How day care will be the death of me

Mar 31 2010 Published by under Uncategorized

Day care is a necessary evil if you have a two income family. Unless you have relatives close by who are willing to entertain your child while the two parents are at work, chances are you have to rely on day care. It can be expensive and a huge hassle, but there are not a lot of options.

There are good things about day care, such as your child getting to play with their peers for much of the day. This can lead to learning a lot of things they would otherwise not be confronted with at home. Children at day care also have to get used to being with non-parents for much of the day, which one could argue helps them when their parents need to leave them with someone to get something done or to go out for a night. A lot of day cares also go to great lengths to take what is understood about how children learn and incorporate that into daily activities. All of these are good things.

But daycare has another effect on your life. Before we sent the Wee One to daycare she almost never got sick.


The Wee One, before day care.

We had the normal run of one or two colds a winter as a household, but nothing major. But day care changed all that. Day care is apparently where every cold and flu goes to party. It's like the runny nose equivalent of Burning Man and we have our very own vector from that source. It's like living with the monkey from "Outbreak".


The Wee One in day care. This is actually the look we get every afternoon when we arrive to take her home.

This winter the family has been a revolving door for colds. Every time one sweeps through and leaves us for dead, there is another one at the door. I'm pretty sure I have been healthy for a grand total of 8 days since November and my wife has been hit harder by each cold than I have. Day care is probably taking a year off of our lives, and we're not even getting to play with play dough! The thing I am most excited about this spring is the chance that the time between colds will lengthen as the days do.

13 responses so far

  • ScientistMother says:

    this first year of daycare was HELL for us in terms of colds, flu's etc. but its gets better after that. Its either now or when they hit kindergarten.

  • tideliar says:

    Couple of interesting papers this winter about daycare and thus kids being the #1 vector for influenza.My GF works as a Music Therapist doing early intervention with kids with ASD. I have been sick for two years since she entered the school system. Four schools/week + innumerable day centers and homes = every fucking mutant-variant of every fucking bug in town.

  • Genomic Repairman says:

    The little ones will be the first to be infected and become zombies. What's your zombie plan?

  • Arlenna says:

    Eeeek, I shudder to think of what will happen to me, especially since I touched the little crawler whose nose was oozing green stuff when I dropped my girlie off this morning.

  • balanced instability says:

    The exact same thing happened to my little one the first year in daycare. Totally sucked. But now she has a rockstar immune system and almost never gets sick. ScientistMother has it right, as far as I can tell. Of course that doesn't help you much right now. Good luck!

  • Alyssa says:

    Gah! Sorry it's been such a bad winter for you guys. I hope ScientistMother and Balanced Instability are right (and I'm sure they are!).

  • PUI prof says:

    I will back up the idea that its a temporary issue. We had a pretty sick dude for the first 8-9 months, but now we are ALL made of steel.My Mom was a nurse when I was growing up, and you can imagine the stuff she brought home. Once my brother and I grew up we were very infrequently and only mildly ill.That's anecdotal, of course. I wonder if there's literature suggesting that kids in day care end up with stronger immune systems/ less autoimmunity than home-schooled kids. Anyone?

  • Prof-like Substance says:

    I can only hope it's a one season thing. She was in day care last year, but not until late March, so she missed a lot of the cold season.

  • LabMom says:

    It does get better.As they get older the illnesses slow way down. And in Kindy all the SAHM's kids are the ones getting the sickest while the DC kids aren't phased.Just hang on a little longer!

  • Ink says:

    What the others have said: kids either are exposed in day care or in kindergarten for the first time, and they do catch what seems like everything at first. But their immune systems get stronger...and it gets better!Take care, PLS family. (Your monkey illustration, btw, was hilarious.)

  • Anonymous says:

    I don't know what you are talking about. Am home with my daughter who is sick for the 8th day this winter. It has been crazy. The worst was the puke fest that she brought home. Luckily we have 2 bathrooms in the house so my wife and I could each take one.

  • Fia says:

    I second SM, BI and everybody else up there, - it took a year or so of colds and illnesses and now they are never, ever sick. Never. Runny noses, yes, the odd tired feeling one evening, but the next morning, they are always up running! It's actually amazing. The only thing that brought us down was when we moved countries last spring, - we have a short episode (1 month) of re-occuring colds, but that went over pretty fast, too. Hang on! Will get better soon!

  • [...] It is merely September and I’m already on my first bought of anti-biotics. All the kids who were out of day care for the summer are back and the Wee One already has pneumonia. Of course, you would never know it, save for an occasional cough, but I’m wiped out. Seemed like a good idea to bust this post back out from just last spring. [...]

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