Sunday, January 30, 2011

I Send my Kids to Daycare, and I Don't Feel Guilty.

Okay. Here's the deal. I work a part-time job at a department store and I'm also a massage therapist. I don't really work that much. Max....3 days a week. I haven't even worked since Christmas, until this week.

Some may know that my husband is in the Army. He is stationed at Ft. Wainwright.....Alaska. I live in the mid-west. We are 3589.32 miles apart. We haven't lived together since 2009. Now, I can here it coming..."why in the hell are you not living with your husband?". Answer: Both our daughters were in foster care. And by "were in foster care" I don't mean, we put them in foster care. I mean, we were their foster parents. First we had Wendolyn in our care. We knew from the start that we would be able to adopt her but, we had no idea it would take 2.5 years. John had his orders for AK before the adoption was ever in sight. Wendi, aka Wendolyn, was placed with us at 13 months old and he left when she was 18 months old. We adopted her when she was 3 years and 2 weeks old. Ummmm, yeah. Ridiculous. Because she was a foster child she could not leave the state. We have a house to sell and we knew he was deploying soon after he got to AK. I would rather be here where I love and am familiar. As opposed to be in -30 degrees, by myself and not know anyone. And he did deploy the month after he got there.

So while John is away and before Wendolyn is ever adopted her birth mom is pregnant again. Then I had the internal fight with myself to take custody of this baby too. I had a really hard time. I knew in my head that it was going to be so draining. 2 kids+1 person=mayhem. I have no family here. None. Mine are 6 hours away and John's is 4. It was me and only me. It still is me and only me. At the same time this was my chance to have a newborn. Something I never thought would happen. They were sisters, half, but in my eyes they are biologically sisters. Long story short, with a lot left out since I can't say much cause she is not adopted yet, we took her. How could you not?

So here we are. John is leaving for Afghanistan in April and I have one adopted child and one foster child and a house that has yet to be put up for sale. (I will never buy a house again until he is retired. Biggest mistake of our life..thus far) Same spot as 2009.

Wendolyn was already in daycare because I was going to school full-time. When Sissy came along I was still in school, so she had to go to daycare as well. I would keep Sissy at home with me the days I didn't have school. She was only 2 weeks old when she started going. WAY to young but the school I was attending wouldn't let me miss anymore. I took both of them out of daycare for a while since I wasn't working. That's when it went all down hill.

I was the worst mother. Ever.

I was so stressed and depressed and just generally over come with anxiety. I was a zombie. I never left the house because I was so scared that they would act up in the store and I would look like the 13 year old with 2 kids. So that lasted 2 weeks.

I needed daycare. I needed time to be me and do normal big person things. I wanted to see the inside of a grocery store. Know what the sun felt like. Not hear crying or screaming. Just some Whoosa.

One week later. Calm. Peace. And a shower.

I have family members that said it was horrible of me and that it is my "job" to raise these kids. Ummm, no. I love being a mom and I love my children but I cannot do it alone. I don't know how single mothers can work enough hours to make enough money to live on and raise small children. I have the utmost respect for these women. I want to kiss their feet. I totally under stand the saying "it takes a village to raise a child". Never more true than it is today in my life.

Why do I not feel guilty? Many reasons.

1. They learn SO much. They come home with things that leaves me saying "WTH?". Wendi could sign 12 words by the time she was 18 months. Signs that she really knew what they meant and could use them in context. I know she was trying to sign other words but I had no idea what she was saying.

Not only can she sign. She can speak Spanish. Like for real. That makes her what? Tri-lingual?

Days of the week? She knows them. Weather? oh yeah. Sing songs? What song ya wanna hear? This kid is a juke box. Body parts? More than I would like her to know. I'll tell you about the nipple incident another day as well. The list goes on.


2. She is a social butterfly and so is Sis. This has pros and cons. Stories to come in later blogs. It's obvious they favor Mommy (which I love) but there is no hyperventilating and kicking and screaming when leaving them in class. It's apparent that Wendi has her true BFFs. I think about how cute it would be if Wendi and Tryten find each other on Facebook while in college and get married. So sweet.

3. You can dress them in super cute clothes, and there is someone to compliment on it.

4. They enjoy it. Wendolyn will ask if it's a school day. Every once in a while she will want to stay home, and I let her. We go to tea rooms and have lunch, do a little shopping. This also allows me to have one on one time with each kid.

5. I love doing holiday parties in Wendi's classroom. She gives out super awesome goody bags.

6. I have really become like family with these ladies. They know these kids like I do. They have went above and beyond what a normal worker would do. I know that they love both girls. It makes it very easy to trust them.

7. This list could really go on and on.

8. I am a much better mother. I have time to myself. I can get all the housework done and the running in town. When we are together we really can enjoy that time. It's TRUE quality time and not just being in the house together.

I know some people will always be anti-daycare and some just want to be the person with their kid day in and day out. I totally respect that. And I am not saying that I haven't had some throw downs with the staff. That's a blog within it's self. I just refuse to let these people make be feel guilty on how I chose to send my kids to daycare. This works for us and we are okay with it.

 If John was still here I would keep Wendolyn enrolled but probably just have Sissy in part time. Or Sissy may be full time as well. I just don't know, hard to say. I just want all the other "stay at home" moms to feel that it is okay for you to send your kids to a preschool or daycare. A happy mom makes a happy family. It's perfectly fine for you to need "me time" or just want to get a pedicure or go shopping...alone. I know when my husband is around the last thing I want to do is leave him at home with the kids. I want to spend time with him too! It's the best when he is home on a weekday and we can have "day dates". The movie is cheaper and no one is hardly there and you can make-out and feel like a kid again and then go get the little ones from school. A-mazing. You are so much more revived and ready to take on the demands of being a domestic goddess and embrace the poopy daipers and constant request for a sippy cup refill. Embrace the fact that we cannot do it "all" but we can do more than enough. That's what makes use modern domestic deities.

2 comments:

  1. Well said.

    You are awesome for doing this all on your own. I can't imagine how difficult it must be to not have family around to help out. I guess I take that for granted.

    I had a hard time deciding to be a stay at home mom. I never understood how women could go to school for years and years and then just "throw everything away" to be home with kids. Then I had my Ava and my world changed. I became "that woman." However, I imagine that the daycares in your area are much, much better than they are around here. That also makes a big difference.

    You are totally right. Different strokes for different folks. The important part is for you to be a happy mom and wife. Take a break and not feel guilty about it (I am still working on that one.)

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  2. congrats! keep up the good work/this is a great presentation.

    Kids Day Care

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