Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Good vs. The Bad

After three very long years, Donny has returned to what most people would call a "normal" work schedule. Donny has been working a 2nd shfit schedule for 3 years now. It has definitely been tough on all of us. I have basically been a single mom during the week this entire time because he was never home when me and the kids were home except on the weekends. But like all things, we adjusted, and to us, it was just how we lived. For the past year and a half, him working 2nd shift has been a blessing because it meant he could stay home with Philip during the day so that I could work without the expense and guilt of full-time daycare. But after putting it off for as long as he could, he has returned to work on 1st shift. So what does that mean - Lots of changes - some good and some bad

Philip now has to go to daycare all day, from about 7:15 to 3:45. Not too bad, especially since he will be starting Pre-K in August and his schedule will be close to the same hours, so we are just preparing him for that, right? It shouldn't bother me that I am leaving my very soon-to-be 4 year old in the care of other people all day while both his parents are working. But I DO NOT LIKE LEAVING MY CHILD IN THE CARE OF OTHER PEOPLE ALL DAY LONG WHILE I AM WORKING! It completely sucks!!!!! And to make it even harder, I am the one who has to drop him off every morning. Yesterday wasn't so bad. But today, oh today was bad. As soon as we got to the daycare, he was clinging to me. We went into his classroom, and he would not let go of my leg. Then his tears started. He wasn't screaming and crying and throwing a fit. No, that would have been too easy for me to not let bother me because I have no patience for tantrums. Instead, he was crying silently and pathetically, and trying desperately to hold onto me. And the look on his little precious face - it was killing me. It took about 5 seconds for me to start cyring right along with him. What kind of mother pulls her child off of her and leaves him while he is weeping to stay with her? I cried all the way to work, cursing my life and the unfairness of this situation.

But on the flip side, there are some good things to our new schedules. Donny will actually be home in the evenings now. In fact he gets home almost two hours before me, so after three years of doing it all by myself, it is his turn to do HOMEWORK WITH HIS CHILDREN! This should be interesting! And his new schedule means Madilyn and Colin do not have to stay in after-school care anymore. The bus drops them off around the same time Donny gets home, so that is a big plus for them, and for our daycare budget! It will be interesting to see how the next couple of months go as we adjust to this new schedule. Hopefully the good will start to outweigh the bad so I can return to living a life not so troddened by guilt and shame! I'll keep you posted.


ADenton said...

Believe me, I feel for you! You get used to the guilt. Dare I say you even become accustomed to the routine, so much so that you begin to look forward to Mondays so that you can get a little peace and quiet at your desk.

But some things don't get better, they just manifest themselves differently. Like, instead of clinging and crying, your sweet little one becomes a teenager and indifferent to whether you are home or not. The only time they care is when they need to go somewhere and you're not there to take them! Ah, just a different kind of guilt.

On the plus side, your children are sure to appreciate the fact that you were able to keep them off of the cold streets, with warm food and clothes, and able to afford an occasional trip to see Grandma! There's always a silver lining.

teamw said...

Oh Chrissy!!! I feel for you girl! I know it IS the hardest thing for me to leave my boys, and it's even harder at a daycare. I cried everyday when Preston first started going to DayCare and I'd have to try to pull it together before I got to work, like a 3 min drive! I think the hardest thing for me was thinking that Preston didn't know what was going on. But you know, Preston has been out of his 'school' now since July and when we drive by it he still calls it 'my school' and sometimes get excited...then I feel bab that maybe he liked it so much and we took him out. It never ends!