CJ is starting daycare on Friday.
I think I'm supposed to be more apprehensive about this than I actually am. I think I'm supposed to feel horribly guilty that I have to have others - strangers! - watch my child, especially when right now, its not a necessity to do this. I think I'm supposed to sit outside the daycare for an hour and then go back and get him (btw, I'm fully aware that I might actually be compelled to do this).
I'm not going back to work yet. He is on the waiting list for a full-time spot in January, which is when I had originally anticipated going back to work (that's not looking likely right now either). When the school said they had two half-day spots open during the week, we decided to take them, figuring this will give us at least 6 weeks of transition time, for both him and me. It will likely take a few weeks to adjust, but I want him to get used to other people and other children. I want him to realize he is only King of the World at home, and I want someone else to teach him that lesson. I want him to play with other toys and have other experiences he cannot have with me at home, singing him the same songs over and over. I want him to get some new germs and build up a little immunity. I want him to give me that big smile and open up his arms because he is so happy to see me again after only 4 hours.
Here's the other thing I had to come to terms with: I want to do things while he is gone. I want to wash dishes and empty the dishwasher without being concerned about how much noise I'm making. I want to water the vegetable garden leisurely, without worrying that he may be crying in his crib. I want to do laundry and run the vacuum and mop the floors, and clean the house, and go to the grocery store and work on being Martha Stewart (without the nasty divorce and people not liking me part). I want to sit in front of my computer and have a coherent thought or two, and research and write my weekly newsletter so I'm not up until midnight on Wednesday nights. I want to be able to run 4 errands in a row, without worrying about getting him in and out of the car and whether I should try to wear him, or if he will be difficult getting back into the car seat. On occasion, I would even like to go to the gym or pilates or yoga, or maybe even take a nap. I want to have a little me time so I can be... me.
I think I'm not supposed to want this yet. I think I'm supposed to want my child to be glued to my chest for the next 5, 10, 18 years, and if I have the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom, I'm supposed to embrace that ability like a junkie on a needle. I'm not supposed to be okay with leaving my child with others, but as a friend pointed out, the full-time Mommy gig is not for everyone, and that's okay. We have been really blessed that I've been able to stay home for these first 6 months, and I love staying home with my kid. But I can't just stay home and be the 24-hour CJ Channel. That's not good for me, or for him. And we need life to be both.
So I'm not going to try to feel some guilt others may want to impose on me. I'm not going to feel bad that I'm ready for this and I think my kid is too. I'm going to embrace this transition as another big step, and realize that it is not only okay, but important that I take time for myself, for my kid, for my husband. I'm not going to feel bad if I drop him off and don't pick him up again until noon, and I'm not going to feel bad if next week I decide not to drop him off at all. In my Mommydom, sometimes each of us needs a little day care.
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