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Parental Duties: Daycare Drop Off & Pick up

Parental Duties: Daycare Drop Off & Pick up

I had an epiphany the other day. The world of working parents really needs to be separated into two categories: those who do child care drop off and those who don’t. In most two working parent families, there’s one of each. In my family, I do drop-off almost exclusively. The center is located at my work, and my husband works from home, so it only makes sense that I do both drop off and pick up. For more than five years now it’s been a standard part of my routine. Finding a parking spot, corralling the kids, the lunches, bottles, diapers, and this week’s sharing circle toy to the classroom, the cubby, the fridge. Filling out the daily sheet, giving endless hugs and kisses, wiping tears, and noses and yogurt smeared faces. Waiting for a teacher with a free hand to give a reluctant toddler the squeezes he needs, or mustering all the energy of a camp counselor to engage a baby or preschooler in an activity entrancing enough to let me leave without a meltdown. It’s not to say that every day and every drop off is bad, but even the best of them can be draining. And yet I never realized exactly how much it takes out of me until one day this week when I didn’t do it.

Last Monday I had an early conference call. We had had a long weekend with several late nights. We wanted the kids to be able to sleep in. And so my husband and I decided he would drop the kids off. I can’t remember ever having such a luxurious workday morning. I zipped into a parking spot, popped into Panera for a cup of coffee and a bagel, and had more energy that day than I can ever recall having post-kids. I was more focused at work and more productive. I was so downright chipper, that I barely got the chance to resent the fact that my husband gets this luxury every workday. I need that more often. If you’re the drop-off parent in your family, I highly recommend mixing it up every now and again – and I’m not just talking about those occasions when you’re traveling or have a 7:30 breakfast meeting downtown. I mean pick a day, maybe once a month (once a week if you’re able), just to have the opportunity to be responsible just for getting yourself to work in the morning. For me at least, it was best “me time” I could have asked for.

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3 comments

  1. Kris-Ann, Progressive Mom

    Kris-Ann, Progressive Mom August 14, 2012 at 12:16 am

    What did your husband have to say about drop off? Mine does drop off every day, and I love it. I get to send them on their way, then enjoy a cup of coffee quietly at my desk. We just returned from a two week vacation and I was glad my husband would have to deal with the first day back, I don’t want to go to school tantrums. However, he said the boys don’t act like that for him..they have a simple routine then say goodbye. Even the teachers admit they give me a worse time.

  2. Media Mom

    MediaMom August 14, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    Ironically, my 18-month-old tends to have easy drop offs from an emotional perspective. They’re still time consuming because of all the logistics (filling out the daily sheet, dropping off all the sippy cups, diapers, extra clothes, etc.) but he rarely fusses with either me or my husband at drop off. My 5 1/2 year old daughter, on the other hand, gives me a WAY harder time than she gives my husband.

  3. madge August 18, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    I know *exactly* what you’re talking about! We’ve started mixing it up this summer and it’s been great…!

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