I have been contemplating re-visiting Fabrictherapy for some time. It seems like the pace of my life is so frantic that sitting down to write may be the only way I can give myself a chance to breath, rest, think. I came across one of my posts from almost five years ago “In her eyes” and found myself in tears. Partly because I don’t feel like I am giving my youngest daughter the same playful opportunities I gave my first born, and partly because I am overtired and fighting a cold.
So much has changed since I last wrote. My two oldest children are now in school. Sofia is a tall lanky seven year old, sassy as ever, and Charlie is courageous five year old, diving into the world of kindergarten. My little Anna and I are also diving into a new world: daycare. I inwardly shutter as I write the word. Millions of women put their children into daycare. Do each of them struggle with the same oppressing guilt? This guilt is heightened by the fact that my other two never went to daycare.
Will Anna one day ask me why she was put in daycare but I spent seven days a week with her older siblings? Will she feel that she is less valued because I chose to seek help with her care in order to pursue work opportunities?
She is only there two days a week but I ache for her ever bit of those two days. I wonder if she is crying. Is she asking for mommy? Is she wondering why I left her? How much can a three year old understand? The ironic thing is that I leave her in daycare so that I can work with other people’s children.
Since last time I wrote my interior decorating business has rather taken off and I started working part time as the Birth to Five Children’s Coordinator at my church. This combination amounts to a fairly flexible, fairly full time work schedule. I am lucky enough that two out of the four days I work for the church I am able to bring Anna to participate in the classes. She also participates in my interior decorating business, driving all over the lower mainland sourcing product, sometimes even shopping with me and a client. I am lucky to have such flexibility but I am not so sure that she is lucky to be along for the ride.
I read “In her eyes” and remembering the frequent walks and playful games I engaged in with Sofia when she was Anna’s age tipped me over the edge. Instead Anna gets dragged from client’s house to furniture store to fabric store then shipped off to daycare. What am I doing? Should I be doing all this? How can I find balance? I love my children to bits and pieces but I also love my work.
Does it boil down to an extreme move like stepping back from my business or simply better using the time I do have with her, with all of them. I know that being their mom is my biggest most important job. How do I do that well while balancing all these other bits of my life?