What do you do about daycare? — The Bump
Blended Families

What do you do about daycare?

I have a 4 yr old son with XH.  DH and I are having a baby in 6 weeks. 

I have a slight concern as to what will happen after my maternity leave.  My son goes to daycare in our town (his dad lives 10 miles away and comes through our town to go to work so dropping/picking him up at daycare is never an issue).  When my maternity leave is over, my son and the new baby will go to daycare at the same place.

My concern is how my son will act when we pick LO up from daycare on his dad's week.  I know he is going to want to come home with us (we are both done early and pick him up by 4 whereas his dad doesn't pick him up until 5:30.  I dont want him to feel left out and like we don't want him to come home with us for that 1-1.5 hours but in reality, its up to his dad.  Sometimes my XH has no issues with us getting the 4-year-old from daycare on his weeks and othertimes he does. 

Does anyone have any advice on this?  Should I wait and see how it goes once LO and my son are in daycare together?  Should I approach the XH about this now?  Any advice would be greatly appreciated. 

Re: What do you do about daycare?

  • Why would he even need to see you at the daycare? I would just not go in his class.
    No one else will ever know the strength of my love for you. After all, you are the only one who knows what my heart sounds like from the inside.
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  • Its an in home daycare

  • Its an in home daycare
    Oh ok, I could see how that would get really tricky. I think I would bring it up now.
    No one else will ever know the strength of my love for you. After all, you are the only one who knows what my heart sounds like from the inside.
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  • It really just depends on XH mood.  Sometimes he more compliable then others.  While on maternity leave, I will be keeping the 4-year-old home two days a week from daycare to spend time with his new sibling and to help saving money.  XH agreed to this because it would save him money as well. 

    I'm not trying to take any time away from XH.  If I picked 4-year-old up from daycare at the same time I picked up the new LO, it would be daycare's time I'm taking away, not his as he can't pick 4-year-old up from daycare or our house until 5:30. 

    This all just weighs heavily on me as I never want 4-year-old to feel like we are chosing the new LO over him especially since new baby will be obviously living with us full time vs. 4-year-old who is at our house 50-60% of the time as XH needs us to watch him sometimes so he can do other things...

  • As long as your not taking time from him, I don`t see why it is an issue but that does not mean it won`t be. BM in our situation would not let us do this. I would gently bring it up now.
    No one else will ever know the strength of my love for you. After all, you are the only one who knows what my heart sounds like from the inside.
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  • I would see if XH would be ok if you pick up both kids and he picks up DS from your house at 5:30 instead.
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  • CurlyQ284 said:
    I would see if XH would be ok if you pick up both kids and he picks up DS from your house at 5:30 instead.
    If he is hesitant, you could offer to drop him off.
    No one else will ever know the strength of my love for you. After all, you are the only one who knows what my heart sounds like from the inside.
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    bibby32714
  • Yeah if he didnt like it i would take DS to some neutral location at the regular time. I wouldnt leave him there, thats sad.
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  • Does he really like going to his Dads, you could excitedly remind him "Daddy is coming just for you in a little bit!!!". Kids don't always make issues of the things we fear. Talk to your ex but maybe see how it goes the first time, he could be fine waiting for his Dad. I think if you make the effort that he's still just as important, he may simply be just fine.

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  • How does he feel about daycare?  If he is generally happy there, and is picked up by dad around the same time as other kids, he might not mind.  I agree that YOU feel guilty, but DS may be fine.

    Maybe talk to your ex, and tell him that you're going to assume that DS is ok leaving later, but if he gets sad or has a problem, you will be happy to take him home and allow ex to pick up DS from your home.  Consistency might be a key - - if it a permanent change, then maybe your ex will have less of a problem with it then if you used to pick up ds on special occasions when you had fun things planned on "his" time.

    image "Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.
  • I agree with taking him home and your ex picking up his son at your place. If he has issues with that... Tell your ex to put his big girl panties on. The child comes first and it is priority in regards to well being.
    "he offered her the world. she said she had her own" - poet Monique Duval
  • This is one of those situations where the end result is all based on how the adults react. 

