Competition with My DayCare Provider

I’ve been thinking about writing this post for a while now. My fear has been that somehow my wonderful daycare provider will find out I’ve written this. But really, that’s not something I should be worried about because I adore her, she is the absolute perfect choice for us and she takes great care of our daughter.

I’ve been finding that I’m oddly competitive with her. Maybe it’s that insecurity that my daughter spends more time with her during the week than I do or maybe I’m just feeling protective but there are comments said that make me feel like she sometimes judges my parenting. For instance, my daughter is a little over 8 months old now and we are still in the puree everything mode and bring over lots of frozen cubes of food to compliment her bottle feedings. We’ve stuck to simple things like veggies and fruits and about 2 weeks ago our daycare provider asked me if we are keeping her a vegetarian. I said no, that we aren’t vegetarians and she said something to the effect of “well she’s really growing you know?” The implication was that I should start feeding her meat, or at least that’s how I took it.

As yet another example, I will admit to all of you that we buy the cheaper diapers for daycare and get somewhat higher quality diapers for us at home. We need to save money, we are basically living off of one income right now as my husband is pursuing his education and if it wasn’t for those darn diapers having different children’s characters on them, maybe she would have noticed. But just the other day I was asking her which diapers she liked better (we’ve given her Luvs which worked fine and then bought the BJ’s brand which leak a lot) because we needed to order some more for day care and she mentioned to me that we use different diapers at home than we give her (our Huggies have Mickey Mouse on them unlike the others). I didn’t know what to say. I was secretly dreading the day she would ask about this. I basically stumbled over my words and said something like “Well we usually just buy what’s on sale.”

What is my problem?! As I’m typing this out I realize even more how ridiculous I’m being. Our daycare provider is absolutely wonderful and I never worry about leaving the baby with her. In fact my transition back to work went smoothly mainly because I really trust her and I know she’s doing a great job. So why am I reading into these little comments? Why do I feel the need to defend things like the kind of diapers I bring over? I honestly don’t know. What do you think?

11 thoughts on “Competition with My DayCare Provider

  1. Baby-led weaning (where you essentially skip rice cereal, purees, etc.) is great; I got the Rapley book (it’s on my Kindle, I’ll have to pull it up when I get a chance but you can find it on Amazon) and we did our own version of it (for some foods I was more comfortable with purees, but it’s true that even without teeth the babies can handle quite a bit more than you would expect around 8 months). Mackenzie’s first solid food (around 6 months? I honestly forget now) was mashed avocado mixed with milk to thin it out. As for meats, we never did the puree meats. I’m trying to remember how we introduced meat. I think it started with bits of very soft, plain meatballs made with ground turkey or meatloaf mix? Eventually moved on to bits of chicken breast and turkey breast, then pieces of beef. It’s amazing and fun, if a little nervewracking (for me anyway), to see what food baby will try next and whether they will like it.

  2. I think it’s natural to feel defensive when someone is questioning your parenting. You are lucky to have a provider that you are so comfortable with, even if you sometimes feel competitive with her.

    As far as meats, I use to bake chicken breasts, then steam then in the Beaba with carrots, sweet potatoes and peas, and once they were pureed, you wouldn’t even be able to tell there was any meat, but the girls still got the protein. I was also VERY cautious about giving my babies actual pieces of food, if my three year would still eat pureed food, I would still be making it 🙂

  3. I feel the same way at times. I deviate from the mainstream a bit with feeding, at 14 months we don’t do cow milk, instead breast milk and water (and no juice). I feel like my son’s daycare providers judge me a bit. He also isn’t into eating a big lunch so I suggested I bring yogurt (plain Greek yogurt I mix with fruit) and they said that wouldn’t be sufficient because they have to comply with USDA food guidelines. Which it total BS. I pack all his lunch, I don’t want him eating sodium and sugar ridden school food. So, trust your instinct and do what you need to do for your family. And by the way, I didn’t do meat for a while, I never pureed it because the idea of it grossed me out. Check out baby lead weening too…we did a combo of that and purees.

  4. I think how you’re feeling is totally normal and I would chalk a lot of it up to being a first time mom. Your day care provider has been down this road before so she might have ideas that you haven’t even thought of yet. It’s kinda like having your mom or MIL suggest things. Sometimes it’s spot on and sometimes you take it with a grain of salt.

  5. For what it’s worth, I totally agree that the pureed meats look like cat food. Eww. We never used them. We just waited until 9ish months and chopped up real meat into teeny pieces at dinner with both boys (Josh just started chicken last week!).

  6. We had similar things with our daycare provider, suggesting different foods before we were ready to try them with her. I made all her food so when it was time to try meat, I just made things like chicken soup and mashed it up. We were following a lot of our doctors advice as well, but after getting closer and closer with our daycare provider and with our doctor, we realized the guidelines our docotor were giving us were just that, guidelines (our doctor even came out and told us that and how these are what the American Pediactics says, but use your best judgment). Every child is different and only the parents know them best. And since our daycare provider sees our child a lot, taking their advice wasn’t a bad idea. We started taking some of our daycare providers advice and my daughter quickly began to eat more and more food that I couldn’t imagine she would be eating yet.

  7. Michelle- i sometimes get similar comments from Jake’s daycare. Our pedi is pretty conservative, and had us start dairy (Jake had a slight milk allergy) and meat as well as other “real people foods” at 9 months. I still do not send him to school with yobaby yogurt, because we like to keep it for an after dinner treat for him (he totally knows that little container means dessert, too!), and for dinner we feed him the pureed dinners (with meat) that i prepare for him. I still think it’s important that he gets his fruits and veggies throughout the day at school, so i’ve still not brought him with the pureed dinners. I really do appreciate the input and thoughts from Jake’s daycare providers, and at times i will heed their advice, but they are fortunately not pushy at all, so a simple, “no thank you” or, “we’ll look into that” seems to work fine when i am not in line with one of their suggestions. But, at the same time, i do look to them often for their advice- they are so experienced, and i appreciate when they can be open and honest with me about questions i might have. In the end, you just have to stick with your guns, momma!!

  8. I’ve had that happen plenty of times – I usually just turn it into a learning experience. W/ the veggies – I would say “why, do you think she should start meats? When do other kids you have watched usually start meats? My doctor said we should start a xyz age, what do you think? I value your opinion”. FWIW, I never gave either of my kids pureed meats – it smelled and looked like dog food to me, gross. They started meat when they were able to handle finger foods.

    As for the diapers, ehhhh. A lot of working Mom’s I know use cheaper diapers at home because daycare providers tend to change diapers a lot more often. At the center I use now its about every hour – sometimes its dry!

    I think its totally normal to read into stuff, but since you love and trust your provider, just make sure she knows it and that you value her experience and opinion.

    1. Hi – I know how you feel, but sometimes you have to take their advice with a grain of salt. Only you know what’s best for your daughter! Mia still doesn’t eat much meat and I have to admit I didn’t offer it to her until she was over a year old! I also cringe sometimes when the first thing Mia says in the morning is, “Kara” (her nanny’s name). But, hey, at least she likes her!

  9. You are blogging about what many mothers worry about. I to do the cheaper diaper thing. Princesses really do not look the same on the store brand diapers. Do what you think is right and if she is really a good day care provider she will support your decision. I have had my share of humble pie as they suggested snacks for little growing baby. Of course my annoyance was not that I didn’t want the baby to be fed, it was that they were right and had to report to me that she might be hungry beyond her milk and baby food. I have had to learn to be open to some suggestions because they are only trying to help.

    Keep up the good work, you are doing just fine!

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