trying to put swedish daycare in perspective

Coming off paternity leave, I feel like a decent parent.  Not smug, really, because I know that I got lucky to live in Sweden, where I could take leave, and not be forced to either work long hours or make a huge decision to quit and be a stay at home dad.  But, still, I think I made a decent showing of my time as a stay-at-home parent.

Now I drop off my son at daycare, and I feel like the worst parent ever.  He is fine overall, I think, but the leaving is the stuff of parent horror.

Dwelling on his sadness, I nitpick and get unhappy with the daycare – the groups are too big, the playground too muddy, why is his big sister in an annex location and not in the yard to take care of him?

I don’t know the first thing about American daycares.  I kind of assume that a decent daycare or preschool is on par with the ones in Sweden.  I mean, Swedes don’t exactly gush over their daycare system.

Then I watched this video from DadLabs, and they do gush over the Swedish preschool they visited back in 2008.  I can’t say that my kids’ facility is quite this nice – no organic food – but my children do have their own chef, “nodes” for smaller groups, kid-sized sinks and tables and the like.

Plus, his sister does play in his yard a couple times a week.   Today E said she saw them walking hand in hand as she was leaving.  So maybe I have not abandoned my boy in the worst possible way.

Just feels like it sometimes.


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