I don't agree with sending toddlers to daycare full time, five days a week from 8-5. But I do it because I financially cannot stay home either. It's something I have to deal with every day but it's also something I've grown to accept. I see the growth between my son and I, from the time we spend apart, I feel like our minutes together are twice as bonding. I have nothing to compare it to since I have been back to work, full time, since J was 12 weeks old.
Today was a day that my 17 month old son needed a mental health day. Unfortunately my husband and I needed to be at work. It was a sad morning as I was dropping J off at school. His little 2 year old buddy was there and greeted J with a big smile and a wave, but J didn't look as pleased.
He clung to me like a little monkey and if I put him down he cried. I've never experienced this from him. We've been going to the same daycare since he was 8 months old. But today felt like it was day 1.
I wish I had the capability to say: OK we're playing hookie! Maybe someday I will be able to plan something in advance because an impromptu day off was not obtainable today. My poor baby, who loves spending his days with the other kids, wanted to spend his day with his Mum.
My heart broke as I left him this morning. His watery eyes and red nose stared back at me through the kitchen windows of his in-home daycare. I waved and smiled back to him, hoping it was enough reassurance that he would have a good day. And that I do love him. Despite my dreadful ride to work, I wanted to run home with him so badly.
Someday I will be able to afford to spend more time with J, and hopefully baby #2. Someday. Unfortunately we will have many more struggles like we did today. I know my baby will still love me at the end of the day, and will hopefully accept my apology with hugs and smooches when I pick him up at 5:00. It's all I've thought about today as I watch the clock tick slowly, minute by minute.