I was wrong. And though this is a potentially controversial topic, I think it is important for me to state I was wrong with the hope that maybe it will enlighten someone else who might have the same misunderstanding.
Yes, there are many parents out there who would much rather be with their children and raise them at home without the use of daycare, who potentially can't because they can't afford it. And yes, there are people who think that carting your kid to daycare every day is akin to having someone else raise your child.
But daycare can be so much more to your child. We send Little G to daycare because he has a more social experience there than I can provide for him at home. When we get to daycare, I help him clamber up the steps, reach to ring the bell, and then wave when he slightly turns back after the door has opened to wave goodbye to me before running to meet his friends.
Before allowing myself to appreciate the time it gave me to do what I needed to do to work from home, I used to beat myself up about not being a good enough mom to be able to keep him as entertained as daycare can. But I'm not a troupe of 5 kids, and I can't provide them at home, so if he's going to get that experience, it is going to be at daycare.
So I openly apologize to me for judging myself for needing daycare to get through my weeks. Now if only I could adopt the same attitude about Elmo.