Wednesday, June 26, 2013

It's Harder Now

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.


Amanda said...

This was so refreshing for me to read. I'm expecting my first and have to go back to work because of student loans. No one seems to understand also that I WANT to work and that I am passionate about my career but also want to have a baby. I know it's going to be tough for that first drop off, but I know that by working I'm doing what is best for my family.

Thank you so much for posting this. I've been getting so many negative comments about going back to work that it's driving me batty!

Nessa said...

I couldn't have said it better myself! The worst part of it all is knowing that my daughter is only this young for a little while and I feel I'm missing so much of it. Sometimes on the weekends I'm sad when she naps 2-3 hours because that's less time that we could be together. I'm glad I had that first year home with her (because Canadian mat leave is awesome!) but I'd trade some of that in to get more time with her now. I wouldn't want to be a full-time stay at home Mom (I enjoy working a bit), but I wish I had a few more days with her. It doesn't help in my situation that she spends every other weekend at her father's so I see her even less. I hate how rushed all our time together is lately :(

Brittney said...

I hear ya'

Kristen Lawlor said...

OMG totally. I hate that the week is just consumed with routine shit that has to be done rather than fun stuff. But at the same time, making the best of the weekends is what its all about. Miss your face!

Mrs EyeCanSee said...

Totally get this. In fact I may have even written about it, many moons ago when I still blogged. LOL

Youre so right though. Sure it was hard during the newborn phase, but that was just the new mom guilt. Now that he's older and actually fun, I hate being away all the time. Especially now that he says things like "No school today mommy, don't go to work, stay home with me. Don't you want to play with me??" Ugh Way to tug at the heart strings kid!

Shannon said...

Oh Shannon - I feel this way at times too. I have good days and bad days. Bad days usually involve me crying to my husband on the phone asking him if me working is the right decision.

For me, I try to do as little as possible from the minute I get home to the minute Tay goes to sleep, even if that means I spend 45 mins to an hour doing stuff after her bed time.

I cook the night before. I don't touch laundry or chores...I basically make those two hours Taylor time.

And it's still not even enough. But I do what I can. And I always pray the next day is going to be a good day.

Stephanie said...

I sometimes wonder if I'm doing it backwards since I think I would be okay with going back to work part time when Connor is older, maybe around 2. I don't know how easy it will be. I've been with him every day, all day since he was born. I give you and other working Mom's tons of respect and credit. I couldn't imagine getting up every day, leaving home, taking C to daycare, working 40+ hours then coming home and taking care of our home and spending just a few hours in the evening with him. I hope it gets easier for you.

Kristen said...

So true!

As a teacher I feel like I do get the best of both worlds during the summer, but it makes going back in the fall so hard. There were lots of tears last fall...from both Caleb and myself. I feel like this fall will be even worse, espicially after 2 extra months of maternity leave.

I (try) to save all housework for after C is sleeping so that we can make the most of awake time...but that doesn't always work.

Enjoy your evenings and weekends, they are growing up way too fast!

Haley said...

I can definitely relate to this post. My son is two weeks older then Hunter and I feel the same way! My MIL watches him during the day but it is definitely hard knowing I HAVE to go to work while he is making memories with someone else. One day it will get easier... one day lol.

Hilary @ Peanut Butter Spoonfuls said...

I am on the other side of this guilt coin as I am lucky enough to stay at home. It wasn't exactly by choice at first and during the baby days I longed to go back to work, but that's another story. Anyways, I agree toddlers are way more fun bu there are many days now where I feel guilty that I'm not sending B to daycare. I think he would learn more and be better socialized if he wasn't at home with me all the time! Seems like we can't win. Is this what they call mommy guilt?

Anonymous said...

don't feel guilty. we all have to work, pay bills etc; it's what we just have to do. i don't feel any guilt at all because i was raised by parents who worked and i understood that in order for us to have food on the table and a roof over our heads, my parents had to work.

we also have a short amount of time with kayla when we get home from work but we make the best of it.

imo, you are teaching hunter what it means to be a responsible person and that we have to work for the things we need to do and how to provide for his family.

AV5848 said...

Totally agree with everything you say in this post. I am lucky that I have my MIL watching my son all day, but still, my time with him is limited to the 2 hours I get with him in the evenings and weekends. I constantly tell my hubby I want to quit, but we both know that's not realistic. Kinda sucks, but it is what it is :(

Heather said...

Even though I don't have kids, I know other moms in your shoes and can't believe how hard it must be, especially with a kid at Hunter's age.

princess apr said...

Even if I was a stay at home mom, I wouldn't do half of what the other moms do anyway. That said, it's tough to trust my inlaws will do everything that needs to be done. I know she doesn't follow diet guidelines (as in feeding her anything healthy), but during the school year, we control 2 meals of the day at least. We make the most of our 2 hours and I try not to be out more than once during the week or once during the weekend. Plus, even if we're apart often, she's always with family. She'll be away 2 weeks from us this summer with my family and spent two nights in the last two weeks with my inlaws. The only worry I had was that she wouldn't be as close to us, but she is. When given a choice, she always chooses to be home with us or be with us, and she listens to us as a guide more than anybody else which is surprising sometimes, but it is all I need to know.

As a sidenote, there's no way I have the patience or motivation to be a good stay at home mom, but I'd be great working part time. *g*