It’s official: ten months into motherhood and eight months after my son’s first glorious day at daycare, I wish I didn’t have to take him elsewhere for care.
Now, to be clear, this will be a fleeting feeling, one borne from frustration with the following:
- My week is total effing hell at work.
- Customer suck. Every one is insane.
- My husband is frustrated with having to take on childcare at the last minute.
- I am frustrated with not being able to take on childcare at the last minute.
This modern motherhood thing, the one where we are the mamas but also sometimes (often?) the primary earners and/ or responsible for something work-related and therefore other people’s lives while balancing our own… this thing can bite me today.
We have these friends – a married couple – where the dad stays home with the baby while the mom goes to work, which is fine, except the dad wishes he didn’t have to and the mom wishes she could. I’m so sad for them.
We’re not quite there. I like my job and am (usually) quite comfortable with the fact that I am good at many things and all-day child care (even of my own child) isn’t one of them. I love that he has his own life aside from his dad and I. I love that he has friends and learns things and experiences life without us around sometimes. I can honestly say I haven’t had a speck of sadness about missing something he’s living yet.
But today, when Joey left to drive him to the (new awesome) in-home daycare Mary Poppins lady, I cried. I sat on the bed and felt my heart break because I couldn’t be the one to drive him there and help him acclimate. I cried because next week I will be out of town at something that is really, really good for me as a professional but really, really hard for me as a mama.
My male peers miss their kids, sure, and tell stories about the things they didn’t get to see and how happy they always are to get home, but I seriously doubt they cry when they think about leaving. My mama peers do.
In the end, mamas and daddies aren’t fungible – you can’t switch one for the other and be back where you started.
Tomorrow, I may have more perspective, but today, just for a moment, I wish I wasn’t getting to live the modern life I have, because, just for a moment, I wanted my son to get to stay home with me.