Friday, January 18, 2013

on sending my one-year-old to preschool

On the day I wrote this post, I decided that I'd be enrolling Jack in a preschool program one day a week.

That feels like such a big decision, mainly because I battled a mega ton of guilt before finally reaching that conclusion. How could I possibly need a break? I have one kid and no other responsibilities except keeping him alive and maybe doing some laundry and dishes along the way. I know people who have way more children than that and they're all homeschooled and there are casseroles in their freezer! What is my deal?

Sometimes I daydream about what it was like to work in an office. I miss catching up with coworkers over coffee and wearing cute shoes and going to fancy dinners with clients. I miss feeling a sense of accomplishment, like I was doing a good job and that I was respected for it.

I know what you're going to say: You have the most important job in the world! You ARE good at something! You ARE respected for it!

I KNOW. But it's hard not to feel like my entire existence is defined by the wants and needs of a 15-month old. I don't question that the work I'm doing is good, because it is so good, but it is still extra, super hard.

Maybe if Andrew could come home at 5:30pm every day and be around on the weekends, it would be different. Maybe if he was around to rescue me at the end of the more difficult days. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

But maybe not, you know? Maybe one day Andrew will come home every day at 4pm and maybe I'll still need to send my kids away one day a week. But I think that mamas need to be okay with saying that this junk is hard and we need a break sometimes. We'll be so much better for it.

When I posted on Facebook about Jack's first day at preschool, a friend commented, "Good for you for recognizing you need regular breaks and giving yourself one!" I wanted to cry. YES! Good for me! For a mom to take a step to better herself and her sanity is nothing but healthy, in my opinion.

We should encourage ourselves to do that more often and it should be okay. That's all I'm saying.

And for the record, the day went wonderfully. He cried for about 10 seconds and then had the time of his life. According to his "report card" he especially loved coloring, circle time and lunch. When I peeked in the window before picking him up, he was dancing and sleepily rubbing his eyes. He had a blast.

And what did I do with six hours to myself? I ran some errands and went shopping with a friend. Then I ate a sandwich in the parking lot of Panera all by myself, just because I could. And it was fabulous.

7 friends said...:

  1. Way to go, Mom! Parenting is the absolute hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I am more than happy about being a working mother. My office is my quiet place. It is the place where I feel important and people listen when I talk! Enjoy your time off. You've earned it!

    1. You're always such a sweet encourager, Elizabeth. Thank you for that :)

  2. Here from a link on Elizabeth's blog. :) I haven't sent my son to day care yet but I think it is a great thing to give yourself a break and wish we had the extra money to be able to do it. I also think that it is really good for the kiddo too! I almost want it more for him than me ya know? All those kids and new things to discover? Anyway, all that to say, I hope that you feel proud of yourself and enjoy those days he is in childcare and not one bit of guilt. You are doing a good thing for you both!

    1. You're absolutely right - this will be so good for him. The only kids he's around right now are at least a year older than him and that's a big deal when you're this little. I'm excited to see what he learns from being around kids his own age.

      Thanks for the pep talk :)

  3. Page,
    You are a great mother! and make great decisions!
    Love you
    Nanny Dee

  4. My mom was a stay at home mom too but needed help because she was battling depression. She didn't start to feel better until she sent me to a daycare three times a week for about four hours each time. She now says it was the best thing she ever did. She felt like herself again and came out of the blues. She went out with friends, cleaned, grocery shopped-- it was time for herself. I highly recommend it! You're such a great mama!


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