Yesterday, Jameson had a wonderful day at daycare.
We get a sheet documenting his day. In addition to notes about his diapering and eating habits, we get details about his mood (always marked happy even if he’s been fussy), activities, and a special custom note at the bottom. I save all these sheets since he started at this new daycare about 6 months ago, intending to use them in his digital scrapbook.
His little note yesterday read: Today we had music class! Jameson loved to play with the shakers. It was his first music class.
Yesterday, he also got an extra note attached to his standard sheet. It reads:
I just wanted to let you know that Jameson had a fantastic day today! He was all smiles, and gave hugs and waves to everyone he saw. He did great with his bottles and fell right asleep at naptime. He is starting to get jealous though when the teachers are with the other children. Overall he did really well today and I just wanted to let you guys know.
On top of this great news (even the jealous part, because to me it means he is really loving his teachers there), they also had a gift for him for his first birthday. They gave him a book, and a little photo album with pictures from him while he was at the daycare.
It made me cry a little bit (I’m tearing up again now). These are moments that I missed. And these are moments that wouldn’t have happened at all if I was staying at home with him.
I’d by lying if I didn’t say I still have mixed feelings most days about him being in daycare. Especially when he is teething and cranky. I can joke about dropping him off on those days so that I don’t have to “deal with it”, but truth is, I’d rather be dealing with it.
But I have no doubt that I’d be just as torn staying home: feeling like I didn’t appreciate him as much, wishing for adult company, resenting my perception of my own reduced value.
There doesn’t seem to be any easy answer. It’s the same question one year out.
I often wish something would happen to remove my choice entirely, like that would make it easier. If I couldn’t afford daycare, or if we depended on my income to survive.
I am aware that I am making the smart, financially sound choice. But sometimes I attribute my mediocrity at work to a quiet plea to remove me from the position I’m in, where everyday that I come in, I feel like I am making the choice to be richer in lifestyle and perhaps poorer in life.