Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Mom Guilt: Daycare & Returning to Work

Te started daycare today.

I woke up feeling strangely calm this morning. She slept great last night and woke up happy and smiling like she always does. She nursed great (WIN, especially since she much prefers the bottle these days). She looked adorable and comfy in her first day of "school" outfit and went down in her crib no problem right before we left her in the care of her loving teacher.

Of course she slept like crap for that first nap (15 minutes "off and on") and just wanted to be held. When I got that first update I had the requisite mom panic attack and started second-guessing every decision we've ever made about our parenting style. A couple of hours later I get a text saying Te's eating like a champ and has been sleeping better. I make a mental note to calm the f*ck down.

I know there are many more ups and downs to come as she gets adjusted to the new environment.

I cried this morning when we dropped her off because the idea of being separated after spending almost a year literally and figuratively attached to one another makes me sad.

But I don't feel guilty about her being in daycare. I don't feel guilty because I know it is going to be really good for her in the long run. I don't feel guilty because I feel very confident in the daycare that we chose.

What I do feel guilty about is wanting to return to work.

I'm grateful that I had the opportunity to stay home with my baby for 3+ months. There are too many moms and dads who don't get this chance. I'm grateful that I have a husband who worked especially hard to make this possible for his family. Going on leave is not easy when you're a freelancer.

Te and I had a great run being home together for those 12-ish weeks. I learned a lot. One of the biggest lessons I learned is that I love my job. I love my job more than I love the idea of being a stay-at-home mom. See, this is where the mom guilt sets in.

Shouldn't I want to be home with my baby 100% of the time?

But it's not that I don't want to be with her every minute of every day...it's just that I know I'm a better mom, wife and all-around human when I'm working. My job is my life (a part of it at least) and giving it up would have felt like I was giving up an actual body part.

Being a mom is the hardest job there is. Only thing I know that's harder is being a stay-at-home mom. Those women hold it down like nobody's business. Want to figure out how to get a lot of shit done in as little time as possible? Ask a stay-at-home mom. They are super human.

I guess we've all got our paths, though. Mine is paved with family and work. Some days they'll both be great. Some days one will flounder while the other flourishes. I'm willing to accept that, because I know going back to work is what's best for me, for my marriage and for my daughter.

...we'll see how I feel tomorrow.


  1. I know it sounds cliche, but it will get easier! I promise. I felt that guilt too. But now that I see my boys doing so well in school, I know I made the right choice..educationally, financially and socially. So, are you working from home or do you go to an office?

    1. Thanks, Charlotte! I'm working from home. I *briefly* considered keeping her home while I worked but quickly realized that wasn't possible. ;-)