Omari started a new school this week! I’m going to be honest, this switch gave me some anxiety as so many questions swirled in my head, “Will they understand Omari?”, “Should we wait until he’s talking more?”, “Will Omari be ok?”.
I prayed about this everyday while looking for his new school…praying for peace, wisdom and discernment about the whole situation.
Happy to say that the first three days at his new school have been amazing and Omari is adjusting very well. We did have some tears the first and second day but they didn’t last long and his new teachers even commented on how well he was adjusting.
Today, on day 3 there were no tears.
I’m so happy to know that God answers all my prayers in his perfect timing. Totally in awe of him
One of my prayers lately has been to be more intentional with my relationships, especially the one with my son.
As a working mom sometimes I feel like my obligations take away from the time I should be spending with Omari. Something I feel like “wouldn’t it just be better if I stayed at home with him and gave him all my attention?”
The more I pray on it I can see this is clearly not the answer…. I’ll always work in some capacity so how can I be more intentional in being present while spending time with Omari (and everyone else in my life…)
I’ve seen that being intentional with my relationship with God is helping in every other relationship I have. It’s honestly amazing to watch him move and answer every prayer in his time.
I encourage you all to put your relationship with your creator first and watch everything else fall into place. ❤️
Whether you are going back to work or a stay at home parent that just needs a few hours to yourself, you may find yourself looking for some sort of childcare. It has recently come to my attention that there are many that do not know what to look for when choosing childcare so here is my list of top things to look for and think about when touring potential daycares.
When choosing a daycare
How secure is the facility?
When touring potential daycares pay attention to how easily you can access the building. At Omari’s daycare the parents need a key fob to access the building and you also have to use the key fob to to go past the lobby where the classrooms are.
When you tour also pay attention to if they ask for ID. I toured a few daycares and to my surprise some did not ask for ID when we went to the classrooms. (IDK that gave me an extra sense of security LOL)
Teacher to Student Ratio
Beware of “cattle heard” daycares that just throw a bunch of kids into a room and take as many children as possible.
Beware of daycares that have children of multiple ages in the same room. You do not want your 5 month old in the same room as a 2 year old.
Look for daycares that have 1 teacher for every 4 children, if you can find less even better but that ratio is pretty good. (Ratios may vary based on the age of the child; my ratio above is for infants)
At Omari’s daycare there are currently 4 children in the class and the class maxes out at 8.
Think about what they will be doing with your child besides just “watching them”
Do they teach the children sign language? Many reputable daycares do this and start in the infant stages
At our daycare they actually give you the curriculum they are working on all month at the beginning so you will know what to expect. My son is still an infant so I do not know what the other children have but I can give examples of the infant curriculum)
They have a sign they focus on each month (ex. the signs for hungry or sleepy)
They work with the babies on sitting up, grasping, clapping, crawling, different fine motor skills, etc
They do finger painting and different art activities (yes even babies)
Each month has a theme they focus on like traveling, reading, plants, fruits, etc
For each monthly theme they focus on certain books they read, a color of the month, a shape of the month, etc.
What are their protocols on cleaning?
How often to they wash the toys and mats in the rooms
How often do they wash the sheets in the cribs? (this is for infants)
Was there a smell when you walked in?
Personally I feel like if it stinks when you walk in, its a NO Lol
In the infant room or toddler room do they require you to remove your shoes?
Oh yes, someone needs to be able to watch the people who are watching your children
Some daycares have cameras that you can access from your phone to keep an eye on your child throughout the day
Some daycares have cameras that you cannot access from your phone but stream to monitors in the lobby of the facility to be looked at by parents coming in and out and the daycare directors.
In my opinion there needs to be some type of camera somewhere so there is footage if anything go wrong.
“There’s an app for that”
Does the daycare offer any kind of way for them to communicate your child’s daily activities with you?
The app we have is called “Show and Tell”
On this app they send you pictures of your child doing activities like finger painting, tummy time, outside stroller time, and also pictures of any developmental milestones you may be missing like grasping, clapping, crawling, pulling up, etc.
