At the CDC here, you can sublet a spot from someone – essentially, you are paying for their spot, which they can lease out to you for however long they need and without that person losing their spot. It’s great because that family keeps their childcare spot, and people like me get to use the CDC for a short time. Addie is going there for almost all of April in a sublet spot. She gets interaction with kids, to play with a particular caregiver there that she LOVES, and I get some Addie-free time to do whatever I need. It’s been great – I can go to the gym for longer than 45 minutes and without worrying about Addie trying to climb everything or hurting another kid. I can go to the store without chasing her through the aisles (although that is good cardio right there). I have been spending some quality time with Lorelei and Anya. It really works out for everyone, right?
I should be thrilled and really enjoying this time, and I usually am. However, I always feel this twinge of guilt for leaving her there. Do not get me wrong: she is getting great care there, and she loves it. She plays, she actually naps well, she eats, and she spends time with kids her age and with caregivers that are trained and that she likes being around. It is a safe environment and while I do not really have the money to keep her there full-time, it is a nice break. On the other hand, I am dropping her off there so I am not bothered by her. Doesn’t that sound wrong? For some instances, like having her there so I can go to the doctor or to take the girls to the dentist, it makes sense. But is it bad of me to leave her there so I can go to the gym or so I can get groceries? I welcome a break and some time to myself, even if it is spent studying or shuttling the other girls around, but why do I still feel guilty? Is it the money or is it my own guilt?
There are so many things that we are never told when we become mothers. I think a lot of things we learn as we go, like how unfazed you will become by vomit and drool, how many things you will say that echo your own mother, or how you can still function while utterly exhausted. I’ve had many surprises in my 8+ years of motherhood, but the guilt of motherhood is one that really caught me off guard. I feel guilty so much – guilty if I wish for more time away from my kids, guilty if I leave them, guilty if I cannot afford the things they need, guilty when I have to punish them or if I yell….and those are just the instances I can think of right now. Why do I feel this? I know I am a good mother, and I know that I try as hard as I can. I know that wanting some space or a break from my kids from time to time is not abnormal, and it’s probably healthy to take a breather. Someone once told me that the guilt is a sign that you are a good mother – that you really care about your children and although misplaced, the guilt is your way of reminding yourself of that. Then again, I feel worry and guilt more than others anyways. Again, a born worrier…
In the meantime, I’m going to try and get as much done as I can without dragging Addie around with me. Hey, if I’m paying for it and she likes it, then I’ll shove my guilt aside and run it out at the gym, in peace. 🙂