Fact: Without daycare I would be a raving lunatic.
I'm just not that mom. Sometimes I wish I was; the mom that can come up with fun things to do, crafts that entertain and educate, classes that propel development, playdates with age-appropriate activities. I watch other moms, people in my family and circle of friends who excel at that. The moms that can spend every waking minute with their children, and revel in every second of it. But I just can't. I have tremendous admiration and respect for the moms that are, but I've come to accept that I'm not that person.
So, The Imp is in full time daycare. Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm.
I used to have a lot of guilt about it. I would berate myself daily, asking what kind of mother sends her kid to spend most of his waking hours with other people. (Other people who are vastly more qualified to spend time with him than I am - I don't have a degree in early childhood education, and they do, after all.) I worried about the cost, especially when launching a new business takes some time to show any income. The reason I started my own business was so that he wouldn't have to be in care, so that I could spend more time with him. So I could be that mom.
But the truth of it? It's not in me. I desperately need the me part of my day. I need that time to do grown up things, to have grown up conversations. And when I don't get that time, it is Not Good Indeed. I become impatient, frustrated, and highly irritable. I become Shouty Mom, and Shouty Wife, and I don't like myself very much.
So The Imp goes off to "school" every morning, and I run my business from home. Best of both worlds; The Imp loves daycare, adores his friends, and gets all the social stimulation, developmentally-appropriate play, crafts, and activities he craves. He's an only child - daycare has taught him him how to share, take his turn, and find his place in the world, independent of me. I'm lucky to have the freedom and flexibility in my work schedule to take him to swimming and gymnastics and pick him up early just for fun whenever I want.
So I'm not that mom. I no longer apologize for it - it's okay. Good even. Because I'm not impatient, frustrated, and irritable. Or shouty. And I'm not resenting the time I spend with him. I'm delighting in it.
And he's curious, and social, and a really, really fun kid to hang around.
|And clearly he's thriving.|
*Second best thing: HWSNBN, of course.