Today is going to be hard day for me. Not because I'm bracing myself for the obvious, but because I kissed my oldest good-bye and sent him off with his dad "to school." I cried all last night about it. The guilt I felt was bad. But I knew that this was best for him and temporary.
He's in a good place. I used to work at this daycare and I know the teacher. She's a sweet lady and has a daughter of her own. She's soft spoken and I know she cares about the kids. And it helps, but I still worry that he will get caught up in the noise.
I know it will be better for him. Someone will be able to change his diaper making sure to remove all poopy particles. Someone will fix him a lunch that doesn't consist of peanut butter and jelly or a snack that's better than crackers. He'll have people to play with and he'll actually go outside. But I worry that he'll cry and feel like his mommy left him in hell. And why would a mommy do that?
I don't want him to be separated from me for a whole day. I think the most we've ever been apart was five hours. It's close but not quite 8 or 9 hours of separation. I don't want him to have to lay down on a nap mat and cry because his blanket is at home and his mommy is at home.
But I know after the initial bit he'll be fine. He's tougher than his mommy is. And I know that all children grow up and go off to school at some point. I know that he will like it and perhaps one day at pre-school he'll tell me that he doesn't want to go home. Other adults in his life will also be sources of love and affection. Day care isn't all that bad.
The problem, I suppose, is that I feel like I've failed. I failed to be able to do enough for him at this point. I've failed to be "the perfect" stay-at-home mommy. I've failed because I've had to trade one child's "needs" over another's. And I know all the books about nursing tell you that at some point you have to realize that the youngest needs you more and your oldest is capable of being independent of you. It still sucks. I love both my kids even though one is very tiny and the other is very big.
I also feel like I should be doing something even if it's from the couch. Don't mommy's who put their children in day care do so because they work? Why else would a mommy do that? Well, I've learned that anger management classes are another reason. (we had a mom who needed child care one day a week so she could attend.) And now I suppose "illness" is another. But it's not like I have cancer and am going through radiation and chemo. I'm just a weak, tired, icky, and vomiting bag of mess.
So I've taken a good hard look at what I can do now that I haven't had to devote so much energy to changing a diaper and not vomiting while making a pb and j. Housework? Not likely. Taking a bath and brushing the knots out of my hair. Oh that would be heavenly. I should mention that since all this got worse all sense of hygiene has taken a back seat to HB's needs. You don't want to come near me. I smell. Bad. I also think that I will sit down and dig through all accumulated mail that needs to be sorted. And I will work on a book. Sounds crazy but I've decided that I have a dream and I should start working on it now instead of just waiting for my life to slow down. Because I honestly don't think it will slow down.
So I have a goal today. Do the things I've been neglecting. Taking it easy instead of stressing myself out. And try not to cry that HB is at school. I'm not a bad mommy. And it's going to be okay. HB has someone looking out for him and I need to take care of my other child which means that I need to take care of me. That's the bottom line.