Every Monday morning, dropping my son off at daycare is difficult. It’s difficult for him, it’s difficult for me. Don’t get me wrong, daycare is the greatest thing for him and it’s doing him wonders. He spends his days with people that I trust to care for him and to help him learn and grow. I’m pretty fortunate that I didn’t have to investigate daycare, the place my son goes to is run by my aunt and it’s also a place that me, my brother and my cousins went to growing up. Being around other children has helped my son with his social skills, even if he’s been around adults his entire little life. He learns something new every day, and I’m really thankful for that.
So let me continue with this thought wave before I pass out. This is a depression fueled blog entry and I have to ride this wave out or it’ll chew me up and spit me out, possibly leave me for dead.
Much like every Monday morning, my son clung to me for dear life. He was hugging my legs as I was putting his belongings in his cubby. He was hugging my legs again when I was signing him in for the day. I tried to get him to go and have breakfast with his friends to which he said, “No.” When I picked him up to give him a hug goodbye, he hung onto me again for dear life and didn’t want me to leave. There were no tears this time, in the past there’s been screaming and crying and the ultimate, “NO NO NO MOMMY NO.” So that’s a plus, right? As I told him to help his teacher make his breakfast, he smiled and went to her without a problem. This was one of the rare Mondays where it was somewhat easy for me to say goodbye and go.
Truth be told, it’s hard. It’s not easy for me to say goodbye and go. It’s worse when we get a three day weekend together, I leave the place crying. Again, I know this is the best thing for him. It’s also the best thing for me, too. I have to have a life outside of being his mother, and he has to have a life outside of being my son. Sounds weird because he’s only two, but I want him to have friends, I want him to be social and not be awkward like I was. When I hear that he’s such a good boy in class, it fills my heart with joy. When I see how the other kids get excited when they see him every morning, I get so happy. I don’t have the wave of guilt that I have to work all day…that lasts all but five minutes and once I leave the room and head out to the car, it hits.
It’s such a push and pull. One minute, I’m at peace with all of it and then in an instant, I’m not. I don’t want to be criticized because I’m a working mother, and unfortunately that happens. I don’t want to be revered because I’m a working mother, either. The barrage of, “I don’t know how you do it” and “You must be so exhausted” can get well…exhausting. Yes, I’m tired. Yes, I sometimes wonder how I manage to get dressed, put on makeup and dress my son in under a half hour. (Side note: dressing a toddler is like a full body workout, I burn about 800 calories every morning) But I do it, and seldom do I complain because this is the life that I’ve signed up for and the life that I want. We are often consumed by wanting what we haven’t got and not appreciating what’s in front of us but I’ll be honest – this is what I’ve always wanted.
As I sit here and think about the events of my Monday, I will tell you that coming home to my son running up to me with a huge smile on his face, “MOMMY!” it’s all worth it. It’s the best part of my entire day, and I have to keep this in mind on those Monday mornings where I leave the daycare in tears because I’m sad my unlimited time with him on the weekends has come to an end. Perspective, I guess.