a letter to my child’s daycare…

From that first day, and every day I am dropping off the most important thing in my life, my child. That is my heart walking through that door and sitting down to breakfast or to play with his friends. That is my whole world and I leave him with you.

Some days it takes all I have not to hold back tears as I leave him in your care. Some days I worry that maybe he is not happy there and should be home with me, that I’ve got this whole parenting thing all wrong. Some days I skip away because finally getting some time to myself is oh so necessary after some of the mornings we have had. And sometimes it takes everything I have not to run back in and give him one more hug before I go.

Please be good to him, he is my sweetheart. Please don’t let him cry too long when he is upset, please comfort him when he is sad or not feeling well. Please teach him right when he is wrong. Please help him to grow into the sweet and caring boy I know he can become.

Please tell me all about his day. Tell me about his interactions with other children, songs, games, and stories he enjoyed. Tell me all of this because I miss every one of these moments when I am gone. The mornings, nights, and weekends go by in a blur and I worry that you know more about my child than I do. Please tell me that he is happy, laughing, and smiling. Please tell me that he is ok without me.

Everyday, I leave him with you. And everyday I question my decision to do so.  Please let me know that I am doing the right thing. Please take good care of my heart.

why i am not (and will never be) a stay at home mom...

During maternity leave I would have done ANYTHING to be a stay at home mom and raise my sweet newborn son for years if not decades.  I looked into how to pull it off financially with side jobs, etsy shops, even selling our home in our expensive neighborhood and moving to the sticks to raise our brood of children.  My hormones were on fire and I was determined to be a stay at home mom.  

Now I realize why 6 weeks, 8 weeks, or even 12 weeks is not enough maternity leave for new moms, we are hormonal, delusional, and not even in the right mindset to return to the workforce, but we do.  We may cry on the way to work, in the bathroom, and even quietly at our desks, but we return to work before we are ready.

Days turned into weeks back at work and probably a month or so before my son's first birthday, everything began to find its balance.  Bedtime for my son evened out finally to 7pm so he was no longer napping the minute he got home from daycare and mornings became an easy routine where we all managed to get out the door somewhat on time.  Then when he started on whole milk & the school food plan at one year, all that time dealing with bottles and mini containers of chopped up f00d became time gained and we all started to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Going to work started to feel like a vacation compared to staying home with my ever growing son who needed more and more stimulation as each day passed.  

Today was the end of a very long 3 day weekend and I realize more than ever that for 40 hours a week, I am meant to be at work.  I love my son...madly.  I love every moment we have together.  But taking care of a child, even if it is my own, full time, is truly not for me.  Honestly, I feel it is way harder to be a stay at home mom than a working mom.  I enjoy adult conversations. going to the bathroom by myself, and eating lunch.  All things that do not take place at home with a toddler.  Sometimes when I am on the elevator alone at work I can't help but smile, the feeling of truly being alone is not something that you come by too often as the mother of young children.

I am now a little excited for Mondays.  Yes I am jealous of the stay at home moms for brief moments when I am tired and feel like I can't keep this life together anymore, but I know that this is the right life for me.  And if you are a stay at home mom right now and happy with what you do, it is indeed the right life for you...we are so lucky that we get to choose our life.  It wasn't that long ago that staying home with the kids was the only option for a mother.

As spring break approaches, I am honestly a little intimidated by a week off with my son as I know I can't provide him the stimulation and exertion of energy that he requires and receives at school in a classroom filled with 15 kids connected to a playground.  But I plan to spend every waking minute with him and take in every second because I am a working mom whose time is limited with my son, but at the same time is just enough.

I had no idea...

I had no idea how full my heart would feel the moment you were born, the first time you smiled, the first time you really hugged me, and now the sweet times when you pat me on the back.  My entire throat closes up and I do everything I can to hold back tears.  It such a big crazy world and you make it easy to feel so lucky.

Mason at 8 months old...

Mason at 8 months old...

I had no idea how much you would sleep those first few weeks and then when the sleeping ended how much I would wish the days of sleeping all the time would return.

I had no idea that breastfeeding would be so hard but so rewarding at the same time.  I had no idea that switching from breastmilk to formula to whole milk would be easier on you than it was on me.

