Here’s the thing: I am tired of feeling like I am supposed to feel guilty that my kid goes to daycare and/or is with a caregiver while I work full time.
I’m just over it.
I like to work. I do! And my kid likes hanging out with her grandpas and with her teachers and friends at daycare. And we’re all thriving.
There are two things in my situation moms are supposed to feel guilty about: working full time (or at all) and relying on a daycare center (not even an at-home daycare?!?! No, not even that).
Being a well-rounded working mom
I just finished reading Laura Vandercamp’s I Know How She Does It, and I felt incredibly grateful reading about other successful working moms who were not frazzled, harried, or completely exhausted, guilt-ridden and worn out.
So, I feel like it’s important to share my thoughts, too. Sure, I miss my kid while I am at work, but I am a better mom when I am with her for the time I am away from her at work. And I like my job.
My life is full but I am sleeping, exercising 5 days a week, spending quality time with my kid and my husband, squeezing in some hobbies (like writing this blog), and working full time à all things that matter to me. I’m just saying – you can do the things that matter to you. Sometimes I think it’s the guilt that drains our energy more than our full plates.
Sure, it’s possible this reality is because I only have one kid, but I have a feeling it’s more than that.
Daycare is awesome
It’s amazing to me how strangers look at me with pity when I tell them I send my kid to a daycare center. They say “Oh” and look sad and there is an awkward silence. This actually happens! Then I mumble something about how much she likes it and they’re like “I’m sure, dear” and pat me on the head à OK that part doesn’t actually happen, but sometimes it feels like it could.
Actually, what really happens is that they comment how nice it is that she gets to spend time with family, and I confirm that and then say how much we also like daycare and we would send her there full time but we are lucky to have family who wants to help. I’m surprised they don’t call the state on me 🙂
Anyway, why do we do this? Because we like judging moms? It’s like our national pastime or something (sorry, baseball).
My daycare is awesome (and yes, we need more awesome daycares but that is a whole other thing). I know enough about her day to feel like she’s happy, but not everything. I am confident she’s well cared for and she’s learning some independence (which is good for my mama’s girl).
I wish we could shift the narrative to be more about thriving than surviving as working moms. There’s some chaos in my days but a lot of joy, and I think that’s actually true for most of us. For some reason though, most of the stories that are told are about the guilt and the missed activities and the scrambling and the lack of sleep. While those things happen (probably even to stay-at-home moms, too, BTW), it’s not the whole story.
So let me proclaim it from the mountains – I send my kid to daycare and we both love it!