Loving our kids too much – home vs. daycare

Can loving our kids so much be harmful to their future?

Are we doing our children a disservice by loving them so much?

I hold the belief that a parent can never love their child too much.  It is perfectly natural and normal to have your heart melt into a puddle on the floor while watching your child learn, grow and even just smile.   There is no such thing as too many hugs, kisses or encouraging words a child can receive from Mommy or Daddy.  I think the more happiness and love a child is surrounded by, the luckier that child is.

I previously worked full-time, however I quit my job after my maternity leave for my youngest son. He  has never been in daycare and has been at my side almost every day of his existence.  I am so blessed to have a relatively stress free life and I have been patient and nurturing with him almost always, so he does not really know any other behaviors.  My oldest was in the care of other people from 8 weeks on.  It’s a completely different world when you are in the comfort of your home and your mother’s arms from birth until two years verses a stranger when you are only a few weeks old.

Recently, however, I have begun wondering if being at home with my son non-stop is the best thing for him.  Will he be prepared properly to take on the big, bad world if all he knows is mommy’s loving words and embrace?  Honestly, every word that comes out of his mouth is clearly the new cutest thing I’ve ever heard.  I think that being at home might be setting him up for heartache when he realizes what the world is like outside these walls.  My son is a little tough, but he is a lover and doesn’t understand anything but love.  Recently, we were at the park and another one year old boy was marching around the playground with the looks of Popeye and the attitude of O’Doyle from the movie Billy Madison.  (O’Doyle rules!)  My son said “Hiiii” in his soft, high-pitched voice and gently waved at the boy, who proceeded to push him into the wall.  Immediately my son began crying.  He had never experienced treatment like that and he did not understand.  Could this be a look into his future?

As a child, I was at home with my mother until kindergarten.  I had the worst time ever going to school, even through high school.  I have always been extremely sensitive and I never understood why other people were not as caring.  My personality is definitely the majority of the reason I had a hard time, but I wonder if being at home and having so much comfort and love everyday set me up for a harder experience.  It’s strange to think that someone so little can be getting too much love, but the way strangers treat each other these days, it may be beneficial for little kids to be away from mommy in a daycare which provides a nurturing, caring and educational environment.  That way they are eased into the real world much less abruptly than a child who is living in the comfort of their mother’s perfect love and attention.

As parents we are always trying to do what is best for our kids to prepare them for the best future possible.  After all this thinking, all I can conclude is there is no best way.  Every situation has its ups and downs.   We all owe ourselves a pat on the back, because as long as we keep trying and taking care of ourselves and our children, we are doing the what’s right and what’s best, no matter what the individual details may be.

Can we love our kids too much to keep them at home?  Daycare has its pluses!

‘This post is a part of The Art of Homemaking Mondays, Homemade Mondays, Turn it up TuesdaysWine’d Down Wednesday and Wake Up Wednesday.

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20 thoughts on “Loving our kids too much – home vs. daycare

  1. When we had our boys my wife left her job and has stayed at home ever since. It’s something we decided and planned on after a decent amount of thought. About a year and half ago I lost my job and have been working at home as well (my wife works as well as an artist and part time). So we’ve had the very uncommon situation of “growing up” as a family together. My boys have never even had a baby sitter beyond a grandparent or other close relative.

    I’m just a parent, not an expert or even knowledgeable from a book standpoint so I’m just one voice.

    Like anything everyone’s situation is different, and every child is different. But for me I feel that given the choice: an overly loved child at home vs. a child who is perceived to be socially more well adjusted I’d lean towards the former.

    I grew up with a stay at home mom. I too hated going to school – pre-school and high school were two notable examples. By my nature I’m an introvert so I have to work to fit in socially. Is that a result of my up bringing? I don’t know. Not sure I care at this point one way or another. I have five siblings and I’m sure they run the spectrum socially and they were all raised by the same woman.

    In the end the world needs children who grow up into adults who understand love, kindness and acceptance. I know many day-cares and schools do a great job teaching these values. And I still hold that a mother’s lessons of love are the best.

    The real world is a harsh place. But parents educating their children first hand is the best method to prepare them for that world even if it involves a little fear and crying when they jump out of the nest.

