Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Paying the price

For me, the cost of daycare is much more than writing a check each week. I operate a daycare out of my home - sharing my time with children other than just my own. Sometimes I wonder if I'm the one really paying the price.

Yesterday, my daughter bit another child. Is that to be explained away as two-year-old exploratory behavior? Or, did she pick that up from a four-year-old who bit another child a few months ago?

She also flip-flops between calling me "momma" and my given name, "Sarah." I suppose she hears the other kids calling me by my name. I cringe when I hear it - I went through labor with her just so she would call me "momma."

So much of my time each day is given away to children other than my own. I understand the alternative. I could be dropping them off each morning at someone else's house; writing a check so someone else could spend their day with my children. I have already tried that. It lasted a mere three weeks; with moments of guilt that still well up in me.

Yet, I wonder? Am I, and my children, paying the price for the influence, the chaos, the endless messes? Am I being greedy? Wanting to keep my home, my mini van? (Okay, maybe not the van.)

Or is this just mommy guilt? Would I second guess every decision involving my children no matter what? Will I ever feel confident that I have done the best I could for my kids?

In a perfect world, I wouldn't have to operate a daycare. But this is my not-so-perfect life.

Noah and Tucker - I want you to forever know - that at this moment in your young lives, I am giving you all that I can. Thank you for sharing me with other children. Thank you for enduring the chaos, the mess, the unintended influence. Your daddy and I are committed to you, and only you. We love you so much more than you will ever know.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I wonder the same thing Sarah, except my children don't get to interact with any other kids throughout their day. Now that there are two of them, they have each other but they are nearly 2 years apart and not ready to play together. I guess there are always going to be pros and cons in life. I'm hoping my pros outweigh the cons of shipping them off to someone else's house.

Anonymous said...

Sarah, as soon as you give yourself the gratification that you are doing your best, you might stop striving for giving your best. While most of us know you do more than your best, wait until they drive away to college, murmur, "I did my best," and later they will come back and tell you how amazing you are:) -Urban Swan