What is best, staying home with you children or daycare?

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Jodi - posted on 07/05/2013

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Research shows that it depends on the home environment as to whether day care is a better option or not. As an educator at high school level, I can honestly say that some kids would have been better off in daycare as toddlers, then they may have received the interaction they needed in the formative, developmental years. So it depends on whether you are providing them with an enriched environment at home - there are homes that don't.

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I agree with Jodi and Michelle, it depends a lot on home environment and parenting style.

To be a successful sahm, you have to be very organized, have a lot of self discipline, and be willing to put yourself out there to make sure your child is well socialized and educated before starting school.
I don't think it is wise to have a child literally staying at home for most of the day, only going out for shopping trips and other errands with mom. They need playdates, educational activities, like story times, music hours, etc. They also need some academic instruction--just the basics, playing with color blocks, grouping toys together, reading books and talking about what happened, who the characters were, etc. I don't mean sitting at the table with flash cards or workbooks.

You also have to take care of your own desires. A lot of mothers connect their worth to their career, and when they give that up to stay at home, they start to feel worthless, disconnected to the world, and struggle to redefine themselves. It is important to find a way to get the fulfillment you felt in your career while staying home.

I do think daycare can be very beneficial for parents who are more career oriented, who cannot quite manage the sahm role happily. I flipped and flopped on whether or not to work many times--staying at home is HARD! We did choose a nanny who lived with us when I worked. I liked the one on one attention, but I was VERY adamant that she took J out to at least one social activity just for him every day, and when I decided to stay at home, I held myself to the same standard.

Both are good.

Michelle - posted on 07/05/2013

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It depends what works for your family. I have been a SAHM and am now a working Mum and my children are very well rounded and social. I make sure the time I have with them is quality time.

Tisha - posted on 07/04/2013

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I have 3 children (11yrs, 8 yrs, 1 yr.) My 11 year old never went to daycare until she turned 1, my 8 yr old started when he was 8 mos, and my 1 yr old started at 5 weeks. Now, for the most part I have always worked at their daycare but there have been a few times that I thought I wanted to change careers so they were in daycare with out me there or they went to a babysitter instead. The babysitter thing has never worked out for me. As for daycare it has it's pros and cons. I think when a child is in daycare they learn to be independent a lot quicker than if they are at home. They learn socialization skills that they just can't get at home, even if they go to play groups or have siblings its just not the same. However, not any one daycare is the same or perfect so there will probably always be at least one thing you wish you could change about it. It just depends on what your personal preferences and expectations when it comes to the care of your child. For me....I guess I would have to say that I would love to stay home with my children until they turn 2 then put them in daycare so that they learn much needed social skills before they start school. However, I don't have the luxury of being able to stay home with them, so for me, being able to work at their daycare is the next best thing. Plus, I get to bring home a paycheck with out having to pay for childcare.

Lori - posted on 07/07/2013

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Amber - being a SAHM is hard.... especially if you do it right! :)

Being overwhelmed sometimes seems to go with the territory. I'm also a SAHM and I have a 5 yr old and a 2 1/2 yr old. When my older one turned 3, I enrolled her in preschool for 2 days per week. It was kind of nice to have a time when the older one was able to go play with her friends at school and I could have one on one time with the baby. At 4, she went to preschool 4 days per week, and now that she's 5 she will be starting kindergarten in the fall. There have been plenty of days when I feel overwhelmed and wonder if I'm doing the right thing, or if I'm just losing my mind. But most days I know I wouldn't trade the time I get to spend with my children for anything in the world. The best thing I've found to do is when I'm starting to feel overwhelmed constantly - get a babysitter for a few hours. Or - leave the kids with their Daddy and go out with some friends for a few hours. If you don't get some ME time - it makes to very rough on you and on your kids. Do it for you... and do it for them too!

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Charity_knox - posted on 07/08/2013

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I have a 5 y/o and 19 month old b/g twins. My oldest only went to daycare/nanny when I was in school. My twins only for a few hours here and there and I work weekend nights so my hubby watches the kids. Being a SAHM can be tough and so can be a working mom. Being a mom is tough! I am now feeling a bit mundane and bored. My weekdays consist of cleaning, making meals, playing with kids. I love my kids so much and am blessed that I get to spend most of my time with them but MOM needs a break sometimes and for me work can be that break. We have playdates and activities but we live in a very rural area. The zoo and parks are hours away yes, hours.3 1/2 hours to the zoo or water park. 45 minutes to a Walmart or a library. I think if it works out I may send my youngest 2 to preschool ( 45 miles away). My oldest did not go to preschool I don't think it is necessary and at the time it was not workable with my oldest. I plan to go back to school to get my BSN online and I need it. That mental stimulation and goals help me be a better mom. Find a hobby outside of being a parent. I love running and ran my first half marathon a few weeks ago and have another one coming up in August. I was in school before my oldest was born and I finished when he was three took a break after the twins were born and took a few classes last semester. Do what works for you and take care of yourself. You deserve to have fun and have me time to be a happy healthy mom.

Amber - posted on 07/05/2013

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Thank you all for your feedback! I am a SAHM of a 3 year old and a 4month old. I feel fortunate to be able to do so...I just feel overwhelmed sometimes, trying to be an "attached-parent" to my 4mth old, while maintaining that attached relationship with my 3 year old who needs constant stimulation and keeping a tidy house.

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