The weather here in Derby City has been wintry to say the least! We have had about a foot of snow and crazy cold temperatures, which means that schools and businesses have been closed for a few days. I’ve been able to stay home with L so far this week, and it has been so fun to not wake up to an alarm and be lazy and play with L.
But I have to say, I am not built to be a stay-at-home mom. Oh my word, being cooped up in the house with a toddler is tough! I do my best, but I can’t stimulate him as much as his daycare does. He has been going through some attachment issues with me, too, and I worry that this extra time at home will make that worse. But I love the extra time with him!
His daycare was open today, and I decided to take him in. He needed more stimulation, I wanted him to get back into his normal routine, and I needed some time to myself. And I feel so guilty about it. And I hate that I feel guilty.
“Mommy wars” about staying at home versus working have permeated our culture so much that I feel bad to take my son to a place that loves him, cares for him, teaches him, nurtures him, and provides socialization with other kids that I could never emulate in my house, even if I have the day off. They help him learn and grow in ways that I know I can’t. He loves his teachers and his friends at school. He has flourished in the toddler room. Why should I feel bad about that?
I think it’s because I care too much about what other people think. I worried that the daycare teachers would judge me for taking him in even though I was off work. I worried that my other working mom friends would judge me because they might be jealous that I chose to send my son to daycare today when they had to go to work. I worried that my family would judge me for not keeping at home to spend extra time with him. I even worried about any potential reader might think while reading this–see the last sentence of my second paragraph as proof. I added that during my editing process because I didn’t want to come across as if I don’t enjoy my son.
I’m still fairly new to this motherhood thing, but from what I hear, mom guilt doesn’t really go away. I just hope that as I grow as a mother and mature as a woman, I start to care less about what other people think and focus on what I know to be best for my family. For today, that means having my son in daycare while I spend some time alone and look forward to his smile when I go pick him up. Tomorrow, it may look different. Like, actually going to work and getting back into my routine. Hopefully.