My babies start daycare tomorrow. I'm ... nervous, to say the least. Also a strange mixture of sad, relieved, excited, guilty, terrified. And other stuff. I feel a bit like of a failure. But I feel relief because finally, I get a bit of time for myself. Not just to breathe, but to get stuff DONE around here.
With the babies at home, I barely break even. Right now they are down to one nap most days. I spend that nap cleaning up after lunch and after the morning, washing the dishes, picking up toys, sweeping the floor, making phone calls or sending emails. After they go to bed, at 8pm, I clean up after dinner, unpack and repack the diaper bag, unload the car from errands, fold laundry, sort mail, pay bills, etc. If they've had a bath, I also have to clean up the bathroom, put away toys, and wipe down the tub. I go to bed wiped out, and then I get up pretty early and start all over. I can usually maintain things, but the problem is I started out behind and I'm still behind.
There's paperwork to be filled out and filed and sorted and recycled, and it's everywhere. There are closets to be cleaned out. The garage is a total disaster. It has a lot of stuff we never unpacked after we moved, a lot of old baby stuff, and all the regular "garage" stuff, and it's all in a big pile because the contractors moved it here and there and eventually shoved it all in the middle. And now it's covered in an inch of dust and dirt, too. There is furniture to be moved around, including in the kids' rooms, and it's hard to do that when they're awake and impossible to do when they're sleeping in there. We have a food moth infestation AND a clothes moth infestation, and I haven't been able to do anything about either one. In the last few weeks, we've had our heater go out, and the contractors have cut our electricity, water, and gas on various occasions, requiring me to spend a lot of time on the phone, or showing repair-people around to fix stuff.
On top of that, I never get to the gym. I don't get to work out. I feel like crap because of it, and I think I am actually more tired. I only shower a few times a week (when do you people shower? How?!). Every once in a while I manage to make a nice meal, but most of the time it's total crap, and we have to put the kids in front of the TV at some point just to get a few things done.
Next month, my husband will be going on an 8-day trip to Europe, and then later a 5-day trip to Europe. In between, he'll be doing lots of day trips, which often involve leaving at 7:30am and getting home after I go to bed, which means I handle everything from the moment the babies get up to the moment they go to bed, plus clean-up. I'm just so tired.
I have a dentist appointment next week, and I've had an intermittent toothache I haven't had time to get seen to in the meantime. I somehow got my birth control renewed without going to see the OBGYN, but I have to do that soon. My bras are all destroyed and I haven't been able to get new ones.
So that is why they are going to daycare two days per week. And why I am heartbroken about it, but also relieved to be able to just DO some of this stuff. And hopefully in a few weeks or months I can catch up, and we can reevaluate how things are. Maybe everyone will be happier with daycare. Maybe we'll hate it and we'll stop. In theory, we can choose whatever works for us and all be happy with it.
And sheesh, I make it all sound bad, which it's not! I mean, I don't get stuff done because I'm spending time with my beautiful children, and we generally have a lot of fun, even if we are running errands some of the time. Today we just got ice cream and hung out in the plaza in our town, played in the fountain and ran around and bought art supplies for some fun things I hope to do now that I will actually have TIME to do them. I will be able to prepare them on daycare days, and we'll be able to do them on days they're home, and I'm hoping the time we spend together will be more quality time.
Am I just kidding myself, though? I will miss them like crazy when they're not here. Maybe after I get things under control, I'll keep them home again full time. Maybe not. A blogger I read once said that she thought parents who work (I'll modify this to parents whose kids don't spend the whole day with them) may not love their kids more than parents who stay at home, but they probably appreciate them more, and I suspect that might be true. So we'll give it a shot tomorrow and see how it goes. Wish me luck, please!