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    • Chris, thank you for your beautiful and heart felt response! I agree with you. I think children will be an introvert, an extrovert, or whatever else they were designed to be regardless of how doting their mother is. I agree that the more love a child receives, the better off they will be in life. I was thinking, what if everyone was raised by a loving mother or a loving caregiver- would there be less serial killers, violent criminals or scam artists? Would it be a more Utopian society? Maybe!
      As a mother I am guilty of trying to over protect my babies. I think my musings above come from that place – the one where my mind is set trying to protect them from every discomfort. Which is ridiculous! People need discomfort to learn how to spread their wings and grow. Love will always be the thing life revolves around. There can never, ever be too much love in this world! Thank you again for your beautiful response. 🙂

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  2. I think you’re right! There are ups and downs with both scenarios. I am a working mom, so by little one had been in daycare since he was 3 months old, for up to 10 hours a day. That was the hardest thing I ever had to do, knowing someone else is spending more waking hours with my baby everyday.. But I am so fortunate that I LOVE our daycare providers. We really got lucky.. I do feel the little is learning different things about relationships, how to handle other kids etc. I know there is another little boy in class that is quite the bruiser and they say my little guy doesn’t let him bully him! They are only 1! Way to go little dude! But too, these kids will grow up together and hopefully form some great relationships. There are many days that I wish I could be at home with him, so to the stay at home mom- I say relish in the fact that you can spend all that time with your little one! You will never have that time again! Xoxo

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    • I am so happy to hear you love your daycare providers. I have had some interesting experiences in the past with daycare providers, so you really are lucky to find a great one! I remember how hard it is to be away so many hours in the day, but honestly, if you make your waking hours together REALLY count you are probably getting more quality time in than most stay-at-home moms get with their kids! I swear I spend 18 hours a day in the kitchen cooking and cleaning up. Wasted time!
      I cannot wait to meet your little one. He sounds like an awesome little dude. Maybe he can teach my little some self defense! Haha! xoxo

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  3. I think this kind of goes back to the idea of teaching our children how be loving, kind, respectful, and different from the world instead of simply teaching them that it is a cruel place. Yes, we live in a horrible society…one that devalues families, children, and life in general. Its a scary place. But I personally hope to teach my son to be called out from it. To be different. To walk with Christ. I feel like I can best teach him those things by showering him with love at home rather than sending him off each day to have someone else instill THEIR values in him.

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    • I agree Chelsea! By loving our children, we are hopefully instilling love based thinking in them. My older son is now 6.5, and I can say that children will always think for themselves, no matter how much we guide and direct them. The more love we can show them, the better. My younger son who has been at home with me is extremely loving and sweet. I hope he stays that way throughout life!
      I do know when I sent my older son to daycare in a woman’s home, she organized the day in a professional way and it was much more like school than someone else raising my son and teaching him actual values. It was good for him to learn social skills and things like potty training, but I definitely would have rather had him at home with me learning everything from me! The days go by so quickly I feel that I need every last second to do as much as I can with my kids. I am so blessed to be in a place now where I have the option to stay home. 🙂

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  4. I understand your worries here. I am certainly no expert but one thing I do is since I am a stay at home mom I have my kids involved in a plethora of extra curricular activities: story time, dance, music, gymnastics, etc. This fall as well my daughter who is turning three is going to a two day a week (half days) preschool and also joining a little soccer league. We can give them the world and more love than they can ever comprehend but still expose them to the world at the same time. Hope this helps some. Keep doing what your doing Momma–you cannot love a child too much. 🙂

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  10. I love this post! There are always so many options and so many pros/cons to each option. I think staying at home is beneficial for a young child’s security and sense of self. I think daycare is good for a young child’s interpersonal skills and independence. Give & take, good & bad, etc etc.

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  13. that even if daycare gets to see the actaul firsts (and sometimes they did, which would crush me, but they always were careful to document everything for us) that we’d still get to see the firsts on our time, and so they were still special. It helped a little.I know I wished at first that I could be a full time SAHM, permanently. But now, two years down the road, I actaully don’t wish for that. I like what my job does for me, and it’s okay that I like that. Do I miss her? Yes. Every day. But has she learned so much and developed so well because of daycare and all the socialization? In large part, yes. Neither position is easy…whether at home or working. But it doesn’t diminish the love we have for our kids, and we can only do the best that we can do.Your little man will NEVER prefer anyone over you. You are the mama. You are the one who fixes everything, the one who gives the best snuggles, and the one who loves him more than anyone ever could. The love he’s experiencing outside the home will only enrich his life, and at the center of it all will ALWAYS be mama and daddy.Hugs, mama. It’s a tough spot, and you’re doing great.

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