Hunter has been going to daycare since he was 6 weeks old. Not by choice, but by necessity, that's the amount of maternity I had and quitting my job to stay home is just not financially possible (thank you ridiculous student loans). It's never been easy to leave him, that first day I felt like I was literally leaving my heart behind. But over time it's gotten easier. It helps that he loves daycare and his teachers love him. And I won't lie, there are days when I'm grateful for the option of taking him (like when I'm sick).
But lately it's been harder for me to be away from him during the day. I still like his daycare and it amazes me how much he's learning while he's there. Even if I had the option to stay home with him I would still want him to go there part time just for the learning/social aspect of it. But I hate being away from him ALL day. Having only about 2 hours with him in the evenings.
When he was a baby it sucked but lets be honest, he mainly just slept, ate and pooped. He has no memory of that time. But now? NOW he's turning into a little kid. A kid that talks and plays and follows directions and has a mind of his own. He's starting to form memories that he will be able to look back on and I want to be in most of those memories.
Yes he's a typical toddler that will fuss and have tantrums and can be downright exhausting at times. And yes, on the weekends I pray to the nap Gods that he will sleep for 2+ hours in order to get a little break but BUT he is also FUN. I love hanging out with my little man. I love taking him places with me and want to be able to enjoy that as long as I can before he hits the stage of being a terror in public. He loves to people watch and talk when we're out and it's nice having a little companion to run errands with. And now that it's summer I want to be able to take him to the park and the pool and the zoo and play outside, rather than be stuck inside an office for 8 hours a day.
By the time I get home from work we have about 2 hours to make, eat and cleanup dinner, play a bit, bath time and get ready for bed. There isn't time to go on fun adventures. If I'm lucky we can squeeze in a quick stroller walk or play briefly with the water table. But it all feels so rushed. We have the weekends but there are still chores that need to be done like grocery shopping and laundry and errand running which cuts into fun family time.
Hunter is at an age where we can actually do stuff with him, where he can interact and participate rather than just be carried around or sleep in a stroller. I see all the photos on Instagram and Facebook from the stay at home moms doing fun activities during the day with their kids while I sit jealousy at my desk at work. It's hard. It's harder now than it was. But it's my reality so I'm trying not to dwell on it too much and just really enjoy the time I have with my son.