By the way, I have made 500 posts! (Craig has helped a bit.)
So, today was Devan’s last day at his current daycare- a center. And it was sad for everyone. At first I was thinking it was a little weird how upset they were to see him go, but then I gave it some more thought and it occurred to me that he has been there for 10 weeks. It may not sound like long, but I stayed home with him for ten weeks after he was born. And ten weeks with a baby might as well be a lifetime when all you need is a few minutes to fall in love with them. When you think that he is there for four days a week, and about 7 hours a day- they got to know my baby pretty well. And honestly, I really feel like they loved him. Now I know there are those who feel strongly about staying at home who would turn this against me, and say that I am using the provider to take the place of “mom” and it is more important for a mom to be at home with their baby. And I respect that point of view, but I do disagree. If I thought for one second that Devan wasn’t absolutely thriving in this situation, we would change it immediately. But this works for us. And I thought I would share my opinions on the matter not because I feel the need to justify our decisions, but because I think a lot of times it is hard to understand how two different people can be put into a similar situation, and both give it much thought and prayer, and then come to two different conclusions.
First, lets put to rest the debate on which is harder- working or staying at home. After doing both for an equal amount of time I can say with certainty that staying at home is MUCH harder. Hands down, no question. At least with my desk job! The days I have off to stay at home with Devan are rewarding, but exhausting. This may have something to do with the fact that baby never sleeps, but even if he did I would just be rushing around cleaning, not kicking back and watching Oprah. When you go to work you get “me” time, and with my job you also get a fair amount of time sitting on your butt. And, I am doing something I am really passionate about. I could afford to stay at home and we could provide for Devan. I work because I want to. And I know there are those who probably can hardly fathom that choice, but it is the best choice for our family at this time, and it isn’t one I made lightly.
From my faith background, I have always believed strongly that everyone is here on earth with a purpose. I found my calling early because in tenth grade I knew I wanted to become a Landscape Architect. Many sort of stumble upon the profession by happenstance, but I went to college knowing it was my calling in life. The profession suits me to a “t”, it fits my strengths, and I take great pleasure from the work I do. And I have no question that this current job is a blessing from God- because things fell into place too neatly for it to be mere coincidence. I am doing what I love, and what I was called to do with my life. I worked hard to earn my registration, and I am ready to make use of it. And then I was blessed with a situation where I could work part time and continue my dream, as well as having quality time with my son.
I love my son. I love him so much, more than I ever thought was possible. And Craig loves him too, like crazy. And I am going to do what is best for him, to the best of my ability. That’s all anyone can ask of a parent- love your child unconditionally and do the best you can for them. Devan is absolutely thriving in daycare. It is hard for me to leave him, but he does great. I made a point to pick him up at a different time every day and what I saw in those ten weeks is that Devan LOVES action. He sits in his infant chair in the middle of the nursery and watches all the other babies, and is happy as a clam. I will never forget the day I walked in and four babies were crying. And there was Devan just sitting in the middle of the room, looking around with a smile on his face and making the loudest noise he could- just to join in the racket. When he saw me he got a huge grin on his face and it was like he was saying to me- isn’t this FUN? I worried about him a little less after that day.
I can definitely understand why moms stay at home. Babies are wonderful, and fun, and there is no question that there are babies that do better at home. And some moms are just happier at home. I believe that just as I was called to my job, there are women that are called to be stay at home mothers. Choosing to work instead of staying at home doesn’t mean I love my child any less. It doesn’t mean that the Dads who work love their babies any less. Different families are just different. And this works for us right now. Maybe someday we will have another baby and the situation will change I will stay at home. Or maybe I will work part time. Or maybe I will go to full time. Who knows? I’m just going to do what we decide is best for our family.
Devan starts Monday at an in-home provider a few minutes from my work. I am anxious about the change, and I hope he does well there. I am hoping to build a close relationship with his provider, and I am really excited that he will have some consistent playmates in the other two babies in her care, as he has no cousins or babies close to his age to play with now. And I feel really good that it is obvious that it is her calling in life to be a provider.
There are probably a thousand more things that we considered when making the decision, but the bottom line is it just felt right. And it still feels right. And I am guessing the moms who stay at home know that it just feels right to them. Now let’s just all get back to loving our babies.