I liked her. I just couldn’t shake my dislikes. It was too much and so, I awkwardly and regrettably (and white-lie-telling) threw in the towel.

And it was hard, because she was lovely.

And her home was beautiful, and way cleaner than mine and I’m pretty confident she’s also a better cook and driver than I.

And she was educated, able, and her kids are adorable and I know she meant really well but the path to hell is paved with good intentions and sometimes we have to put our niceties away when it comes to the wellbeing and happiness of our kids. And sometimes that’s hard, because some of us are people pleasers and nothing would be more upsetting than upsetting someone else. And it was also hard because I didn’t want to lie (but it was only a white lie and it might come true so let’s cross our fingers for that now, shall we?). Sigh. I left feeling a little bad and a lot relieved.

When I told F he wouldn’t be going back to the care provider he’s spent the past week (yep, one week) with, he actually clapped his little hands. And that, combined with the weight that came off my chest after making the decision to pull the plug, told me that my mommy gut was right. And I’m not a bit sorry.

If things aren’t working out with your childcare provider, for whatever reason, it’s so important that you let go of any guilt you might be feeling. You can only ever do what’s best for your child, and as sure as you can find a new daycare or babysitter, so too can your provider or babysitter find a new child to care for. Childcare, like life and pants, is not a one-size-fits-all, cookie-cutter decision. We have different needs and wants based on our family dynamic, and that too can change unexpectedly – for better and sometimes for worse.

Some tips on childcare and how to deal with the ill-fitting bits:

  • Identify. What exactly is the issue? Can it be resolved? If yes, how? More importantly – are you willing to resolve it?
  • COMMUNICATE with your care provider. Need I say more? The entire issue can sometimes be a miscommunication or breakdown in communication.
  • Weigh things out. Has your child been in this person’s care for a long time, and is there a positive relationship?
  • Sleep on it. And then drink a lot of coffee. Just not right before you try to sleep.
  • TALK TO YOUR CHILD. If you’re happy and they’re not, you need to know that, understand why and act accordingly. No one should be unhappy every day.
  • Trust your gut. If it feels wrong, it is wrong.


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Category: Family, Kids, Moms

About the Author ()

Ashley is a single mum, blogger, Twitter addict, public relations professional and beauty-product junkie. Shoes are her best friend. Currently living in Halifax, NS, Ashley spends her days between two offices, playing trains and writing about the ins and outs of single motherhood, divorce, and being a twenty-something in this big old world. She's still deciding what she wants to be when she grows up, over many cups of coffee and the occasional (big) glass of wine.

Comments (1)

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  1. Louise says:

    I think you summed it up with the fact that daycare isn’t a one size fits all kind of thing. It’s a business relationship, sure. But they also play a huge role in helping you raise your child so it’s important that you fit/agree on some basic levels. The provider you left might be the perfect fit for someone else – just not for you and your family. That’s all.

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