Monday, September 29, 2008

...To Grandmother's House We Go

Mommy's first day back to work.
The girls' first day at "Granny's Daycare." ;-)


holly said...

good luck today! it's tough, but the reward when you get home will be wonderful!

Sara_Smiles said...

You will do so great! It helps that you teach. You'll be too busy to know otherwise. Best of luck!
FYI- My son shares the girls bithday... and I teach 6th grade. So, I love to read up on your girlies.

Michelle said...

Reading the latest I sat at the computer and cried because I have been there. There is absolutely nothing anyone can say or do to make up for the fact that you are not with your little ones every minute of the day. Only those who have done it understand. It crushed me every single day for four years when I had to leave Connor to work. You're right, grandmas are the next best thing to mommy, but it still wasn't mommy. Friends told me it would get easier with time and I found that it got harder with time because at Christmas break he started sitting up and then I was back to work, spring break he started crawling and I was back to work, June 11th he started walking and I was back at work six weeks later. What I did find was a balance for the hours I was home with him. Like you, I didn't care about dirty clothes, dirty dishes, dusty house, nasty bathroom, my priority was to be in my child's face for the four hours a day I got with him. I cherished those four hours but at the same time kept beating myself up because I was only "with" him four of twenty-four hours. I was worried that he didn't know I was mommy. I can be honest and say it wasn't until he was ten months old that I felt like I had really bonded with him. I didn't know the other ten months that I had not until I realized that I had. Looking back there is absolutely nothing that I would change about Connor's first four years. He is the little boy he is because of his early years. He is and always has been a happy boy. He is extremely close to his grandparents which is important to me because you and I were always so close with ours.Being with grandparents allows them to feel a different kind of love. It's hard to describe but knowing now how Connor feels about mom and dad makes me know that he was loved every minute I wasn't there. He was doted on and spoiled rotten and despite how people think that may not be a good thing, I would rather know he was spoiled every minute of every day than be in a daycare somewhere. I read an article somewhere about quality vs. quantity when it comes to time with children. It said that working mothers actually spend more quality time with their children because they make the few awake hours they have good quality, meaningful time instead of being home all the time shuttling from store to store and thinking since I'm home this is good instead of really engaging with their child. I wish I had had more time with him in the early years, which is why I'm doing what I am now with Dylan but the bottom line is that he knew I was mommy all along. He was inside of me for 41 long weeks and despite working, I truly believe a baby knows mommy's smell, hold, touch, voice and absolutely nothing can compete with a mother's love. When you have children you realize that you will do anything for them and they know it. They know it from the beginning and it stays with them. It is hard, it will always be hard but put them first and give them what they need. I have said no to many a weekend gathering or weeknight visit or declined invitations because I just felt that my child needed me more. It ticked some people off but my child was always more important. Be the best mommy you can be all the time. Since Connor was born, every night when I am finally able to put my head on the pillow, I ask myself, "Have I done all I can for my child today?" And for three and a half years the answer has always been yes. I realized eight months ago the one thing I wasn't giving him and was the most important was a relationship with God because I didn't want to go to sunday school because that meant Saturday was my only full day with him. I realized this one night when the question I asked myself was answered with a no. We have been actively involved since then. Our church is a family and the friends we have at church are a family to Connor. We walk down the halls every sunday with people hugging him and loving on him. Allowing myself to give him up to live his life with God meant I was doing the same. As a family, it was the most comforting thing we have ever done. I know he will be okay along with Dylan because we are living a different life than we did four years ago. Priorities change daily but your faith and your family is something you will always have. Take it day by day. It's the mothers that don't feel this way that worry me. The fact that you feel this way and are emotional only means you're a good mommy and always will be. They know it. They're happy and despite the fact that you aren't there all the time, they will be the little ones they are because of you. They will look to you for everything, love, hugs, kisses, guidance, reassurance, praise, only you can give them all of those things because you're the mommy. I can say that because I have done it. You are their only mom. Give them everything they need and all three of you will be okay. Take risks, try new things and have fun. We do the craziest things that people turn their noses up at but would you believe it's those things that are the most fun to him, the things he remembers, (flour disaster in the kitchen, water all over the bathroom walls because we had too much at bath time), I could go on forever because if it can be done, we've probably done it. It goes by too fast. Live a life with them that's meaningful, rich in lessons and love. Read, cuddle, talk and share your life with them. They are your mark on the world. Give them all you have, you won't regret a minute.

Anonymous said...

We all had a great week! The girls and Dylan are good babies and I love them all (Connor also!). I know we are all going to be just fine. I know everybody keeps asking me how can you keep three babies? I only know that I would not have it any other way. I will retire in 4 years!