It is amazing the difference a day makes.
After losing my job and becoming a stay-at-home mom, I decided I would continue to take Ella to daycare two days a week. I wanted to keep her going because 1) I have the best daycare provider on the planet, 2) I like the socialization Ella gets by seeing her friends, and 3) sanity, both Ella’s and mine.
I never knew a tornado could come in toddler form, but holy crap, can it. And its name is Ella…with a capital E.
I love my daughter so very much, but she is at an age where she is just exhausting.
She’s walking, every little thing captures her attention, she’s testing her limits. She and my stuff are EVERYWHERE. Keeping up with her and tracking all of her non-toy entertainment is very time consuming and, quite frankly, it wears me down.
I hate to admit it (and I even feel pretty guilty about it) but I look forward to the days she goes to daycare.
The weight of mommy guilt sits heavy on my shoulders a lot, especially when I find my patience running thin for Ella. I often catch myself and remember it’s not her fault she’s trying my patience. She’s learning and experiencing the world around her.
For the longest time, I had a hard time letting go of the guilt of wanting a day away.
But oh, what a difference a day makes.
I miss her and everything that comes with her on daycare days, but I realize the benefit we gain. We both get a day away, which for me means running errands or even just taking care of miscellaneous household chores. When I pick her up, it is absolutely amazing how refreshed I feel.
I have renewed energy and, dare I say, love I have for Ella after she returns home.
When I started out in this parenting journey, I thought it was funny when other moms talked about just a few minutes in the bathroom or the laundry room, or even the car. I have been in head-over-heels in love with my daughter since the day she was born, but I get the idea of time away now.
I totally and completely, get it.
To need time away doesn’t make me a bad mother or signal any bad feelings toward my daughter. It is the same as needing a day off work or a night out with friends. It’s time to recharge and gain back a little of your identity and sanity. It’s time to make yourself a better person.
By continuing to take Ella to daycare, I am helping myself to be a better mother and caretaker for my family. Because we all know, “if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”
Whether it’s a day or a few minutes in the bathroom, we all need a place and time to recharge to come back a better person. And for that I am thankful.