The greatest joy I’ve ever known is hearing my son’s little excited voice when I come home at the end of the day. I’ve struggled with being a working mother. I’m not going to even try to sugarcoat that. From the day he was born, I’ve dreaded having to leave him in the hands of someone else. Would they love him like me? They couldn’t possibly. Would they care for him as I would care for him? Not a chance.
I had to dismiss the idea that those things would ever happen. No one is going to love him the same as I do. No one is going to care for him the same. No one is going to be “mama”. There was a certain security in that for me, I admit. But I did want for him to feel like he was “at home” with whoever did take care of him 8-5 Monday through Friday.
We were fortunate that for the first six months of his life, he was able to stay with a very close family friend who did love him as her own grandchild. She still does. They share a certain bond that is just between the two of them. I am so very grateful for that.
We had to find alternate daycare at a certain point because our friend’s mother stays with her and she has Alzheimer’s and was getting worse—she needed more assistance. We understood that. It broke our heart a little, but we understood.
We considered an outside daycare center, but Logan was just so young. I’ve worked in enough centers to know that I didn’t want to send my child there until he was older. Not to say that they are all like that. There are some MARVELOUS centers out there. Still, I was leary.
One of my great friends mentioned to me that her aunt keeps children in her home. It is a bilingual home with several other children. He would be in a home environment, with someone we trusted. Most importantly, he would be around other children. Being the only child on BOTH sides of the family, this was a huge consideration for us. He needed to be around other children. He needed to know that it wasn’t always all about Logan. J
I was extremely nervous at first. He didn’t know anyone there and he had only been around people that he knew well. Would he feel comfortable? Would he be sad the entire time he was there?
He was fine. There were a few weeks that he would cry when we dropped him off, but we knew it was short lived. You can tell when you go to retrieve your child if they are happy where they are. You could see that he loved our Ms. Juanita. And you could see how much she cared for him as well. Her daughter is the closest thing to a sister that Logan has ever known.
He is very well taken care of and in this small home daycare he continues to see the “home” element that is so important to us. They love him as their own family. As working parents, we couldn’t ask for more.
There are days when I still struggle with being at work and leaving him for so much of the day. Sometimes…I just MISS him. I know that he misses his daddy and I as well. But that squeal at the end of the day is priceless. Knowing that wherever he is, there is no other happiness in the world than he has when mama, daddy, and Logan are all back home together.
Yes, I still wish that there were another way. But I also know that the time we have together is so precious and we value it like no other. I hope that we always remain this way. He’s learning that when family is together…it’s about family. It always is. What greater lesson is there than that?
Today I miss him more than most. Today I have caught myself staring at his picture many times and wondering what he’s doing right now. When I get home, I’ll squeeze him extra hard and we’ll read a few more books than we normally do. He’ll hug my neck and hold my face and say, “mama” and all of my concerns will melt away.
I love that kid like no other. People say he is blessed to be with us. I always correct them. We are the ones that are blessed beyond measure.