    If you make this a bid deal (in a negative way), he will.  But if you make this a relatively neutral deal in a positive manner, he will too. 


    1) Explain to him that it's Daddy's day and he will get picked up by Daddy as soon as Daddy gets there.  Continually remind him that this.  My 4yo is cognitive enough (after a handful of times) to grasp that this scenario is not about ME leaving her, but about HER waiting for Daddy.  

    2) Have your DCP have your baby ready to go before you arrive (oh the joys of cell phones).  That way you can meet at the door and pick the baby up and go.  A quick I love you and hope you have fun with your Daddy tonight and then go should make the transition easy. 

    3) Find out what his favorite thing at the DCP is, and ask your sitter to hold that out for him, until you all have left.  So when you are leaving with the baby, DCP is handing your son his new favorite toy. 

    4) Give him some one-on-one time without any baby interruptions on your weeks.  Heck, if you can do it right after pick up from daycare on your days, you got it made. 


    Sure, you can ask your ex-husband for this.  And it does seem like the best solution.  But you can also start the transition into the true blended family world through a small and really inconsequential matter.  
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  • Although it's a little extra work - while you're still on leave you can always swing in to DC on days you're not intending to bring him home. Just to see him. Maybe coordinate w/ the DC provider to have an afternoon snack with him or something, and then leave him at DC for XH to pick him up later. Maybe that'll get him used to the process before LO arrives!
  • I would personally go get groceries, clean the house or whatever before getting your LO at 5:30. There's no way I would pick up one child and leave the other to be picked up an hour and a half later.
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  • I would personally go get groceries, clean the house or whatever before getting your LO at 5:30. There's no way I would pick up one child and leave the other to be picked up an hour and a half later.
    and see, this thing happens in Intact Families all of the time.  One kid gets picked up for therapy, sports or music class, etc.  It doesn't necessarily mean that the kid getting picked up is getting more overall attention or love, it just means that right now, the schedule for the whole family is a bit wonky.  

    If YOU, the adult, make it a big thing, then the kid will.  But if YOU, the adult, work it the right way, you make it a teaching moment.  
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  • nattyncbridenattyncbride
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    edited January 2014
    I like the idea of gently talking to BD first.  He might have been inconsistent in the past, but with the added factor of your new LO, he might understand a need for more consistency.

    If he still doesn't want to be locked down in allowing you to take DS home and having to pick him up there, then that's his prerogative, and I agree talking with DS and preparing him for the situation is doable with a 4 year old.  I admit, I have not dealt w/ this situation, but we have had to do things with DS that leave him longing for one or the other to be with him, but he has a decent handle on the schedule to know that certain days are Mom's or Dad's.

    I'm not saying it's not going to require a transition period for everyone to get used it, but I agree with others, everyone will get into the new rhythm in time.
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  • Would your house be closer or farther for BD to drive for pickups?  If it's closer, then I'm sure he defintely would be fine with it considering it's the same pickup time anyway.  If it's farther for him, then I would offer to maybe meet up back up at the daycare at the normal pickup time if you do end up picking both kids up at once. That way nothing really changes for him so it shouldn't be an issue.  Blended families are hard, eventually you will get to the point where LO is going off places with his Dad and will have to explain to your other child why he can't go, or why LO gets more presents during holidays than little borther since he has double the family.  It's not an easy situation that's for sure and nothing will ever be exactly fair no matter how hard you try to make it happen.  My best advice would be just to be as flexbile as possible with BD and leave the lines of communication open when things like this come up b/c you guys still have a while to go and much bigger issues to get through with LO only being 4.   Put yourself in his shoes and always make sure that you would be willing to do the same thing you're asking him to do.  If only our BM would take that advice, our lives would be so much easier.

  • Illumine daycare is different. By 4pm your kid has played all day and is ready to see mom or dad and go home it would be really cruel in my opinion for mom to pop in take one child and leave the other for another hour and a half to anxiously wait for dad. There's no kid in the world who after a long day sees mom and is ok with waving her goodbye and waiting instead of getting to go home. I envision tears and meltdowns and that's not fair to anyone especially the kid and daycare provider.

