Before I get started, I just wanted to let you know that Squidge is MUCH better and feeling like his old self again and hanging out with all his buds. 🙂
And now, the topic of the post – a working mom’s guilt. I have it, and it’s most certainly compounded by 1000 because I’m Catholic and my guilt level is high anyway. Here’s the situation.
I have a good job. I don’t mind working for a living – I’m by no means lazy. Plus, with my student loans (hello private undergrad and grad school immediately after!), my car loan, our mortgage, and now a little Squidge, there’s no way I can afford not to work. Mike and I are aggressively trying to pay stuff off and we’re making some serious headway.
But my working means Squidge goes to daycare. And I know there are tons of benefits to daycare: a stronger immune system (eventually), socializing skills, interaction with different people, etc. My problem, and the source of my guilt, arises when I think about the fact that Squidge is spending 8-9 hours a day with people who aren’t Mike and me. Then, when I pick him up at 5:15pm, I only get him for about three hours before he goes to sleep for the night. I get 1/3 of what daycare gets.
Then my stupid mom brain starts asking questions. Will he know that it’s ME that’s the mom and not the nice ladies at daycare? Will he learn from ME? Will he get enough quality time in those stupid three hours I get to squeeze him and feed him and love him? I find myself waking up at 5am just to see him more, even though I could probably get away with getting a little more sleep.
I just remember the years that my mom stayed home to raise my brother Jason and me so fondly that I wish I could give that to Squidge. She played with us all day, taught us things before preschool, took us to play with our cousins at my grandparents’ house. And then I realize that I don’t know any babies around here. Squidge’s cousins are all over an hour away and go to daycare, as well. He really wouldn’t have any kid interaction, and that’s when I see daycare as a blessing.
My mom tells me that this is a good thing. She says that if he just had me, he’d ultimately get bored not having anyone his own age to play with. I understand this and I agree. I know he’s going to want little buddies. My cousins were my best friends, but I just don’t have access to family/kids like that around here. It’s just hard, ya know? SUPER hard.
Think my boss would pay off my student loans and my car loan and let me stay home until both my kids (NO I’M NOT PREGNANT) are in school full-time? I’ll sign up for 20 years of service after that. I promise. 🙂