Your Intuition is Almost Never Wrong

Hey Caregiver!

Listen to your intuition: A case story from my life

Recently I moved to a new town and my son started at a new daycare. We went from a large metropolitan area to a small town. The differences in the daycare we came from and the ones we looked at here were drastic. The ones here are cheaper (yay for a raise!), their facilities weren't as kid-friendly, and their curriculums not as strong. However, I figured as long as my son was happy and safe, that's all I cared about. I've never been big into the ABCs and 123s for littles. Kids learn best through play and I'm all about it!


One local daycare had been recommended, and most of the reviews were good, so we decided to enroll. I had concerns about the playground and there weren't many toys (like 3), but I told myself they were probably just cleaning them (In hindsight I should have asked.)

Fast forward three weeks and my son was hysterical the minute we turned onto the street to go to school. Context matters...at his last school he ran inside and never looked back. He also protested when he had to leave at the end of the day because he loved school so much. Totally different scenario. He was hysterical when we took him (that awful hurt/panicky cry) and cried and ran to us when we picked him up. He wasn't eating while at school and had lost weight. Every time I went to the school, the kids were just standing around or watching a tablet and kids were upset. One time I picked my son up and he was alone in the room with several other kids and he was crying. I don't believe he was being abused, but I also believe he wasn't getting the kind of care and experiences that I know are necessary for healthy development. It was not a place that made this Momma feel like her baby was happy and safe, and those are my two big values when it comes to all kids!

My mommy intuition was really heightened after the first week when he didn't seem to be settling in, and he seemed to be getting more upset each time we took him. By yesterday, I was really, really uncomfortable, (nauseous and not being safe in my imagination about what was happening). I decided to call a place I had read about in a mom group and they had an opening.

We went and toured, and I started bawling while we were touring. It was so wonderful! The children were happy and the caregivers were highly engaged with the children. They were sitting in circle time singing songs together and having so much fun. It was obvious they were used to the routine; you can't fake organized 2 year olds. There were toys on low shelves organized by type, and it was a print rich environment. It wasn't fancy, but it was developmentally appropriate and welcoming; it was bright and homey, not sterile. It was this momma/educational psychologist's dream.

The cost: It felt embarrassing and uncomfortable to say he wasn't going to come back and we're out the entire month's tuition because we pay by the month and they require a 30 day notice. But it's 100% worth it. 100%.

My intuition had been nagging me since the first week and I didn't listen to myself. I tell people all the time to listen to their intuition when it comes to their kids. Listen! Listen! Listen! And I wasn't taking my own advice. I was telling myself that my expectations were too high and that I was being overprotective. I was telling myself that it's normal for 2 year olds to be more emotional during transitions (true but not to this extent). I was telling myself that my intuition was wrong. And intuition is rarely wrong folks.

I have affirmed my intuition and we are excited to start at our new daycare on Monday! I'm giving myself grace for not listening to my intuition initially, and I'm hopeful for a more peaceful future for both my son and me.

Side note: I'm not going to disclose the name of the daycare because that's not the purpose of this blog. If you live in my area, I'd be happy to talk to you about my experience.