Mama's going back to work...

 I feel so lucky to have had two years being a full time stay at home mum (SAHM). My little boy has been my world day and night, and I his. We've enjoyed our own custom made, flexible little routine, including lots of cooking, gardening, beach runs, park plays, zoo trips, library books and toys, "play dates", mums' group, sensory activities, shopping, dancing, singing, drumming, swimming, train spotting, plane copying, animal noises, sand castles, feeding- for maybe a million hours (!), rocking and cuddling and settling...watching heavy eyelids finally lead into siesta dreamland, blowing bubbles, giggles, hugs and kisses. ... And now, mama's going back to work. Read on for more, including our little childcare transition visual timetable.

It's hard for bubs and hard for me too! We managed to line up a nice, gradual orientation to day care - and it's a marvelous centre, which he loves! It has loads of similarities to our life at home: plenty of music and getting involved in everyday life activities. I pack a picture frame for my office desk with a little collage of photos of Master B - to help me 'work faster' to get through to 'home time'. 

But... it seemed nothing was going to prepare either of us for our first (or subsequent) morning 'farewell'! I knew I had to be consistent, and not dwell on the goodbye itself - but how to cope with the desperate and devastating cries -  complete with real, enormous tears streaming down his face...!!!

All the staff tell me he settles down within a minute  (usually only a few seconds) - like a professional actor turning on the performance of his life on cue... and then just as quickly, jumping back into the happy games and laughs of toddler antics with his new little friends! It doesn't matter that he's moved on and I'm stuck with the visual image of the saddest face in the universe ALL day!!! I'm a mum now, with tough, new responsibilities, and in time, hopefully, a whole different batch of exciting adventures in this new chapter of our lives :- ) One of the wonderful opportunities which this change in our routines has already opened up is more bonding time for this little one and his daddy.

 I made this little timetable up for Master B which we chat about on the morning of kindy, (sometimes also the night before), and as I drop him off, he gets to have a sneak peak at the 'secret' hidden in the envelope - who is coming to pick him up later! It (usually) brings a smile to his face, and I hope it somehow reassures him that he is not going to be left there forever - that we will be back together again! ... and oh how gorgeous are the reunions!!!!

What have you done to ease the transition into daycare/ back to work?
Do you have any great ideas for separation anxiety? (for mums/dads as well as kids?!)
Is my kid the only 'screaming clinging koala' at drop off time?

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like to check out:
Drawing in the dirt with a toddler 
A wild jungle sensory play invitation
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'Til soon,
Happy playing,
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