We’ve been talking a lot lately about what is the best arrangement for our kids if I’m not the one to stay home with them each day anymore. (And is that even the best arrangement if mom feels restrained, limited, unhappy, caged?) Of course, this is not an easy question to answer because I have yet to get my visit from my fairy godmother with a magic eight ball that actually works to tell me the future.
As the parent, I’m supposed to know, or figure out, what the next steps should be. It’s a tough role to be thrown into whether you’ve been a mom for a day or three years two months and fifteen days or thirty years. I don’t have a clue if having a nanny is best, or is a childcare facility is better. I can see logic in both options, strengths and weaknesses. I love knowing that my kids can be home, eating our food, sleeping in their own bed, doing outings, nurtured and cared for when they are sick. I would also love knowing that my kids are learning every day, that there is more than one teacher in case one of them is sick, that I don’t have to plan a food menu, and that my kids are stimulated, engaged and socializing.
What I do know I that kids are resilient. Kids (my frame of reference is babies, toddlers, preschoolers) are amazing at adapting to situations, finding the good, and celebrating the silver lining with gusto. They have the ability to be adamantly against something, become distracted after ten minutes of protest, and jubilantly throw themselves into playing in a new classroom, with a new nanny or babysitter. Kids adapt. Kids grow. Kids are resilient.
This is what I tell myself when I worry about my kids and my choices in their care and education at this young age. They will adapt and overcome changes, they will settle into whatever routine is put out for them as long as it comes with love, hugs, patience, explanation and a little more patience. If they feel grounded and secure in their relationship with me, my kids seem capable to deal with almost anything.
My kids didn’t love my return to work full-time. I’d even wager my preschooler is still struggling with it even though he understands and can talk about how, “Mama is at work.” My toddler seems to enjoy everyone who comes to play with her, but she’ll do a whole body dance for joy when I come home at the end of the day. Some days I feel like they have a hard time switching over to my return; then other days it’s like I’ve been there all day. I will say, it never feels like enough time between work and bedtime; and my heart aches for it. I wish mama was as resilient as my kids.