Sometimes I leave Lion there and I feel great about it. I mean, I miss him while I'm at work, but I think he really digs being around the other babies and he has almost zero stranger anxiety at this point, which I'm attributing to the interaction he gets there. I think the women who work in the infant room really do love the babies, and there's one in particular whom I adore (you might remember Ms. Thelma from previous posts).
There are many days when we walk into the infant room and things are quiet, the babies seem happy, and everything is under control.
But some days I walk into the infant room and it's not quiet. Sometimes multiple babies are crying, needing various things while the outnumbered caretakers try to meet all the demands. Sometimes I decide I'll just be late for work, and I stay for a while, quietly playing with Lion in the corner of the room until it seems like the women have a handle on things. It's not that the environment is unsafe; it just breaks my heart to see babies crying in bouncers and swings, and no one is able to immediately respond.
On those days, I worry: Will this be stressful to Lion ? What if he starts crying and no one can get to him? Will he feel alone and worried? Will he think I don't care? Should I take my concerns to the director of the daycare?
And I counter my worry with these thoughts: Babies will cry sometimes, even if their needs are met. If that baby has to wait a few extra minutes for his bottle, it won't kill him. If we had multiple children at home, Lion wouldn't always have his needs met immediately there, either. And maybe you'd be more relaxed, because he wouldn't be the center of your universe. Maybe your expectations are unrealistic.
Look at me, I'm barely seven months into this motherhood gig and already buried under a mountain of guilt.
If I felt like the women didn't care, or that Lion was at risk, we'd be out of there. Immediately. They do care, but it's not like having a private nanny, you know? There are X number of babies and only X number of caretakers. It's the nature of the beast.
Perspective needed. Help.