Today my, before nap, my two year old did her very best to serenade me to sleep singing twinkle twinkle. My inner dialogue was on a steady loop of “Do I have to go back to work? Do I have to? Couldn’t I just stay home with my little one? I could stay home…yeah… *long sigh* No.. I have to go to work…” I will be starting to work after an extended time away …. again … on Monday
I can’t speak for everyone, but I know I’m not the only one who has been faced with going back to work and feeling completely tied in knots about leaving your kids for the whole. entire. day. 5 days a week. It’s not easy, and while I feel fortunate to have as much time off as I’ve had, I must say it’s still unbearably difficult. So having been a stay at home mom & transitioned to a working mom (now for the second time) I have some advice and encouragement that I know to be true, for all the parents who have to make the tough choice, and go back to work.
It gets easier – When I first went back to work, a year after Mina was born I was a mess, She would latch tightly onto me crying, and I would leave… also crying.. and it was truly awful for about .. 2 weeks! And while I was still wracked with guilt every single time I dropped her off, for quite some time, Mina was SO Excited to be with her friends at daycare! Sometimes wanting to stay longer, after I came to pick her up, so she could play! (Which you think would help me feel better lol oddly it didnt, not initially anyway)
Your choice is valid – Whether your were a stay home mom and had to go back because you financially needed to, or because being a stay at home just wasn’t for you, or you chose to go back because you love your career, ALL choices are valid. All choices are equally respectable and they show our children very important values; the value of hard work and hard choices and the value of pursuing something you truly enjoy, despite the difficulties. None are wrong, and honestly no choice is easy. Take comfort in knowing you are doing what’s best for your family, that can never be wrong.
Don’t waste time on what ifs- Dear lord, I am the queen of what ifs (I actually received the “what if” award on my x-country team in High School) what if Mina gets sick? What if she does something miraculous and I miss it? What if she gets hurt and I’m not there? What if she doesn’t nap? She needs a nap!! I know, trust me I knoooww it’s hard to not let your mind run away with all your well stored sanity, but try not to linger (in this instance) In the land of possibility. It will do you no favors. A great many children go to daycare everyday and are very happy, well adjusted kids (and you get all the germs and sickness out of the way before they start kindergarten, woohoo)
I’m sorry, this is getting lengthy, and quite honestly I might just be reassuring myself. Here’s the long and short of it all, it is hard, it is sad, but it will be okay. You will watch your little one nap the day away again, you will still go do fun things, they will still love you as much as they ever have, The time you spend with your little one now will be just as precious, if not more so! & most importantly, momma, YOU will be okay. My heart goes out to you all! We got this. (Let the record show my eyes are brimming with tears)