Somebody hug me!
I just dropped my nine-month-old baby girl, Smiley, off to daycare for the first time.
I am sitting here with the house to myself for two whole hours. No husband, no kids, just me. I cannot remember the last time I was completely alone. It’s weird.
On the way home from daycare, I made a mental list of all the things I should do in these two hours. Instead of putting my feet up to watch some telly, or read a book, treat myself to a movie, a lunch date, or anything nice for me really, I felt that I should punish myself.
Mother’s guilt has got me bad. Its hands are tightening around my throat, it is creeping up my back to my shoulders and neck, and I just feel, well, crazy. Just crazy and guilty.
Guilty that I am sending Smiley to daycare when she’s so young, guilty that we can’t afford for me to be a stay at home mum, guilty that I’m kind of looking forward to going back to work, guilty that I’m a little excited, guilty that she will be left with strangers and if she cries I won’t be there to wipe away her tears and make her giggle. Yes, your honour, I am guilty as charged.
On the trip home from daycare I decided that for my sins, I should make some homemade meals for Smiley, I would make a dent in the ironing, mop the floors, and clean the bathrooms scrubbing the tiles like Lady Macbeth.
I frustrate myself because I should be used to the idea of daycare by now and being a working mum.
Curly-locks, my almost-three-year-old, has been going to daycare since she was 10 months old. The early days were really tough with her. She cried. I cried. Even now on bad days the carers have to peel her off me. Like this morning when her so called best friend told her that they weren’t best friends anymore and she is now best friends with someone else. I felt like crying along with Curly-locks.
On the whole though, she loves it. She is challenged socially, creatively and intellectually. It is good for her and us. We couldn’t be happier with the Centre we chose and the carers.
I can’t help but struggle with sending my baby there though when she can’t walk or talk to tell people how she is feeling. I will potentially miss out on her taking her first steps and uttering her first real words.
There are just two carers looking after eight kids aswell. There is no way they can give my little darling as much attention and love as I could give her at home.
My mum was a stay at home mum and we loved having her drop us off to school, pick us up, play with us, and help us with our homework. I want the same for my children, but I am also torn. I seem to have this pull back to work. I want to get back there to challenge myself, to start climbing the corporate ladder again and … to socialise.
There is also the expectation from society that mothers should be able to do it all. These days it seems to be the norm that women juggle motherhood and career. It is overwhelming and exhausting.
In this household anyway, the decision is out of our hands as we need me to earn money.
The best thing I can do now is to find peace with the decision that Dave and I have made and what we believe is best for our family.
Well half an hour of my two hour break has passed and I am feeling slightly more normal now that I have blogged my emotions out rather than stirring them up further punishing myself with chores.
Instead of a list of punishments for myself, I am now making a list of things for me that I can do in the remainder of my two hours alone.
- Dance to music that is not Justine Clarke, The Wiggles, Yo Gabba Gabba or Strawberry Shortcake.
- Make myself a delicious lunch and eat it slowly and in peace.
- Catch up on Keeping up with the Kardashians.
- Do nothing.
Are you a stay at home mum or a working mother? Was it a tough decision for you or out of your hands?