I’ll tell you what, life is pretty interesting.
Right when you think you get the hang of things, the wind changes and you’ve got to get used to an entirely new kind of normal.
As I type this, I am waiting for all three children’s clothes to dry.
Because I am super organised and didn’t make sure there were enough dry clothes yeseterday.
And because they are all going to daycare/preschool today.
All three of them.
It’s the Two’s second day.
Their first day – last week – they aced it.
Fraser shot off to play, and only Oscar was a little timid at being left. His bottom lip dropped. His chin wobbled. He opened his mouth to sing his protest. And then one of his carers – a lovely friend of ours – took him by the hand and he was fine.
I had to sign an incident report for Fraser, because he pulled a draw out on himself and hurt his foot.
Which says to me that he was just as comfortable destroying the toddler room as he is destroying my home.
Here’s the thing – I don’t feel guilty sending my kids to childcare.
I never have.
Roo began going to care when she was two. I didn’t feel the need to justify myself then, as a stay at home mother. I still don’t feel the need to justify myself now.
I believe that a little care outside of the home is good for my children. I believe in socialisation. I believe in allowing my children the chance to thrive, and discover the world, without me hovering over them.
I believe that my children need time in social situations, without their mother. Because I believe that no matter how well intentioned, no matter how unintentional, mothers as a rule inhibit their children.
We are keeping them safe. Helping them. Directing their play. Choosing their friends, their playdates.
And somewhere in there, a child has to find the freedom to be him or herself.
Which can be really hard.
It’s even hard as an adult, I sometimes find, to be oneself with the self-imposed pressure of wanting to please our parents.
Perhaps choosing to put my children in a daycare centre was an easy decision for Pal and I.
I am a social person, my children all seem to have inherited that trait.
Pal and I are mostly outgoing, friendly people, my children seem to have inherited that trait too.
Maybe because we are all so social, so eager to make friends and have fun, the decision was already made for me.
And I can fully comprehend why one would choose not to put a child in care – the reasons, the guilt, knowing your own child’s personality and threshold. I get all that.
But me? I don’t feel guilty.
And now, my new normal includes a crazy, get ready for school rush, Friday morning.
To be followed by a busy, and incredibly quiet, day.
I tell you what, I can, and will, happily get used to that.
Do your children attend daycare (or preschool)? Do you feel guilty? Do you think the concept of mother guilt was created to make mothers feel guilty for not feeling guilty? Did I just confuse you? Don’t worry, I confused myself…