Making the decision to send your little ones to nursery can be surprisingly difficult.
‘My son Sean was nearly two years old when I first decided to send him to nursery school,’ recalls Jill Teesdale.
Neither Sean nor Jill, though, were happy with the decision, and both suffered massive separation anxiety. ‘He cried so much every single day. It wasn’t just Sean, though – I was such a mess that we finally gave it up.’
Rebecca Harris remembers fighting the same battle with her emotions. ‘Bethany was fine, but the first time I took her to nursery, I cried the whole day,’ she says.
‘I must have called the school a hundred times those first few days to make sure she was okay – she always was, but I wasn’t!’ While some mums (and dads) bawl for weeks after putting their kids in nursery, Anel Dreyer had no such reservations.
‘I never had a problem letting my kids go to nursery,’ says Anel, mother of Luke, age four, and Laura, age two.
‘It was easy for me because my children are little social butterflies.’
Necessity also has a role to play. ‘We had been sponsoring a nanny, but she left because we couldn’t find affordable housing for her and we didn’t have room for her in our own flat,’ recalls Hannah Barry, mother of Cooper and Conner, both age four.
Unable to meet their own rising housing costs on one income, the Barrys opted for nursery. ‘I’m glad that the boys have adjusted as well as they have, but it’s not like I’m lounging around all day drinking coffee – I really don’t have much of a choice.’
Whatever the reason, though, it’s a rare parent who doesn’t have mixed feelings about leaving their little ones behind.
Helen Sundberg, mother of two says: ‘With my husband travelling all the time, I desperately need some time to myself to get things done. But I still felt guilty and I missed them hugely.’