Sunday, November 16, 2014

McDonalds dilemma

For a long time, I was not willing to take any time for myself. When I had a day off, I would keep the kids home and spend the day watching them, dragging them along with me to errands and doctors appointment, and not taking any time to relax.

Recently, due to my high stress level, I've decided to compromise. When I have a day off, I keep my youngest home in the morning, then bring her to daycare for the afternoon, when she would be napping anyway. (My older daughter is in school)

Initially, this didn't work very well. She would scream and cry during the drive to daycare and be inconsolable when I left.  To the point where I would practically be crying when I left.

The daycare wasn't crazy about this arrangement either. They said it was very disruptive to have her come in and be so upset.

Finally, I had what I thought was brilliant idea. There's a McDonald's on the way to daycare, so I would stop by the McDonald's and get her a happy meal to take with her. I did remove the toy for later, but she got to have the rest of it.

And you know what? It really worked. She was so excited to bring her little happy meal to school with her, and after a couple of trials of this, she was no longer upset about my leaving.

Of course, it's never that simple.

Apparently, there are a couple of kids in the class who cry inconsolably when my daughter is eating her McDonald's happy meal because they are so jealous. The teachers have tried to arrange things so that my daughter won't share a table with them, but it makes me feel bad every time I hear about it.

It's sort of silly because it's not any kind of amazing meal. It's a few chicken nuggets, apple slices, milk, and a handful of french fries.  She doesn't even get a dessert, which many other kids have.  I mean, I have literally seen kids there eating Dunkin' Donuts donuts for breakfast.

The daycare hasn't said a word to me about it or implied that I shouldn't do this anymore. But I still feel a little bit guilty. But maybe I shouldn't worry so much about other people's kids and worry more about my own.


  1. You know what - we can only control so much. I think it's great you found this middle ground that already takes the daycare's needs into account. … Also, this is one of the many lessons kids learn at daycare. Sometimes we can't have what somebody else has. It sucks. It sucks when you are 2 and when you are 42, but it's fine to have to face that fact. … No big deal, is my opinion. I guess I would ask you if your situation were reversed and you found out your daughter was upset because some other kid occasionally had a Happy Meal, would that make you wish the parent did something different? … If it were me, any my daughter was jealous about a Happy Meal, I wouldn't bat an eyelash at it.

    1. I certainly wouldn't complain. I didn't complain that other kids brought in Dunkin' Donuts.

  2. Well, I'm a completely neglectful mother, so I'd take her for the whole day, or take her for the morning and let her nap at home :)

    That is actually what I did when mine was little - the whole-day option. She was better off sticking to her routine and I was better off having time to myself. If the half-day option works for you, then whatever you need to do is what you need to do. If you sent her with a packed lunch and she had a cookie and the other kids were upset, would you stop sending the cookie? I'm with the first commenter. Not your problem. I'd actually be annoyed that the daycare told me about it - if they told you, they are asking you to do something different, albeit in a passive-aggressive underhanded kind of way.

    1. We have a very fun playgroup that we go to in the morning, but I agree that it does mess up your routine a little bit.

      I don't blame the daycare for telling me. They only told me to explain why my daughter had to be at a particular table, away from certain kids. I can understand they wouldn't want to deal with a bunch of tantrums.

  3. I have weekday off each week that I usually stay home with my youngest to get some quality time. But lately, I've been so stressed and behind on things that I've been taking him to daycare on those days. I still feel so guilty about it, and I don't even have McDonald's to ease those feelings.

    Just do what works for you. People are going to be upset regardless.

  4. I work 4 to 4 1/2 days each week. Due to that schedule, I bring the kids to daycare 5 days/week. When we just had one kid, I was only working 4 days/week and she was with me on my day off. That worked as she would take a nap and I could get some things done. My schedule changed when I came back from maternity leave with our second and this has just worked for us. I'm a family physician and do both hospital and clinic work, so I often end up spending part of my day doing work stuff. I actually feel a little guilty that I don't feel guilty about bringing them to daycare if I have the full day off, but I would never get anything done. It's hard enough to stay on top of the things I need to do. Do what works for you and your family and if your daycare is fine with it, don't worry about it!


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