    Kids do not understand the semantics of court orders and they are egocentric therefore if they are not chosen to come it's their fault or it's because something is wrong with them.

    There are no words you could use to explain to a kid when they're tired, missed their parents all day and want to go home why you are there but can't take them with you.
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  • Ultimately the decision lies with your XH, and you have to be prepared to accept either scenario, as your XH is not "in the wrong" to say no. I would approach him now and ask him about it, and let him know that he has some time to think it over. Explain to him all the benefits to why it would be good for you to pick DS up on his days. And if XH picking up DS from your house vs. daycare adds time to his route, then I would offer something to him. I.e. if XH's route takes an additional 15 minutes that I would offer him an extra hour and 15 minutes to his week to make up for the lost time.

    If your XH says no it will be a bummer, but it is what it is. If you make a big deal about it your DS will see that and THINK it's a big deal too. Do what PPs stated; remind DS his daddy can't wait to see him and will be here soon, text the DCP when you're 10/15 minutes away and see if she can have your son ready to go at the door, spend special alone time with your DS when the baby is here, etc.
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  • WahooWahoo
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    edited January 2014

    When my kids were in daycare, with ONE exception (we took DD to a play in NYC and my parents picked up DS, who was too young), I never took one home and left the other.  I would not even consider something like that.  And it was a big day care center (different rooms = easier to hide)!  If I took home one early, I would take the other along with me to the....doctor's appt, dance lesson, etc. 

    My parents may have taken the oldest once or twice over 2 years we had two in daycare (to an event not appropriate for a baby), but I would not consider that normal in an intact family.

    image "Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.
  • Thanks everyone for the advice!  I have three months off for maternity leave and will have our 4-year old two days a week (on XH's week and mine) along with the baby full time at home.  I am hoping to let XH see during the first month that its not a competition and shortly after that, I will ask about picking 4-year old up when we pick up our new LO.  That gives him about two months to make a decision if he so choses for it to take that long and two months for us to discuss if need me.  I just need to catch him on a good day :)
  • Illumine daycare is different. By 4pm your kid has played all day and is ready to see mom or dad and go home it would be really cruel in my opinion for mom to pop in take one child and leave the other for another hour and a half to anxiously wait for dad. There's no kid in the world who after a long day sees mom and is ok with waving her goodbye and waiting instead of getting to go home. I envision tears and meltdowns and that's not fair to anyone especially the kid and daycare provider. Kids do not understand the semantics of court orders and they are egocentric therefore if they are not chosen to come it's their fault or it's because something is wrong with them. There are no words you could use to explain to a kid when they're tired, missed their parents all day and want to go home why you are there but can't take them with you.
    I get that kids are different and all that.  But my sister and brother didn't blink an eye when I was picked up from our DCP to go to swim class.  Nor I when sis went off soccer.  

    Again, how you address it with the children before during and after make the bigger difference in the world.  

    And seriously, its not like the child is being left at the Daycare to wait out some stranger, the child is waiting for his father.  By 4, the child should be mature enough to grasp that daddy is coming, here is a cool toy - that you only get when you are waiting for daddy - to play with and I will see you later should work.  

    Heck, I just did a MOPS day and we have 2 yos who can allow Mommy to come into the room, change their diapers and leave without batting an eyelash.  

    The only difference here, is that he is leaving Mommy to go to Daddy's, while new baby gets to stay with Mommy right?  So what other than having that transition at home, what is the difference?  Baby still gets to stay with Mommy and he doesn't.  


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  • I think that would be really sad if your ex will not let you pick up your son and then he can pick him up at your house.  I see no reason why your son should spend that 1.5 hours at daycare when he could spend it with you.  Have you asked BD?
  • Maybe I am looking at things differently, but is your DS not considered in your custody until his BD picks him up? So if the BD does not pick him up until 5:30pm, then technically he is in your custody until such time. You can do what you want unless your CO says otherwise, and I would not try to force him to change pick up times/locations. If picking up at the center is what he would prefer, then you make sure you are there to meet him with DS at such appropriate time.

    But unless your CO says custody changes at 3pm, for example, I would do what you want as long as it does not put out his BD.
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