13 Aug 2015

Why I don't feel guilty my kids go to nursery


Becky is coming to the end of her nursery days, as she’s starting school in September. I know she is soooo ready for it, but I can’t help but feel a little bit sad that this chapter has come to an end.

She was ten months old when she first started going to nursery and I returned to my full time job as magazine editor.

It’s been a brilliant (almost) four years that she has spent at nursery, and I have absolutely no regrets or guilt about that, but look back at this time with fondness and a lot of gratitude to the nursery staff who have helped look after my little girl for all this time.

They have become very close to Becky and have been important people in her life that she has grown very attached to. They were there for her at key stages and have supported her development throughout. And I, too, have become very fond of them and our morning drop-off and evening pick-up routine, our chats and catch-ups about Becky’s day etc.

But I am grateful for Becky’s time at nursery in more than one way. I believe going to nursery has been good for her, vital for her development and has helped shape her character, personality and generally progress.

She is such an open, friendly and outgoing little thing, more so than many other kids her age and within our group of friends / peers / acquaintances, and I credit nursery with a lot of that. She has been used to being with and around other kids from a young age and has had the chance to develop essential social skills and interact with peers in a positive manner, and even difficult situations, learning to cope with arguments or confrontations, that I’m sure have set her up for life. She never seems fazed by large groups of boys and girls or approaching children she doesn’t know at playgroups or playgrounds etc. and easily forms relationships.

She’s made lots of friends over the years, so many beautiful strong bonds, and it’s a pleasure to see those continue and strengthen each day. I met my best friend at kindergarten, and she is still my closest and best friend some 35+ years later, and I really hope that Becky will have the same experience.

Luckily, she will be going to school with quite a few of her friends from nursery, and again, I’m glad that she already has a strong, familiar network of peers that she will make the transition with.

Having worked full time, I’ve relied on the nursery set-up. But even if I hadn’t been in a demanding career, I still would have wanted Becky to be at nursery, as I would have never been able to give her the stimulation, variety and fun at home that she had there. I’m not overly maternal and before I had kids I had never been particularly exposed to little ones – apart from holding someone’s newborn for ten minutes – so I would have struggled to entertain her in the consistent way her bright and sharp mind has needed.

And I’m glad that Alex is now benefiting from the same nursery and the same level of great care as Becky has (though I am very pleased that our double full time childcare bill will finally be reduced come September!).

For us, nursery has been a brilliant experience with people Becky and the rest of the family love and respect, and we can only recommend it. 
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