• Thu, Jan 16 - 4:30 pm ET

I’m Going To Be The Weirdo That Stares At Her Child On The Daycare Video Feed All Day

135384983The daycare I’ve chosen has a video feed. Okay – I’m making it sound like I’ve chosen a daycare that just happens to have a video feed. Maybe I sort of chose it because of the video feed. I need help.

My son is three years old and he’s never been in daycare. I work from home, my husband and I share childcare responsibilities and I have a family who helps a lot – so up until now it’s really been doable. But he needs friends, our financial situation has improved, and it’s time.

I didn’t choose the daycare only because of the video feed; they have a pre K program so he’ll be able stay in the same location if we like it. They also have a Montessori program that I am very interested in. But  I would be a liar if I didn’t admit the video feed sealed the deal.

I’m hoping that I will just default to my normal state – regular person who is not obsessive and doesn’t stare at things all day. I mean, I work Monday through Friday writing and am talking to sane women all day long who will keep me from being a total freak. Right ladies? I know I’m not the only person who has experienced extreme separation anxiety at the thought of their child leaving the house for several hours on end. I just feel like this would have been way easier for me had I been in a position to put him in daycare sooner. But that’s neither here nor there now. I’m comforted by the fact that I can occasionally check in on him, but how do I not stare at this all day? That is the question.

The only thing I can do is have faith that I will be able to navigate this parenting trial like I’ve navigated every other one. My friends with children sort of neglected to mention that parenthood can sometimes feel like a string of losses. At the risk of sounding hokey, I have to say that every day it feels like a little piece of your child is just floating away. Each milestone is at the same time celebrated and mourned. My infant is crawling. She will walk soon. I’ll never see her little military shrug again. My son is going off to daycare, which will soon be school, which will mean that this time we’ve had together – totally together – is coming to an end.

So maybe I’ll be the weirdo that stares at her son’s daycare feed too much for awhile. It will pass, right? By the time my daughter gets to daycare I bet I’ll barely look.

Yeah, right.

(photo: Getty Images)

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  • Bethany Ramos

    Will Farrell GIF, amazing. I would be way too tempted by the feed myself. Our daycare just posts intermittent videos to Facebook, but it’d still be cool to see how Lucien interacts!

  • elle

    Sometimes I wish my son’s daycare had video feed just so I can see him, especially when I’m on business trips. But mostly I’m glad it doesn’t because I would totally be that mom who just watched it all the time, like one tab video feed the other actual work.

  • Jessica

    Does he start soon? Don’t be alarmed if he freaks out at drop offs at first. In fact, I would avoid the video feed during his first hour altogether so you don’t feel the urge to run and get him, at least until the adjustment period is over. Eventually give yourself some specific times to check in- circle time, lunch? I feel for you though. When I went back to work after my second was born, I did a whole fetal position on the couch sobbing thing, and I am an ugly crier! Now I fluctuate between missing that same child while she is at kindergarten, to wishing our k program was all day instead of half! ;-) Good luck!!!

  • Kay_Sue

    I couldn’t do a video feed, I’d get nothing else done…

  • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

    When I moved back to NYC after a year away when my oldest was 8 months old, I went back to work as a waitress in Manhattan AND I had classes part time in Long Island (not a short commute). Even though my daughter was with my (now) ex the whole time, it was a sad and occasionally nerve wracking time. I would legit keep a photo of her in my back pocket and look at it lovingly every once in a while. My co-workers thought it was hilarious. I would definitely choose a daycare with a video feed if it had everything else I wanted, in a heartbeat.

  • AP

    I think the fact that the daycare has a video feed should comfort you for the times you’re not checking it. After all, they expect their staff to treat the kids as if their parents are watching 24/7…because they probably are.

  • The Kez

    I’m in two minds about the video stream. I’d love to see what my kids are doing all day but I don’t think my inner control freak would cope. My daycare centre is fantastic, but realistically at times it is a little Lord of the Flies in there. I would hate spending my work time watching and thinking “why aren’t you asleep/did that kid just hit you/are you eating something off the floor/don’t stick the paintbrush up your nose etc etc etc

    On the separation anxiety bit I can tell you that it is absolutely horrendous in the beginning and each day it gets a tiny bit easier until you’re perfectly happy (and so is he) to be skipping off to daycare.

  • EX

    This made me sad – the part about the milestones. And my second child hasn’t even been born yet! My daughter started day care at 4 months old and I am sooo glad there was no video feed. It was hard enough to give up control and let others care for her without being able to critique every second of their interactions with her. I agree with what others have said – set limits for yourself. Avoid the video feed during the first week or so. Having watched other kids start day care at a later age I can tell you that the first week can be rough. But they do adjust! After that, pick specific times to check on him. If I could watch my now 2.5 year old daughter I would want to see circle time and art time (which her teachers tell me she loves). Good luck! And stop making me sad about our kids growing up!

  • TwentiSomething Mom

    I have an uncle in the Orlando area that would watch his autistic daughter from work. Its totally normal, whether your child has special needs or not because you want to make sure everything is OK.

    I get if your child seems unhappy when you leave him and when you return to pick him up or if his behavior changes you would want to watch as often as possible. I’m sure if he’s well adjusted and seems happy you wouldn’t spend too much time watching.

  • Fuzzy Dolphin

    Why don’t strip clubs have this feature?

  • SusannahJoy

    “I’m not a witch, I’m your wife!” I have no actual comment on the article, but I love that scene. When I’m old I want to run around yelling “Liar!” at people with my hair being all crazy. It will be good times.