Day care is a necessary evil if you have a two income family. Unless you have relatives close by who are willing to entertain your child while the two parents are at work, chances are you have to rely on day care. It can be expensive and a huge hassle, but there are not a lot of options.
There are good things about day care, such as your child getting to play with their peers for much of the day. This can lead to learning a lot of things they would otherwise not be confronted with at home. Children at day care also have to get used to being with non-parents for much of the day, which one could argue helps them when their parents need to leave them with someone to get something done or to go out for a night. A lot of day cares also go to great lengths to take what is understood about how children learn and incorporate that into daily activities. All of these are good things.
But daycare has another effect on your life. Before we sent the Wee One to daycare she almost never got sick.
The Wee One, before day care.
We had the normal run of one or two colds a winter as a household, but nothing major. But day care changed all that. Day care is apparently where every cold and flu goes to party. It's like the runny nose equivalent of Burning Man and we have our very own vector from that source. It's like living with the monkey from "Outbreak".
The Wee One in day care. This is actually the look we get every afternoon when we arrive to take her home.
This winter the family has been a revolving door for colds. Every time one sweeps through and leaves us for dead, there is another one at the door. I'm pretty sure I have been healthy for a grand total of 8 days since November and my wife has been hit harder by each cold than I have. Day care is probably taking a year off of our lives, and we're not even getting to play with play dough! The thing I am most excited about this spring is the chance that the time between colds will lengthen as the days do.
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