Q: I am a working mother and I feel both guilty and fearful to leave my two-year-old boy at a nursery. How do I cope?
A: Let’s acknowledge you’re not alone. This feeling of guilt is quite common among working mothers who enrol their toddlers at nurseries. In fact, many parents are anxious that their child might resent them for leaving them for a large part of the day, especially if the child cries at drop-off. As parents, we are deeply connected to our children’s emotions, so it’s no surprise that leaving your child in someone else’s care might result in an emotional reaction.
Rest assured that nursery education is not a wrong choice and is in fact essential to the overall development of the child. Based on my doctoral research on Early Years education, there is significant learning happening at nurseries and there is no significant difference in learning scores among children of working and non-working parents, provided that they are enrolled in a high-quality child-care setting.
Children not only crave for routine, they thrive on it. In a nursery, they get this routine which helps to develop a sense of calm because they know how to predict their day. In contrast, as adults we like a little more variation in our day, so when we’re home with our children we tend to do a lot of different activities, which don’t necessarily follow structure.
Essentially, a nursery is more than simply making sure your child’s basic needs are met. It teaches the child the much-needed social skills, how to follow directions, learning through play and to learn other skills faster because they see their peers doing it.
There is no need for you to feel guilty. Reframe your thoughts and think of it in a way where your child gets a ‘bonus-nurturer’.
In turn, try to do activities with your child at home to further strengthen your bond with him/her. And remember that you’re giving your child the best of both worlds; a structured environment where she/he is developing a sense of independence, social and physical skills, while at the same time spending a few quality hours at home.
A high-quality, certified nursery environment with CCTV access can help you gain trust and peace of mind further.
Vandana Gandhi is CEO and founder of British Orchard Nursery. Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to firstname.lastname@example.org.