I had no idea that you could be so funny, so sweet, so full of laughter.  I had no idea that you could laugh so hard while you were crawling that your knees would buckle and you would have to lay flat on the ground doubled over in laughter for a minute before being able to get back up.  

I had no idea how cute you could be.  Every day when you get home from school I ask you "did you get cuter today?"...and I am seriously asking you that because it is seriously true.  I had no idea how cute you could be.

I had no idea how my much my heart would ache when you cried or how quickly I would run to scoop you up and hold you when you fell.   

I had no idea that later on you would learn to cry out when you needed something or to get our attention and that you would be able to turn the tears on and off so quickly.  I had no idea how funny it would be sometimes when you would get upset over absolutely nothing...seeing your entire face scrunch up made us laugh out loud so many times...I had no idea you could be so adorable even when you are upset.

I had no idea how easy it would be to find a balance between working and being with you.  I had no idea how much you would love preschool and how much I would love work...during maternity leave I would have said or done anything just to stay at home with you indefinitely but it all worked out for the best in the end and I am so glad we have found the balance.

I had no idea that you would have eyelashes I could only dream about...

I had no idea that we would have to put diapers on while you were standing because laying down is something you are way too busy to deal with.

I had no idea how much your Dad could love you.  You two are best friends and sometimes I just sit and listen to your endless fits of laughter and the loud sounds of toys crashing and banging in the other room.  We are so lucky to have him.  

I had no idea that sometimes I would just want to sit and watch you...playing, eating, crawling, sleeping...I could easily sit and watch you all day.

I had no idea how much you would need me, and in turn how much I needed you.

I had no idea that we could go into your room to wake you in the morning and you would be snoring with your face smashed into the mattress and would push us away for a few more minutes of sleep, there are times when you are so obviously my child.

I had no idea how fast you would grow from a tiny baby to an independent big boy...I had no idea time could go by this quickly.

I had no idea that switching to the one year old room at preschool meant a week of crying and not sleeping...for both of us.

I had no idea how much your grandparents could love you and want to know every little thing about you...to them you are such an amazing gift that has filled their lives with so much happiness.

I had no idea I could love anything as much as I love you.  There are days where I feel like my life was just practice up until you came along...the reason I am here on this earth, began with you...

I cried today...

I cried today because you are growing up so fast, and time is moving so quickly, and I am not sure that I had a chance to take in every little moment with you this past year.  I cried because I can't stop time, even though I want to, it is one of the many things that I just can't control.

I cried today because you cried as I was leaving you at preschool and hearing you cry for me makes every part of my body ache.  I cried because every time I leave you, even though I know you love school, I feel guilty beyond all belief that I am not the one taking care of you each day.

I cried because I actually enjoy going to work while you are at school but I can't help but think that I am missing out on being a part of the amazing world you live in every minute of the day.  I cried because our few hours together each day are so short, and it takes everything I have to not to hug you for each second I am with you...  

I cried because this world is so big and can be so mean and I can't even imagine my sweet boy being a part of such a cruel world.  I cried because I can't even fathom the thought of someone picking on you or letting you down, and I know I can't stop either from happening, no matter how hard I try.

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all good things come to an end...back to work after maternity leave...

Going back to work is bittersweet.  A part of me always knew I was not cut out to stay home all day with a baby (it is really hard work - and seems to only get harder...)  The other part is screaming you have to be home with your baby and I know in my heart there is nowhere else I would rather be then at home snuggling with Mason.  

To think that I won’t see every smile, every milestone, every word, every everything from Mason breaks my heart.  My sweet little boy will be in another woman's arms for 40 hours a week.  Of course I thought of leaving my job all together and staying home – I am sure every Mother has.  But I vowed to give it a few months and try – I just can’t even imagine finding the balance and not feeling the guilt that comes with being a working mom.  It is hard not to believe that the best place for babies are with their moms.  But then again millions of moms are working and making it work – justified by the long waiting lists to get into daycare.  I can’t help but think that I won’t be able to do both well – be a mom and have a career.  Something has to sacrifice.  Something has to get less of my attention and I have already decided it has to be my career.  I will not be the mom who works late or travels extensively – that is not the reason I had children.  I have to choose – I know I can’t have both.

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