Back from Being Over the Edge

Ok, so I’m over not getting a SpringBreak from being a Mom, and really enjoying my week with the Monkey and my girlfriends. Earlier in the week I had a very weird fantasy about signing the Monkey up for child care–sending her to one of the billion places around our house instead of lugging her to school every day. See, the school thing is good til Summer–then I have to make other arrangements anyway. I’m teaching through the summer, but the person watching her won’t be at the school.

So I had this fantasy of signing the Monkey up somewhere else, thinking, “Wow, maybe one or two days a week after work I could do something like grocery shop or get my hair cut or go to the bookstore by myself..” Because right now the minute I’m done with work, it’s a race home to get her down for her nap.

I called a few places, and found out that I’d have to pay for a full-time space. Ouch. But I thought I’d check them out anyway. FANTASY OVER.

The two things I wasn’t prepared for:

1) the smallness of the “young toddler” rooms (once you can crawl, pull up and eat some table food, you are a young toddler, apparently). There can only be 5-10 children in one room, and of course you want your facility to be a profitable as possible. So the young toddler rooms are really no bigger than the Monkey’s bedroom. Granted, she’s got a big bedroom, but still! And one of the facilities had no windows or natural light whatsoever.

2) the babies playing on the floor, by themselves, with two caregivers sitting the rocking chairs, the room completely silent. No adult conversation, no interaction with the children, no music in the background…

FANTASY OVER. Now I know not every place is like this, and I’ve been teaching long enough to know that you can’t judge a classroom on a two minute glance. But I’m thinking that if nothing else is going on (feeding, diapering, soothing, putting to sleep) that one of the caregivers should in, some way, be interacting with the children!

So now I’m on a mission to find Mary Poppins and keep our current routine of bringing the Monkey to school everyday and knowing that every day at 1pm I will be headed home and crossing my fingers that she doesn’t fall asleep in the car.

And on days when I’m close to the edge and whiny, I’ll just think back to where the Monkey could be instead, and realize that this moment too, shall pass.

The Downside to Having it "All"

The downside to having it “all”, is well, you have it all…..all the time. Her childcare is tied to my job, so that if I’m home, she’s home. Spring Break is a break from work, but not from being a mom. I know, kind of a “duh” statement, but remember, this is all new to me!

I think the Babe’s illness and recovery has made this motherhood thing perfectly clear: I AM THE MOM. I’m the one who gets puked on and throws my shirt aside to take care of her needs first before taking care of mine, I’m the one steam cleaning poo out of the carpets, I’m the one calling the doctor every day, I’m the one she wants at 4am. Which is all well and good and really what I did sign up for…..but WOW. It’s exhausting.

I realize that none of this is new, nor unique to my situation or really all that interesting to read about. But for some reason, it’s all becoming clear in a whole new way.

The upside: While singing the Babe to sleep, whipsering really, while laying next to her, she grabbed my hand and pulled it to her chest. In that moment, I realized it was all worth it. That this is it–I AM THE MOM. And I wouldn’t want to be anyone else. Although a day at the spa would be nice.

Why I Love My Job

Ok, a month ago if you’d told me I would be posting about this, I would have laughed a horribly cynical laugh. Not this month.

So it’s now 7:50am. The Babe and I are due at work in 10 minutes. She is sound asleep-playing catch up from this weekend I think. She’s been asleep for 13 hours–the kind of sleep where she really hasn’t moved at all (yes, I’ve been checking that she is in fact, breathing). She shows no signs of stirring at the moment.

So I call into work, saying that I’ll be a bit late. Yesterday the Babe mostly stayed w/ me in the Bjorn because she just wasn’t happy any place else, and my boss appreciated my staying until my work day was done. Today she told me to just get to school as soon as I could–meaning, you know, as soon as the Babe woke up, had a ba, a bit of cereal or whatever….basically saying, it’s cool–you’re a Mom first, teacher second.

I love that.