Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Bear-Bear Grows

Today Sam's amazing daycare teacher called to confirm that we will be placing Alan into her care for one day a week starting next month.

I know we need it. Yesterday I had a phone meeting about an exciting story with a new to me editor at (Major National Consumer Magazine) and Anni burped, farted and needed to be rocked for the duration--30 minutes. There I was, trying to be professional, all while praying that my editor did not think it was me having such blatant digestion issues.

I need the time to myself and I need the time to make real money. This past half year has been at times incredibly stressful when I have taken on too much (like in the first weeks after Ani's birth) and so boring (when I decided to cut back and focus only on the kids). I am a working mom and am very lucky to have a flexible career that allows me to maximize my time with my kids. But the reality is, I need work. I need a creative outlet. I need intellectual stimulation that does not come from craft projects, trips to the gym and playgroup. And because I need these things I also need childcare.

I was lucky with Sam that it worked for so long (12 months). But I did not have the workload then that I have now. Then my freelancing was confined to small projects that could be confined to nap times and evening hours. Now? Not so much. And the past two months with little to no work has taught me that I need the validation and pride that comes from bringing my own income to the family. I am lucky that I have an advanced degree in something so flexible.

I know I revisit this Mommy War issue from time to time here. It is nothing new. I am a mom who needs work, blah, blah. But I do feel the need to justify my choices, because saying goodbye to my baby once a week is going to be really, really hard. I have not been away from him for more than three hours since he was born. And somehow all of this feels so much harder knowing that he is likely to be my last baby. It is all happening too fast.

But it is the right thing. And it is only once a week. So, I will do it. Even though it makes me want to cry.


Lis Garrett said...

There's absolutely no fault in needing alone time to do your job, and you shouldn't have to justify that to anyone. The fact you are sending Sam and Alan to daycare for a little while each week doesn't mean you love them any less than a mother who keeps her kids home. It's completely healthy to have your own interests, and I admire how motivated you are. You simply cannot conduct important meetings and interviews while worrying about what your children are up to in the next room. You sending your kids to daycare is no worse than me counting down the days until my last one goes off to elementary school. Because honestly, I can hardly do what I need to do on less than 10 hours of kid-free time each week. BUT . . . I love my kids dearly. All of us working parents do.

jm said...

Oh, I sympathize. Hang in there. It will likely be hard, yeah, but you'll be able to concentrate, have a sweet end-of-day reunion, and cherish your time with him that much more. Good luck.

Kristi said...

Like Melissa, I am looking forward to 3 (ugh) years from now when the twins will be in preschool and Isabella will be in school all day long so that I can get my career back on track. I wish I had the courage and the means to seek childcare to further my career as you are. I know what I'm capable of, but I have NO time to pursue it. You're totally doing the right thing. Don't doubt that.