Granted, Ingrid only goes to daycare two days a week, but drop-offs are still a real drag.
After standing in the doorway for an uncomfortably long period of time, waving to Ingrid like a maniac - she grinned, and waved back. Then she grabbed a faux-food pretzel and shoved it in her mouth (mmm, plastic). Then, she gave me a head-tilt as if to say "Mom, seriously. I'm fine."
Driving to work, my mind started to drift to the upcoming workday tasks.
Then, it hit me. I didn't feel that bad - or even that guilty - about leaving my 10-month-old with three college girls. Why not?
Then I started to feel guilty about not feeling guilty.
Our daycare center is amazing. Ingrid loves it. Ingrid is the class favorite (I assume). The teacher-to-child ratio is unheard of. It's minutes from my work and blocks away from Dan's school. And, we all get to gaze out onto Lake Michigan during our commutes (oh-so-much better than I-94).
Then again, I learn about her day on a prescriptive worksheet (ATE ALL OF PEAS AT 12:10 PM. BM AT 9:40 AM). I don't have a contact, control, or even a good idea as to her general well-being from 8:15-5:30 Monday through Friday. And she's the most important person in my life.
But then, when husband sent this text message today:
|Hooray for chains!|
The rest of the day seemed to go a little bit easier.
Whether she's at daycare or at home with Dan or I - she's happy.
Dan's in school, running his own business and watching Ingrid.
Like it or not, I'm working.
Guilty as charged, I like work.
Some mornings it feels great to leave the house and be mentally challenged.
Some mornings, I wish I could run back into the Caterpillar room (after putting on the blue protective booties, unlocking the never-ending series of swinging doors and washing my hands). Then, I would scoop Ingrid up, and we would snuggle and play all day. Without any fussiness or nap-time whining. Or, with a ton of fussiness and whining. Ingrid wins over email any day.
The daycare saga is a see-saw of conflicting emotions and rationals. Doing what's best, against doing what needs to be done. Reality of the situation (see) verses what I want (saw). Thrilled about work while missing Ingrid.
I'm forever thankful that I was able to spend five wonderful months at home with Ingrid, from day one to week 18.
It's been wonderful to watch Dan become an amazing stay-at-home, work-at-home, student, (and above all) dad.
I could go on and on about the wonderfulness that is Ingrid's daycare.
But sometimes, I just want to override my guilty feelings about the decision to work full-time and be with Ingrid.