Working two part time jobs
I remember the first time my oldest son went to daycare. I spent all morning crying, not knowing what to do. The house was empty and silent and I was missing my son very much. He was 22 months old and had not spent more than a couple of hours at a time away from me. I felt as if someone had ripped out my arm. And I felt really, really bad for sending my child off to a stranger while I was staying at home. Ok, I was working from home, but still, it seemed very illogical for me. I was there, I might as well take care of him.
On the second day, I did not cry and kept very busy. I got a lot of things done and I was so very happy to see my baby at the end of the day. This daycare business did not seem like such a bad idea after all. Plus, he was only going part time. So I would feel guilty only two days a week.
On the third day, I was ok with the whole idea. Kinda liked it, actually.
On the forth day, I was happy to see him leave. Hap-py.
Oh, the guilt, my friends! Not only was I at home and sending my kid to daycare, but I was enjoying it? I was looking forward to those days? What kind of mother was I?
The self-employed, working from home pregnant and tired kind. I had to send my son to daycare. I had to. If I did not, my head would have exploded. I really needed time to work peacefully. I needed time to take care of things by myself, on my own schedule, without feeling pressured by the short naps or the demanding toddler. I had to work, and I did not like working while being with my son. It had to be one or the other, not both at the same time.
Eventually, the guilt faded. I had no shame in saying that I enjoyed sending my son to daycare while I stayed home and drank lattes in my pajamas worked and did laundry. Ok I maybe drank a latte or two. But most importantly, the other days, when I was with my son, I was WITH him. I wasn't playing with blocks with one had while answering an email with the other. I was working part time and being a stay-at-home mom part time. Things worked out great.
When my second son was born, those two daycare days were my saving grace. My baby was so demanding, wanting nothing but my boobs and my arms, I was going crazy. I had to have space. I had to have time to be alone with the baby without feeling guilty for not spending as much time with my toddler as I would like to. Again with the guilt. Seems like I never get out of that one. I was a full-time stay-at-home mom once again and I felt (and still feel, from time to time) stuck.
A few months ago, my friend and I started a new business and we are busy busy little bees. My now 14 months old baby is still demanding and clingy and I find myself at the same spot I was almost two years ago. Where can I find guilt-free time? How can I take care of my kids while working from home and taking care of a growing new business? How can I be an entrepreneur AND a stay-at-home mom, because those two things are important to me? How can I still have the best of both worlds?
Yep. I'm considering sending my baby to daycare. I don't think there is another way, except maybe working at night. Which doesn't really appeal to me. Mommy needs her sleep.
I don't think I would feel as guilty as I did back then, but I know I will. It's part of my nature. When it comes to my kids, I'm sometimes so afraid to screw things up by making the wrong choice that I tend to forget that my job, ultimately, is to make sure they are healthy, happy and loved. And that will always be a full-time job.