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Biting the Daycare Bullet

DaycareBulletI’ve been a work-at-home mom since before my daughter was born. I’ve “balanced” my work with the kids and have documented some of my frustrations here. Trying to do it all, for me, meant that I was being a full-time mom during the days, writing during naps if possible, and then exhaustedly trying to work at night.

When you’re trying to do it all, unless you don’t sleep, certain things start to suffer. When you’re pulled in 50 different directions, there is only so long you can last before your arms are pulled off your body and your legs are heading in another direction. (See? My brain has also left because that was a terrible metaphor.) My husband and I spend a few fleeting moments together in the evenings when I’m not working.

I had a babysitter for awhile, which was helpful, but because I was home, it was far from uninterrupted work time. And right now, I’m working while my hubby’s watching the kids. I got pulled out of my office mid-sentence to keep an eye on my daughter while he went up to get the baby back down to sleep. I gladly do it, but it doesn’t make for being productive in any way.

Even with my normal workload, I’ve known this isn’t a sustainable situation. I’ve been at my wit’s end for so long, overwhelmed and behind. And now in addition to the normal workload, Jenn and I have another big project we’re working on, so I need to bite the daycare bullet.

I visited a daycare last week. It was fine. My daughter hopped right into her classroom and made herself comfortable. The infant room was fine. The daycare is super flexible, and I’m only looking at doing a couple of half-days a week, adding more days on an as-needed basis.

I’m filled with equal parts relief and dread. I’m excited to have dedicated, uninterrupted work time. Excited to write and cross a few things off the to-do list that have been ignored. Excited to have a little kid-free time. Dreading the drop-off those first days. Feeling guilty that my son has to hit daycare before he’s a year old. Dreading pumping so he’ll have milk during the mornings. Dreading the kid-free time.

I know it’s not the end of the world. It’s a few hours a week. I know I’ve been lucky to get to stay home with the kids this long. I know something’s gotta give for my sanity. But dang if it’s not hard to drop your kids off and know that mommy won’t be there for every little whimper.

Help me out, mamas! What words of wisdom do you have for a daycare newbie? I’ll get over it, right? —Erin

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