Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Home is Where the Heart is and Where I Think I Should Be

I sit here, in the midst of the chaos of my house right now, and think that there are days that this couldn't possibly be more rewarding and there are days where if given the chance I might possibly be willing to run away for an undetermined amount of time to an undisclosed location.

I go back to work on Monday and the thought of this not only reduces me to tears but it sends me into a tailspin of anxiety and fear.  It's right here where I feel like this post could go in two different directions.  Both related but both different.

So, I choose the fear and early motherhood angle for now and later we'll talk about the fun I feel will be coming down the road.

We had our first child, a boy, when I was 25 and my husband was 29.  We planned and tried and waited and anticipated our son and when he came along we were like deer in the headlights.  I stayed home for 9 weeks and when it was time to head back to the workforce, I was more than ready.  I could not fathom being a stay at home mom, it was NOT something that I desired.

Our second child came along, a big surprise, and staying home, again, was not a desire or an option.  I was able to be with her from her birth until she was about 6 months old courtesy of Summer vacation and while it was difficult to leave her, it was the right thing for me at the time.  The right thing for our family.

When we found out we were having twins my first thought was selfish and was all about whether or not I'd be able to continue working and coaching.  The thought, back in March of 2011, of staying home with twins, in our current home, was far too much for me to grasp.  There was no way I wanted that.  I needed to work, I needed to have adult interaction, I needed to be out of the house.

The girls came along and it was practically an instantaneous change of heart.  The thought of leaving them was heart-wrenching.  The idea that I would go and spend the day helping to raise and educate other people's children for a pittance, when my children were at daycare seemed grossly wrong to me.  Horribly wrong and definitely not what I wanted.

When one of my girls was put into a Wheaton Harness for her hips a few weeks ago I couldn't help but think that no one, save a few family members, would be able to care for her and meet her needs in the harness the way I could.  Then, when her reflux and digestion issues became so prevalent that she was vomiting on a regular basis and crying when she wasn't vomiting, I thought that some daycare worker was going to get so frustrated that she or he would harm my baby.

How could I possibly allow my children to go to daycare when I was sure that it wasn't the best place for them?

Right now, it's impossible for me to stay home. Two of our children's tuition depends on me working where I work.  I have already committed to returning and I feel that I need to follow through on that commitment and fulfill my contract.  There is a good chance that if our budgeting is correct, after daycare and bills we should have a little extra leftover to put away.  Which could mean that come September, I don't have to return to work for awhile.

What's the difference, though?  I've been trying to figure out why I am so willing and wanting to stay home now but couldn't even imagine it when my son and daughter were born.  Is there something to be said for having your children a little bit later on and that impacting your thoughts on being home or at work. Because at 25, I was young and stupid and naive.  Not every 25 year old is.  I just knew that I didn't want to be home, I had things to accomplish and work to do.  Is it that at this point, having two kids in daycare- even for three days- is just so costly that it doesn't make sense for both parents to work?  Or is it that I really have some anxieties that need to be dealt with, that I'm just too nervous to let go of my preemies and entrust them to a center that is beautiful and homey and filled with responsible, caring, adults?

Or is it all of those things and more?

I really don't know.  I do know that come Monday morning I am not going to enjoy walking out my door without my two baby carriers slung on each arm.  And I'm going to hate knowing that my girls are smiling and laughing and cooing for someone else during the day because I'm stuck in my classroom.  And I'm going to worry about those days that they're in daycare and whether or not they're being ignored or cared for properly or comforted when they cry or are uncomfortable.

In the end though, a lot of it goes back to the idea that having children gives us the opportunity to know what it's like to have our heart live outside our bodies and that motherhood gives us the highest highs and the lowest lows.  And that right now, this is hard and it's a low but, as with all else, this too shall pass.

And thank God for daycare mommy-cams.

And President's Day Break. 


Nicole Gamble said...

This is a great read ! Really enjoy all your blog posts!

Becky said...

I had my first at 16 so I didn't really have the choice to stay home, I had to work (retail), then I had my second at 25 and again went back to work not really sure why I felt I needed to but I did, then 5 months later I found out I was expecting #3 worked through my pregnancy and about a month after I went back to work (self employed) two weeks later. I have been a stay at home mom since and my babies are now in school. I have gone back to school to finish my degree and will go back into the working world. Don't beat yourself up about working with kids, you do what you have to do to give them a good life. It is a difficult decision, but once you make it in can be simple. The one paycheck is hard, but can be done and kids don't even notice. They have friends wherever they are.

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