As some of you may have noticed, I was a little absent from my blog the past month – but I promise it was for a good reason! I recently accepted a new job starting in September, and took most of August to spend as much time as I could with my little ones before starting school, daycare, and work…all in one week. Needless to say, we are in for a lot of change this coming week.
August has been full of emotion for me. Just the choice to go back to work has been a big one, and it didn’t happen without a lot of thought and consideration. I have always been torn between staying at home with my kids and going back to work. I love being with my kids more than anything, but for me, there was so much more to it. Other than the obvious financial benefits of a dual-income household, there were a few other big issues going through my mind.
I love my profession. I’ve never really written about my work on my blog, but I am a social worker. Over the years, I have worked with kids and their families in different capacities, and I truly love what I do. I consider myself so fortunate to be in a profession where you often get the warm fuzzies at work, and see heartwarming stories of success. But to me, it is more than that. I have worked so hard over the years to get to where I am (not to mention the years of schooling!), and being a social worker is a big part of me. It is a huge part of my identity, and it is something that I am incredibly proud of. I know that as much as I love being with my kids, giving up that part of me isn’t something that I am ready to do.
Another big factor in returning to the workforce is that (and please don’t throw rotten tomatoes at me-hear me out!) I truly believe that daycare played a huge role in preparing Andrew for school. I’m not putting down stay-at-home mamas at all, all kids are different – but for me and Andrew, it was definitely the right choice. He needed the time away from me to learn to be him and he flourished socially and intellectually at his daycare centre. With that being said, I had the best of both worlds. After I had Andrew, I only went back to work for a few days a week, so he had the benefits of the daycare centre and we both had the luxury of extra time together just the two of us to explore, play and learn together. I believe that daycare has been an amazing experience for him.
Lily has started phasing into daycare to prepare for next week when she starts full-time, and unfortunately has not gone as smoothly as I had hoped. This is my first time having a child in daycare full-time, and I have experienced a tremendous amount of guilt, although I know I’m lucky to have spent the extra time at home with her (Lily is 14 months now). With that being said, I have confidence in the daycare staff. I trust that they are going to do an amazing job getting her settled, just like they did with Andrew. I feel bad for Lily, and I feel bad that her teachers (and probably everyone else in the building) is going to have to listen to my little angry bird Lily shrieking for the first couple of weeks. With that being said, the staff at the daycare are absolutely phenomenal – I don’t have enough words to write how grateful I am for the love and patience they showed Andrew over the past few years. I was in tears on his last day – I don’t think those wonderful women know just what a big impact they have had on our family.
My decision is not without anxiety, guilt or worry. Far from it. Every day I have been worrying about everyone in our household – What if Andrew is scared and lost when he starts kindergarten? What if Lily is miserable and hates daycare? What if Ryan feel overwhelmed when he needs to take on more things around the house when I’m working? What if I regret my decision and would rather be at home with my kids? The worries are endless, but I’m slowly learning that these worries can help make me a better mom. I can prepare myself and my kids for different outcomes. They can become a little more independent and experience new things that I can’t teach them. They will be exposed to new people, things, and concepts every day.
Thankfully Ryan has taken next week off to help us all transition into this next phase in our lives – Andrew is starting a new daycare and starts junior kindergarten, Lily starts at her daycare, and I start a new job. I am so overwhelmed with emotion and anxiety (and there have been enough tears to flood the Sahara) about all there is to come, but I know in my heart that I have made the best decision for my family and I. As I’m writing this now, I have begun to cry, so I know it’s time to wrap up this novel of a post. Change is hard, but change can be good. Somehow my sweet babies have started to grow and it is time for momma to give them a little push to spread their wings. Time to fly my sweet babies!
You got this mama. So proud of you for sharing your story (and for generally being an amazing mom and blogger!)
Awww I’m sure this was such a tough decision for you but you’re doing what you feel is best and healthiest for you and your family and that should be commended!
I hope that all the transitions go as smoothly as possible and welcome back to work! What a difference I’m sure you’re making!
I totally agree that preschool helps mold children and get them ready for school. Henry was in a full day preschool 3 days a week since he was 3 months old and he started Pre-K last month at our local elementary school. I think it definitely helped him with SO much but the social aspect stood out. You are such a great mother and your children are lucky to have you!