I am a homemaker, a housewife, a stay at home mom.
I take care of our two children while also managing our household + our rental house, running all necessary errands, managing our plans, scheduling doctors, dentists, home repairs, car services.
I am a doctor, nurse, teacher, chauffeur, assistant, chef, laundry attendant, property manager, animal caretaker, personal shopper.. you name it and I probably have worn that hat at some point in my stay at home mom/housewife career.
With that being said – when Camden turned 18 months, we enrolled him into a daycare program. It was a decision that I struggled with because being a stay at home mom – you don’t ever want to feel like you’ve failed. And I did feel that way. Four months into life with two under two, I was drowning.
Every day I struggled with guilt. Guilt that we took away Camdens baby-hood too quickly, giving him a sibling before he got all the attention he deserved. Guilt that Lily was not receiving the same amount of care and attention that her big brother did when he first came home. I felt like I was drowning, in over my head. He was starting to have more tantrums, act out a little more, and while I knew how to handle it – I hadn’t yet learned how to handle it AND handle a newborn baby.
After a lot of thought, guilt, and tears (from me), we thought it was a good idea to look into a program for Camden to attend. Giving him a little bit of his own identity, the freedom to play with other kids. Giving Lily a little bit more one on one time with me, a little more personal attention. Giving me a little bit less of a power struggle between the two.
I felt like I was failing them, but I ultimately gave in. After touring a local daycare/preschool – we settled on one and Camden was scheduled to start. We had (and still have) some rough mornings during drop offs, but when I get there to pick him up – he is never ready to leave his friends, his teachers, his own little place.
After 10 months, Camden moved up to the next classroom which was more of a preschool setting. It was more structured and includes a curriculum of learning with a lot of free play as well.
In September, Camden moved up to the first level of preschool. He talks about his teachers and friends, he tells me what he does in school, and he is excited to go, never wanting to leave. He has learned so much in his year there, I couldn’t ask for a better experience for him. With 10+ word sentences at his age, knowing colors and shapes, singing abc’s, counting to 20, knowing animals and objects that I have never mentioned – I know he is gaining so much knowledge, learning to listen and follow directions from other adults, making friends with other children, etc. The benefits have exceeded my expectations. There are still many days in which I feel guilty that instead of being home with me – he’s going to school – but I know that he is thriving and that makes me so proud.
Now we are approaching the time in which Lily is turning 18 months, the age that Camden started. It was tough decision for me, because Lily is my baby. My last baby. I want to cling to her and keep her home – selfishly. But I know so many of the things that Camden has learned will be equally as beneficial to her. I see behaviors in her that I know Camden used to exhibit and I know the only reason he grew out of some of them was because of his time in school.
This may sound like I am passing off the teaching responsibility to someone else – I truly believe that children listen better to others. Kudos to all homeschooling parents, but I think if I tried to sit my children down and teach them, they wouldn’t learn as easily or quickly as they do when another adult is teaching/when they are watching their peers learning also.
I also struggle with Lily starting because my identity has become stay at home mom. If both of my kids are attending school a few days a week, what will I do? Who am I? Am I still a stay at home mom? What will fill my time if I’m not feeding, changing, teaching, playing, being a mom?
Well. While I am a stay at home mom, it is NOT my only identity. I do so many more things than just parenting (as my husband kindly reminded me) that I will still have plenty of thing to do while my beautiful little people are off exploring the world around them with their tiny friends.
They say that taking time for yourself is important because when you come home, you’ll feel refreshed and be a happier parent. I think that if I get most of my mundane tasks done, with ease, without the loading and unloading of children, or working around nap times AND my children are getting something great out of their day – we will be able to meet in the afternoon and genuinely enjoy each other after a day apart.
I know many women only get a short time with their children before that HAVE to go back to work. I know many women wish they could be stay at home moms, but cannot. I am sure many of those women would think I am crazy for being able to stay home with my kids yet still send them to daycare/preschool. I have greatly enjoyed the 14 months of uninterrupted time with Camden, the 4 months we shared with his sister, and the 14 months after that I have spent uninterrupted with Lily while Cam goes to school. I will never forget or regret any of that time – but there is a saying;
To raise a child, who is comfortable enough to leave you, means you’ve done your job. They are not ours to keep, but to teach them to soar on their own.
My children sore each day on their own whether at school or with family or with friends or wherever they are – because I have done my job as a mother during my time with them to make them comfortable enough to do so. This does not mean my job is done, because it is far from that and I still have so much to teach them. But we strongly believe that preschool is a very important stepping stone in a childs life to achieve independence, to feel supported, to learn, to socialize, to respect other adults, to be comfortable to leave their parents and comfortable knowing that we will return for them and they will always come home.