Tuesday, November 28, 2006

GUILT

Ninety per cent of the time I am totally happy with my choice to have my son in daycare. There are a zillion reasons why. I've listed them before. I won't bore you.
At the end of the day there are a couple of reasons my son is in daycare a) because we can't afford for one of us to stay home and b) he is really happy in daycare.
Both are good reasons.
But there are days when the guilt is crippling.
Take today for example.I was trying to explain to Matt that tomorrow he has to say bye to everyone at daycare because we are moving. So much of me is okay with this. The move is definitely a good thing. The new daycare seems great. The future school and our proximity to it - all of that is wonderful.
And yet I feel guilty.
I don't even know why. I guess some days I wish I were around him more. It breaks my heart when I realize that he spends more time with others than with me. It makes me sad when I worry about how happy he will be at the new place. What if he doesn't like the teachers? What if the other kids are mean? What if ...
And, truthfully part of me feels guilty because I'm okay with it all.
I'm okay with hopping on a train and going to work every day. For the most part I'm okay with the teachers and the routines. And I feel like I shouldn't be. I feel like I should have a harder time with it.
And these crappy feelings suck.
Some days I just want to take Matt and snuggle him and never let go. And then some nights, like tonight, I try.
And then I realize that he doens't want that. He wants to learn and explore and grow. And part of his day is telling me what he did and what he learned and who he played with. His joy every day comes from seeing us and hugging us and being delighted that we're back. And I try to remember that I was not a particularly good SAHM. I was tired and cranky and I was not making Matt happy.
But the day that the guilt kills me - it's a hard day.

4 comments:

Jeff said...

You know, I'm not a mother but I feel the same way. It's hard when I think about the fact that of the 12 hours or so that she is awake, I am around for at most three of them. It's so different for me though, because my wife is a SAHM.

Moving is hard on everyone. Even if he wasn't in daycare, he would miss things like friends, places, routines, whatever. But you know what? Kids are a lot more resilient than we give them credit for. He will go to the new place and charm them and ingratiate himself and everything will be fine. In time he will learn to love the new house and the new daycare and the new routines as if they were always a part of his life.

Haley-O said...

I'm sorry you feel guilty about this some times. You don't need me to tell you not to feel guilty, do you? Because you really shouldn't feel guilty! You clearly made the right decision. He's happy! You're doing what's best for him. Mothers always feel guilty about stuff no matter what though. So, I hear you. You're not alone. :)

Devra said...

How about reframing it a bit? How about "Maybe he will like the new daycare? What if he meets his new best friend for life at the daycare? What if all the teachers see how wonderful he is? What will I get to know about him at this new daycare that I don't know already? How exciting this new adventure will be for all of us?" I don't mean it to be all pollyanna-like, but sometimes it helps to reframe anxiety into asking ourselves to expect the positive instead of the negative and also to reaffirm the choices you have made and how they have gone so far. You've made solid choices for solid reasons and your son and family have done well in the past. I bet your future will be great too. But if there are bumps in the road, you'll bounce and keep goin!

Anonymous said...

I think as Mother's we all feel guilty at some point or another. Don't ever think you're a bad Mother !!!! We all make mistakes but that doesn't mean we're a failure as a Mother. (thank goodness:)
Guilt is one of those things that can sneak up on us, we just have to push it aside and trust that we're doing the best we can !
Deborah