The paradoxes of nursery care

It’s a weird thing. My daughter was ill last week, so I wasn’t able to take her to nursery. Or anywhere else where she’d pass on germs to other children.

So I spent three days with her, pottering around the house, popping out for walks round the local area. And at times being driven insane by her growing curiosity!

Then she was OK to go back to nursery again. And I had a lot to catch up on, so I was looking forward to the time alone.

Why then did I feel sad when I watched her playing in the living room that morning, wishing I could hang out with her for the day?!

It’s a strange paradox of nursery care isn’t it. Knowing that we need that time for ourselves, and that they’ll learn and explore different things there.

But then being sad because we won’t see that cute smiling face all day!

And another weird thing. Paying for someone else to look after your child so you can go and sit in an office and work, to earn the money to pay for them being looked after….

We get time to ourselves by paying for nursery care. But we can’t just magic up the money to pay for that nursery care, and fritter away our new found “spare” time enjoying ourselves!

So we have to work to pay for it.

If we’re lucky, we earn more than the cost of the childcare – which at least makes it feel like we’ve achieved something. And if we’re very lucky that money enables us to take the odd day off when we have childcare, to have a spa day or catch up with a far away friend for lunch.

If we’re lucky, what we do is interesting and we work with nice people, either remotely or in an office. And if we’re very lucky, we love what we do and it doesn’t feel like work anyway.

I’m sensing that motherhood is full of these twists and turns, and that I’ll spot many more incongruences as time goes on……

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