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I keep postponing my daughter’s daycare start date due to concerns about her peanut allergy and the fear of leaving her with strangers.

I am a proud new mom to my adorable 9-month-old baby girl, and as a full-time working mom, I have the opportunity to work remotely a few days a week. My husband also works remotely, but his job is more demanding, so I take on the primary caregiver role on the days I work from home. In our living room, I have set up my office space alongside a pack-n-play, jumper, and an array of toys. Luckily, my daughter is quite good at playing independently and entertaining herself. I often play Ms. Viola’s videos for her, and she happily watches and dances while playing with her toys. The only times she’s not content is when she’s hungry, sleepy, or needs a diaper change.

When I work in the office, my mom comes over to take care of her. During those times, my mom is constantly on the floor, engaging with her, taking her for walks, and holding her during naps. Their bond is so special, and my little girl adores her grandmother.

So far, this arrangement has been working out well for us. We had found a daycare recommended by friends and had her on the waitlist to start in the early spring. However, for various reasons, I keep postponing her start date and have even contemplated delaying it until she reaches toddler or preschool age. The cost of daycare is significant for us right now, and I also have concerns about a stranger caring for her, especially considering her recently diagnosed semi-severe peanut allergy. As a result, I’m currently in the process of interviewing for a promotion that would allow me to work remotely full-time and stay home with her.

I apologize for rambling, but all of this leads me to my point. Lately, I’ve been experiencing guilt about how much she plays alone while I work during the day. Most of the time, she seems content with this arrangement, aside from occasional fussy days when I promptly attend to her needs and never leave her crying alone. However, I can’t help but question whether I’m being selfish by not sending her to daycare where she would receive more constant attention and interaction. Although I cherish the extra time I get to spend with her, this guilt weighs on me, making me feel inadequate.