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May 20, 2009

Does Your Child Care Provider "Love" Your Kids?

Stroller I'm a stay-at-home mom, but my kids go to a nursery school/day care two days a week. I staggered their schedule so each kid gets some one-on-one time with me once a week, but so I also have a day to myself. Not that I ever get to do anything fun on my kid-free day, unless you think getting the oil changed and the cat vaccinated is fun. Either way, the kids seem to really enjoy their school and I enjoy being able to go grocery shopping alone occasionally. Everybody wins!

The teachers and aids at the school have been nothing but warm and pleasant. In fact, one of them even moonlights as our weekend babysitter. Besides her, though, the only people who have ever watched my kids are relatives. When my mom or my sister-in-law kisses my daughter and tells her that they love her, it's not unusual. But it is a little strange, for me at least, when the babysitter or teacher does so.

Don't get me wrong. It makes me happy to know my kids are well nurtured when they're not in my care. When a teacher comes up to me and says something like, 'I really love your son!' it doesn't bother me one bit. In fact, I consider myself lucky to have kids that inspire such proclamations! It only becomes an issue when I hear someone say 'I love you' to them. Especially in front of me. I know it's all semantics, but something about it makes me uncomfortable.

Maybe it's because I'm uncertain of the sincerity. For example, our if our teacher/babysitter friend said 'I love you' to my kids, I wouldn't be as uncomfortable as I would if a teacher that didn't know them so well said it. After all, isn't a major part of a mother's job to protect their children? My oldest is only three and change, and I doubt he understands the difference between how his parents love him and how his teachers "love" him. I would hate for him to suffer any kind of hurt over this confusion.

Maybe it's because it's the end of the year and I'm thinking that some people might be trying to butter me up for end of year gifts. How else would you explain an aid I've never met and seldom seen in my daughter's building telling her she loves her right in front of me? I don't mean to be cynical, but, well, I guess I am.

Maybe it's because sometimes I'm insecure and overprotective. Those are my kids and no one better be trying to love them more than I do!

Or maybe I should just stop over-thinking things and be glad that my kids are the ones they "love" instead of the ones the teachers secretly complain about.

This is an original Philly Moms Blog post. You can also find Amy Jo at her personal blog The Cheese Party and her review blog The Cheese Says....Mmmmm!

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