>> Thursday, July 08, 2010
My dear friend Brooke put her baby boy in daycare this week. All the Moms out there are sighing. We all remember that dreadful week. It is literally burned into our minds like an ugly scar. The doubts, the guilt, the sadness. So I thought about her a lot this week. I thought about how we dealt with it and the advice I gave her last week. Don't believe how horrible it is? Click Here
I still get it in waves. Only occasionally. Like when I have to get her to daycare I know she is a little off. Like a cold might be coming on. Tylenol or stay home? Oooo I have that work meeting I can't miss. Then when she leaves for daycare with a proper dose of Tylenol I feel so bad but I have to work.
Well I guess I don't have to technically. I would just have to give up stuff....like alot. Like Big Bertha my new car, my Disney Vacation, Diet Coke, running water. I mean who can live like that!!!! I have standards. Or I am a spoiled brat. I like nice things, what can I say. But that week before maternity leave ended it could have all flew out the window and I wouldn't have cared. Momma Bear would have worn a potato sack if it meant I could stay home.
Michael agreed. He won't admit it but he didn't want her to go either. He came from a family where his Mom stayed home with him. He hated to see me cry and cry and cry. He wanted her home with me just as much as I did. I swear I was crazy woman rocking in the living room clutching Lily like I was never going to see her again.
Michael said I could stay home. He did. We would make it work. (Just quit crying crazy lady) but after weeks of talk and internal self image issues I knew what I had to do. (i.e I am not the stay at home type! I didn't go to school for this! This is years of oppression sinking into my brain!)
So we struck a deal. I went back to work in September. I would give it to Christmas. Four months. If I didn't feel better by the end of the year, I wouldn't go back after the holidays. An endpoint to the suffering. A deadline. How much damage could she get in four months? And endpoint to those evil daycare workers that I was confident were going to hear the first words, see the first steps, steal all my kisses. I don't what it is about a light at the end of the tunnel but it works.
But you know what? It got easier. Every week. And I had the money to blow at Christmas. I had the money to buy my kick-arse camera in the fall. I had my nights full of family time and a crazy schedule that I swear every time I got a grip on Lily would change. But then she started eating dinner with us and then she started running around at night and staying up later. Wow it is all-american family and stuff now. Kinda crazy.
And those evil daycare workers? Well not all were perfect but for the most part they became my partners. We worked together to find what made me comfortable in leaving her there. They didn't mind me calling every other hour just to check up on her. And did they see some firsts? Sure I bet they did! Were they stupid enough to tell me? Nope. Did I brag the next day about how she walked right into my arms after that toy? Yep. Did they act happy and surprised? Of course. They wanted to live right? Apparently. If your daycare workers don't abide by these rules, tell them to start. If not they are just torturing us.
The best part? I am a better mother. I am better because I have this escape everyday. Would I stay home with her now? Yes I would. And I don't see it as decision I would regret now. But I know I am giving her more, and not just materially, because I am at work. Eventually, I will stay home. When the daycare payments start outweighing the paychecks. But for now I am planning that trip to Disney. Hey I figure I better take advantage of it while I can!