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To my fellow daycare parents, thank you for not judging me

I am so grateful that you’re the parents who daycare alongside me.

To my fellow daycare parents, thank you for not judging me

I understand that all mothers have different realities in different seasons of their lives. For me, right now, I am a full-time working mom with a full-time working husband and two little boys. We bring our children to daycare. This situation is what works best for us right now.


Four years ago, when I found out that I was pregnant with my first son, Henry, I had no idea that you had to put your unborn child on a waiting list so they can actually be accepted into a daycare by the time your maternity leave is over.

I started putting him on lists when I was six months pregnant—which I thought was totally reasonable—but found out the hard way that I was too late.

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I called my older sister to talk about how crazy it was that I might not get my baby into daycare on time. I jokingly said that I should probably go ahead and put him on a list for preschool, too. She was not joking when she said it might not be a bad idea.

I ended up finding out that my son was accepted by his current babysitter the week before I went back to work from my eight-week maternity leave. I was so happy to get that phone call. I knew I was going to go back to work, and I knew I needed a daycare provider—but I didn’t know what I was going to do if he didn’t get accepted into any. So, needless to say, I was 1000% relieved when I got that phone call.

Fellow daycare parents—the finding the perfect fit, and making sure your kiddo gets in struggle is real—am I right?

But we did it. And I am so grateful that you’re the parents who daycare alongside me. So thank you.

Thank you for not judging me. Thank you for getting it. Thank you for understanding. And thank you for being right there with me.

Thank you for not judging me when my 3-year-old shows up in his pajamas because I didn't have the time or will power to argue with him over getting dressed.

Thank you for not judging me when I sent that same 3-year-old to daycare with pink eye because I thought his eyes were just swollen from allergies.

Thank you for not saying anything when I’m picking my kids up with swollen eyes because I had a horrible day at work and cried all the way to pick up.

Thank you for being friendly and polite at drop off but never trying to have a full conversation because we are probably both about to be late to a meeting.

Thank you for telling me that I had my sweater on inside out before leaving to go to said meeting.

Thank you for sharing your snacks with my kids because I was in a hurry and forgot to put the Cheerios in the diaper bag.

Thank you for not judging me when one of my kids has to be peeled off my body because they don’t want me to leave them. But I have to leave.

My fellow daycare parents know how hard it is to be a full-time working parent.

They know that having young children and managing work and life in general can be more than just hard, it can seem impossible at times.

They know that we all try really, really hard to be the best parents we can be, but we feel like we fall short sometimes. Probably more often than we would like to admit.

They know that I honestly believed my 3-year-old did not have pink eye and that I would never have sent him to daycare if I had known.

They know that I had no clue that my sweater was on inside out.

They know that it was a really bad morning if my kid shows up with his footed pajamas on.

They know that switching from work-mode to mom-mode in 15 minutes on the drive to pick the kids up might be the only time I have all day to cry over my bad day without anyone else around.

They know that I like them and they are great people, but I don’t always have the time to chit-chat. Lord knows I would love to, but I run on a tight schedule.

They know that I never purposely forget snacks and that I have and always will share my kids’ snacks with them when they forget, too.

But most of all, they know that I don't judge them either. Because they also have bad days.

So thank you, fellow daycare parent. Thank you for not judging. Thank you for sharing. And thank you for understanding how hard this life can really be.

These are the best bath time products you can get for under $20

These budget-friendly products really make a splash.

With babies and toddlers, bath time is about so much more than washing off: It's an opportunity for fun, sensory play and sweet bonding moments—with the added benefit of a cuddly, clean baby afterward.

Because bathing your baby is part business, part playtime, you're going to want products that can help with both of those activities. After countless bath times, here are the products that our editors think really make a splash. (Better yet, each item is less than $20!)

Comforts Bath Wash & Shampoo

Comforts Baby Wash & Shampoo

Made with oat extract, this bath wash and shampoo combo is designed to leave delicate skin cleansed and nourished. You and your baby will both appreciate the tear-free formula—so you can really focus on the bath time fun.

Munckin Soft Spot Bath Mat

Munchkin slip mat

When your little one is splish-splashing in the bath, help keep them from also sliding around with a soft, anti-slip bath mat. With strong suction cups to keep it in place and extra cushion to make bath time even more comfortable for your little one, this is an essential in our books.

Comforts Baby Lotion

Comforts baby lotion

For most of us, the bath time ritual continues when your baby is out of the tub when you want to moisturize their freshly cleaned skin. We look for lotions that are hypoallergenic, nourishing and designed to protect their skin.

The First Years Stack Up Cups

First year stack cups

When it comes to bath toys, nothing beats the classic set of stackable cups: Sort them by size, practice pouring water, pile them high—your little one will have fun with these every single bath time.

Comforts Baby Oil

Comforts baby oil

For dry skin that needs a little extra TLC, our team loves Comforts' fast-absorbing baby oil aloe vera and vitamin E. Pro tip: When applied right after drying off your baby, the absorption is even more effective.

KidCo Bath Toy Organizer

KidCo Bath Organizer

Between bathing supplies, wash rags, toys and more, the tub sure can get crowded in a hurry. We like that this organizer gives your little one space to play and bathe while still keeping everything you need within reach.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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Time-saving formula tips our editors swear by

Less time making bottles, more time snuggling.

As a new parent, it can feel like feeding your baby is a full-time job—with a very demanding nightshift. Add in the additional steps it takes to prepare a bottle of formula and, well… we don't blame you if you're eager to save some time when you can. After all, that means more time for snuggling your baby or practicing your own well-deserved self-care.

Here's the upside: Many, many formula-feeding mamas before you have experienced the same thing, and they've developed some excellent tricks that can help you mix up a bottle in record time. Here are the best time-saving formula tips from editors here at Motherly.

1. Use room temperature water

The top suggestion that came up time and time again was to introduce bottles with room temperature water from the beginning. That way, you can make a bottle whenever you need it without worrying about warming up water—which is a total lifesaver when you have to make a bottle on the go or in the middle of the night.

2. Buy online to save shopping time

You'll need a lot of formula throughout the first year and beyond—so finding a brand like Comforts, which offers high-quality infant formula at lower prices, will help you save a substantial amount of money. Not to mention, you can order online or find the formula on shelves during your standard shopping trip—and that'll save you so much time and effort as well.

3. Pre-measure nighttime bottles

The middle of the night is the last time you'll want to spend precious minutes mixing up a bottle. Instead, our editors suggest measuring out the correct amount of powder formula into a bottle and putting the necessary portion of water on your bedside table. That way, all you have to do is roll over and combine the water and formula in the bottle before feeding your baby. Sounds so much better than hiking all the way to the kitchen and back at 3 am, right?

4. Divide serving sizes for outings

Before leaving the house with your baby, divvy up any portions of formula and water that you may need during your outing. Then, when your baby is hungry, just combine the pre-measured water and powder serving in the bottle. Our editors confirm this is much easier than trying to portion out the right amount of water or formula while riding in the car.

5. Memorize the mental math

Soon enough, you'll be able to prepare a bottle in your sleep. But, especially in the beginning or when increasing your baby's serving, the mental math can take a bit of time. If #mombrain makes it tough to commit the measurements to memory, write up a cheat sheet for yourself or anyone else who will prepare your baby's bottle.

6. Warm up chilled formula with water

If you're the savvy kind of mom who prepares and refrigerates bottles for the day in advance, you'll probably want to bring it up to room temperature before serving. Rather than purchase a bottle warmer, our editors say the old-fashioned method works incredibly well: Just plunge the sealed bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and—voila!—it's ready to serve.



Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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