Nursery settling sessions for first-timers

The return to work is looming. I read somewhere early on, the best approach is to “not think about it”. This has been great advice, but a week to go an I have to face up to reality!!

I knew it would be hard (and in retrospect should have tried to make the full 12 months maternity leave possible!) But, I have to go back and as a result our little one has to go into childcare.

I am very lucky and am returning to work 4 days a week, my husband and MIL will each do a day, which leaves 2 days for someone else!!

My little boy is off to nursery for 7 weeks (then a lovely childminder in September).

Settling sessions are almost certainly of most benefit for you, the parent. I get the feeling that it is a lot harder for me to get my head around leaving Otis, than it will actually be for my little one.

He has so far completed 3 settling sessions for 3 or 4 hours at a time (he will be in for 9 hours when I really go back!). The routine is pretty simple:

  1. Cry the night before (sob would be more accurate)
  2. Pack an entire wardrobe into their back pack
  3. Arrive at nursery
  4. Place kid into arms of a stranger
  5. Kiss them and run away before the tears start
  6. Get into car
  7. Drive out of the car park
  8. Sob
  9. Figure out what to do with this “alone time” you would normally kill for
  10. Watch crap on TV…..or….. go on an insane cleaning binge (I mean it’s been 8 months since anything was done!)
  11. Arrive at nursery at least 15 minutes early
  12. Be told about your kid – find out they will eat/sleep without you
  13. Breathe a sigh of relief its over for the day

I can’t promise its easy, but know that they will survive and be exceptionally glad to see you at the end of the day. I guess this day will happen for many mummies, and probably more than once, but I’m gradually getting my head round the idea that motherhood will keep me perpetually looking forwards to easier times, but also┬átrying to relentlessly hold back the clock and keep my baby small forever.

Probably living in the moment is best for you and them, and just pretend that the first day of nursery is an eternity away.