September 14, 2018

My "Oh, Shit" Moment

Earlier this week, we made the executive decision to remove our toddler from full time daycare, while I’m on maternity leave.

In simple terms, that means that I will be home, alone, with a 2 1/2 year old and an infant. All by myself, 5 days a week, 8+ hours a day, until I go back to work next August.

Just me, myself and I, and my two gals.

I have spent hours trying to justify the decision - with my husband (who was 100% on board), with my parents, with his parents and most importantly, with myself. Was it the right thing to do? 

Financially? Absolutely. Daycare isn’t cheap, especially when you’re down to one income and still have loads of other bills to pay. But what about socially? Academically? For my own sanity? Well, that is where I’m struggling…

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a wave of anxiety rush over me, followed by an “oh shit, what have I done?!” moment, as I hit send on the email to the daycare supervisor.

But, what’s done is done. No take backs now. 

Oh, shit. 

As an informal educator by career, I’ve done my fair share of writing curriculum, leading programs, running day camps and managing entire classrooms. My summers growing up were spent babysitting the neighbourhood kids. And while they by no means prepares you for motherhood, my point is, I’m used to working with little ones. 

However, those kids weren’t MY kids. It becomes a much different ball game when they’re YOUR kids. The rules change. (And you can’t give them back at the end of the day…)

Morley has fully embraced her role as a big sister since miss Berkley entered the world mid-August. In the month since little sissy’s arrival, she has become this loving, helpful and independent little girl. However, she has also started to discover the attention is no longer all on her. Some days, it’s a full on whine and cheese party in our place. The drama is real. And now, I’m tasked with keeping her occupied and stimulated all day - finding a balance between giving her the attention she needs, while taking care of both baby and, if time permits, myself. 

So yes, I’m over here panicking a little bit. 

I’m also over here feeling guilty. That goddam mom guilt. The guilt I felt when we initially sent her to daycare over a year and a half ago, is back. In full force. 

You really can’t win, can you?

While she has only been at this specific school since June, she has completely settled into her new role as the now older kid in the toddler room. I feel guilty for removing her from her friends. But, I also feel guilty from removing her from learning. She’s 2 1/2, she will get over the other kids and teachers. But, what about the learning? Will I be able to do what her teachers could do?

The answer is, no. No, I won’t. 

But, can I do it? 

The answer is, yes. Yes I can.

I know I don’t need to be super mom. I know I don’t need to have a laid out lesson plan, themed weeks, Pinterest-perfect crafts or even an organic menu. I also know that it may take me losing my patience a handful of times before we get there, and maybe even putting on an episode or two more of some god awful YouTube video or TV show. But, we will get there. 

We can do it. I can do it.

I do love a good challenge.

Mommy daycare, here we come. 

Are you a stay at home mom? How do you do it? I’d love to hear ALL of your tips and tricks!

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