The worst part of my day is watching my husband carry our son out the door in the morning to daycare. No, it’s not because he is crying. Most days he is so excited he gets to go outside that I can barely get a goodbye kiss. And there will be no tears when he gets there. We have been very blessed that our son has adjusted well and never experienced any separation anxiety. In fact if there are tears they will be mine because almost a year in it has not gotten any easier. Everyone kept telling me that I would adjust and it would become a new kind of normal but I haven’t and don’t think I ever will.
The longest part of my day is the 40 minute drive to pick up my son from daycare. Yes, it takes 40 minutes to get him. On a good day it might be only 30 minutes. On a bad day (read: any kind of precipitation is falling from the sky) it can take almost an hour. I try and call friends or family to fill the time but it isn’t a great time of day for most people so more often than not I sit in my car cursing the people in the cars around me and watching my ETA go up as the distance goes down. And when I finally arrive, he is happy to see me but there is no time to enjoy him and those moments because the mad rush to get him home, fed, bathed and in bed at a reasonable hour begins.
I hate that I have to work. I don’t hate my job. It’s fine. When there are tasks to fill 8 hours, the day can go quickly, but when there is not, it is pure torture. I sit at my desk and wonder what my son is doing. Is he reading a story? Are they playing outside? I think about all the chores I could be getting done at home that I will now have to find time to do during the limited number of hours I get to spend with my son each week because, yes, he spends more time at daycare then he does with us. When did that become a thing we have to be okay with?
I know many people enjoy what they do. They are passionate about their fields and professions. They crave the intelligent adult conversation or need the validation on a job well done that you will never get from a toddler. They want to set an example for their children. I don’t care about any of that and I don’t know why that’s not okay. Why isn’t it acceptable any more to just be someone’s mother? I’d quit my job right now if we didn’t have to think about things like money and what being out of the workforce for X (# of kids * years before they start school) number of years does to my marketability down the road. I hate that those things must weigh so heavily on our decisions about building a family. I wanted 4 kids (I am one of 4 so it’s not crazy to me) but I was willing to stop at 2 if that increased my chances of getting to stay home with them for those first years. Fewer kids means less time out of work. But now I wonder if our son will be it because I don’t think I can handle dropping another 2 month old baby off to a stranger. It just hurts too much.