I take Andrew to our on post CDC (not center for disease, but child development center) once or twice a week. We've been doing this for a while now.. probably since he was 7 months old or so. It's really a great service that you can find at any post. While they do regular day care and preschool, at the same facility they also have hourly care. As long as I make a reservation for him, I can drop him off for as long as I need to. Usually it's for a 2 or 3 hour period.
While it's always upset him when I drop him off, he usually calms down fairly well. He's ALWAYS had trouble with it. He's a little shy I think, when not around me. So whenever I go to pick him up, I usually hear something along the lines of, "he did OKAYYYY, mama." Or, "he cried on and off, but he seemed to have an OKAYYY day". Which has always made me sad.
A lot of my friends use the same service, and they don't seem to have any problems. They play really well there and don't seem to mind when their parents drop them off. I know that all kids are different, and I'm already very aware that Andrew has a certain level of anxiety. (I apologize, future Andrew, I'm afraid you got some these issues from your mama)
The last two times I've dropped him off, they've had to call me because they never could get him to calm down. They call if a child has been inconsolable for an hour. And I'm glad they call. But, I don't know what's going on. I'm at a complete loss as to what to do, really.
I bring him there for multiple reasons. I guess, first of all, are selfish reasons. I'm involved in things that require me to be childless from time to time. They aren't necessary things, but things I enjoy doing. I'm a member of OCSA (our posts' officer's wives club) and we have monthly luncheons. I really enjoy going to those and don't want to give that up. This is just one example. And sometimes, you just need a few hours to yourself when you have a toddler, right? I know being burnt out sometimes comes with the territory, but I also can't count on my husband to come home at 5 every night to give me a break. So this is the only chance I get.
Also, though, he's going to have to leave the nest at some point. I don't want him to be going through this in Kindergarten! Right?!
With all of that being said, if I thought they were not treating him right or that this was absolutely the wrong thing to be doing, I would take him out in a heartbeat and give up my activities and means of sanity. But that's the problem, I don't know if I'm doing the right thing.
Do I keep at it and hopefully he'll get used to it and his anxiety will lessen? I asked his caregivers for any suggestions or advice and they said to keep bringing him in. That he needs to get used to it. But am I traumatizing him? Is this just making it worse in the long run? Maybe he's too young?
All I know is it's starting to cause me so much anxiety as well, that my stomach is turning to knots the night before. Which I'm sure he is picking up on and isn't helping him a bit.
What do you think mamas? Feel free to give me your thoughts. I need others' advice from time to time!