I didn’t cry when I dropped my daughter off at daycare

Going back to work from the office last week was one of those life transitions where the lead-up was worse than the actual event. I dropped my daughter off at daycare the first day, and her teacher distracted her with Legos while I headed out. It was quite painless and as I drove away, I waited for the tears to fall. But they didn’t.

Photo by Brian Feulner

Photo by Brian Feulner

Instead my mind turned toward work, excited at the new opportunity and what was to come. The days after were more or less the same, and by Friday, my husband was dropping her off alone and she was running toward her new friends as soon as she got in the door. That’s not to say I didn’t miss her because I definitely did. However, I feel like I was told how I would feel (ie: how hectic, sad, difficult, etc. it would be) but come to find out, I had to come to my own conclusions.

Here are a few things that have our transition painless:

1. Organization is everything — each night I make our lunches, pack my gym bag, put coffee in the coffee pot, I set out my clothes and hers, and I prep her breakfast. It means I have time to sit with her in the morning and play with her farm animals or read books before we head out the door.

I'm a paper calendar type of person.

I’m a paper calendar type of person.

2. Sometimes 6 a.m. isn’t early enough — even though everything is prepped the night before, I found waking up early is essential. It gives me time to calmly drink my first cup of coffee and maybe even scan the newspaper. But still, I’m amazed at how quickly the time flies and how often I wish I had woken up even earlier.

3. I foresee cooking becoming our ‘jam’ — after school we head home and immediately start dinner. I pull a chair right up to the counter so she can join me and as I chop, she samples. One carrot goes in the salad, one goes in her mouth.

4. Moving my workouts to the middle of the day has not only freed up my mornings and evenings, it gives me a little burst of energy in the middle of the day. Bonus — I get to go with my husband which makes it feel like a mini (albeit sweaty) date.

5. Play dates are still important — This one is especially true at my daughter’s age since play dates are essentially for parents until age 2 or 3 anyway. I hung out with a friend Friday after work and it was a great way to decompress.





Natalie Feulner

About Natalie Feulner

Natalie Feulner is a journalist and “semi-crunchy” cloth diapering momma to a rambunctious toddler named after a county in California. She drinks too much tea and loves to climb rocks but not at the same time.