day care

You Are Allowed To Send Your Kid To Daycare If You Need A Day To Yourself

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I remember long ago when I was in high school, I was a good student. So, my mom was pretty cool with whenever I needed a “mental health day,” within reason. She would write me a very vague note to excuse my absence, and I would spend some time resting at home, or she and I would go to lunch together. She gets some major mom points for that.

In my real life today, I am a workaholic, and I treat motherhood the same way. I like to go hard and get as much done as I can so that I can rest on the weekend. But with two small children, this often shoots me in the foot. It’s hard to “go hard” when you actually get very little time to rest. My balls to the wall working philosophy usually ends up in burnout by the end of the week. Clearly, something needs to change.

I’m trying to scale back on the way that I approach life and create more time for myself, though this is very close to impossible with toddlers in the house. I’m usually able to finish all my work for the week since I work at home and relax on Fridays, though there is normally a wrench thrown in the mix—i.e. a sick kid home from daycare.

When I was reading up on daycares, I saw a few strange rules in the parenting handbooks. One daycare in particular said that if a parent did not plan to go to work, then they should not send their kid to daycare since kids benefit from spending time with parents most of all.

I get the spirit of that rule, but I thought it was definitely far-reaching. Of course, a daycare isn’t a substitute parent. But the majority of parents I know want to spend as much time with their kids as possible, especially if they work 40 hours a week. I refuse to feel even one iota of guilt when I decide to take a “mental health day” as an adult and pack my kids off to daycare so that I can lie on the couch and watch HBO Go for a five hour stretch.

Most parents aren’t abusing daycare. Most parents send their kids to daycare only because they have to, only because they are working their asses off all day long. If a tired mom or dad wants to use daycare to rest or run errands every once in a while, you have the right to.

(Image: Ilike/Shutterstock)