Tough Decisions

On the morning commute today, my six-year-old reminded me that this coming Monday is a holiday.  This means, no school…not just for her, but for me, too!  I was so excited to hear this information.  I love sleeping in and spending the day with my crew doing nothing and everything all at the same time.

Yes, sometimes we get on each other’s nerves.  Yes, some days I secretly wish I could just get away for a half an hour and spend some time alone.  However, I wouldn’t trade being with my babies for the world.

At the kids’ daycare I completed the ritual of our morning drop off  – hanging little coats and backpacks (that I ran through a checklist the night before…boots, hats, gloves, snow pants, homework folders, show and tell items, library books to return, lunch/snacks packed, etc.).  I signed them in and gave them each big hugs and kisses before turning my back and leaving them in the hands of others.  Others who will teach them, learn from & with them.  Others to enjoy them for eight hours of the day.  I’ve had to desensitize my heart over time to accomplish this task with ease.

After leaving the building I ran into another parent getting ready to drop his boys off, coincidentally the ages of my two youngest (4 and 2).  This parent happens to work in the same profession as I do, so I asked him if he knew we didn’t have school on Monday.

“Yes!” he said, “that is great news!  But, is the school (i.e. the daycare) still open on Monday?”

I told him that they were open and the teachers just asked me if my children would be in attendance.  I chuckled and said, “Heck no, we aren’t going to be here on Monday!”  Since I was home, they would be staying home with me.

To this, he replied, “Haha!  You will keep your kids home and we will be sending our kids!”

I started to explain how I like sleeping in and spending time with them when he told me I could still send them later in the day.  I figured it wasn’t worth the trouble of explaining how much I value the time with my children.

Now, I am not going to judge other parents for their decisions.  To each his/her own.  However, part of me was a little saddened to see another parent so willing to give this time up.  Some parents stay home with their children.  I envy the parents that can do that — both financially and mentally.  It is not an easy decision and it certainly isn’t an easy job.  Not only do I envy those parents, but I am in awe of their abilities and sacrifices.  I don’t know if I could do the job as well as some of my stay-at-home friends.

Regardless, when I have to leave my children each day I really do feel a slight tinge of pain and regret.  Given the opportunity to be with them is like being handed a gift —  I get to learn more about these little people.  We get to laugh together, cry together (yell together?).  We play games and bake cookies and build snowmen and read books.  We talk about deep things.  Seriously, we do.  I’d hate to miss out on that when given the chance to have it.

I know that there will come a day when my children will not want to spend time with me.  It will come all too quickly.  I savor each moment, good and bad, with these three unique individuals that I helped create.


2 thoughts on “Tough Decisions

  1. You say you’re not judging but you also say it makes you sad to see other parents make a different choice. For some of us, days like that are the only time we have available to run errands alone, schedule medical/dental appointments, or even a haircut. I’m a military spouse parenting a 3 year old and a 7 month old solo for a year, I desperately need those days.

    • I completely understand why some people have to send their kids to daycare when they are home. Just because it saddens me, personally, doesn’t mean I think it is wrong for anyone else. These are just my thoughts on the choice I make when presented with this opportunity. Plus, I personally know the parents mentioned in my post — they are married teachers, so they have just as much time as I do to get things done. Perhaps even more since my spouse works longer hours. I hope that makes sense. The title of the post is exactly what this is all about. We all have to make tough decisions as parents — whether it is being a stay at home parent who gives up his/her career, a working parent who must give up time with his/her kids, or a parent who chooses to send the kids to daycare when there is an extra day off of work or chooses to stay home with kids on these days. No one has it easy when you have little ones.

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