They also send every feeding, how much they ate, every diaper, what was in the diaper, and every time they fall asleep and wake up
Some daycares may offer a written log at the end of the day, but I believe the app is better.
Many daycares have reviews online you can look through
I would also ask parents at the daycare you are touring if you can catch a parent that is not in a rush.
When I toured our current daycare and asked a dad what he thought while he was picking up his daughter, his enthusiasm and what he had to say about the facility and teachers really played a part in my choice to choose that daycare.
I almost forgot this one! But a recent article about a child dying under a blanket at a home daycare made me remember.
What are their rules on sleep for babies?
Babies should always be placed to sleep on their backs until they can roll over
They should not allow blankets, pillows, or toys in the cribs
When your child is able to roll over there should be some indication on their crib to let the staff know…. after this the child can be placed to sleep on their stomach.
What are their rules about food?
Do they allow food with nuts?
Do they send all food not eaten and food containers back home at the end of the day?
Do they require the food you bring to be labeled and dated?
Trust me, its a chore but you want this
Do they allow food from parents to be served to the whole class?
This is kinda a no-no when children are young unless you know all allergies of children in the class
also food served to the whole class should be store bought, nothing home made.
**It should be noted that I do not recommend a home daycare because they do not seem to be regulated like regular daycares are. Most good daycares have rules they have to follow in regards to feedings, diaper changes, etc and corporate people who drop in to make sure those rules are being followed.
Remember these are not rules to follow just some things to think about when finding a daycare and I hope it helps!
Ok so I started writing this blog weeks ago when I returned to work after 10 weeks of maternity leave. …I did not plan on it being this long between my blog entries, but I did not anticipate just how hectic my life would be as a working mom.
Here’s how my work day usually goes
The time I wake up varies depending on what time Omari wakes up (or how many times I hit snooze) but it’s usually between 5-6 am
Pump and/or feed Omari
He is usually hungry around this time so if my boobs are full and I need to pump anyway I will breast feed him (oh yea somehow I’m able to breast feed normally again with no pain… we’ll thank his chiropractor sessions for that)
If its not time for him to eat yet I’ll pump so I don’t have to do it right when I get to work
Get ready for work
Get Omari ready for daycare
Put work bag and Omari’s bag in the car (hopefully these things are already packed the night before)
Put Omari in the car
Drop Omari at daycare
Head to work
During my work day I probably pump twice, otherwise my boobs will get hard as rocks
Work day ends
If I left work at a decent hour I go home first, shower, or do some kind of house cleaning
If I leave work late I go sit in traffic for an hour or so and go straight to the daycare to pick Omari up before they close at 6:30 pm.
After I pick Omari up who knows what happens…. you know what happens? Whatever Omari wants to do lol
My biggest challenge returning to work has to be getting out the house on time. Where I used to give myself about two hours to get up and get together, now I have to give myself at least 3 hours to get Omari and I together.
Tips on getting out of the house on time:
Pack your work bag the night before
Pack your child’s daycare bag the night before
Prepare all bottles for daycare the night before
at most daycares all bottles have to be prepared and labeled with their name, whether it’s breastmilk or formula, and the date
pack your breast pump and all breast pump accessories if you are breast feeding the night before
… see a trend here? THE NIGHT BEFORE!
Lay your work clothes out the night before
pick out your child’s clothes the night before
Basically the key is to be prepared because if you try to do all of these things in the morning before work you will either have to get up at 3 am or you will be extremely late for work.
I was honestly ready to return to work after being stuck in the house for 10 weeks (you start to go a little stir crazy, at least I did). There are challenges in being a working mom because at times it can feel like working two full time jobs but I love getting up in the morning and going to go focus on my career. I always thought that I would jump at the chance at being a stay at home mom, and while I don’t think I would mind it, after actually becoming a mom I see that being a stay at home mom is an incredibly hard job and my hat goes off to those who do it. I love my son, and I miss him all day while I am gone but what can I say, I need a break from him during the day to be just me, Christina.