Oh Day Care, how I have learnt to love you….

Today is day care day in my house.

It usually means a mad day of rushing around and getting all of those jobs done that are fraught with danger with a nearly three year old and bub in tow. I buy only what I need at the grocery store, instead of all of the extra ‘silencers’ that buy me some time when my toddler comes shopping. I clean the floors, once, and they stay clean. I do the washing, dishes, pay bills, check emails, walk the dog without stopping and head into school to tutor some Year 12 boys. Oh yeah and I feed, change, play with and settle the baby.

My day flies past. I rarely eat lunch or do anything for me. So today I decided to do it a little differently. Today I have decided to read the paper, write my blog, eat lunch, talk on the phone, all things I love doing but never find time to do. The problem with never finding time to enjoy these ‘luxuries’ is I get to a point at some stage during the week where I just get pissed off. Pissed off that I don’t get any time to do anything for myself, by myself. (Now granted I still have my bub with me on day care days, and prior to his arrival when I only had one, I couldn’t do any of these things, but you learn to be faster and very good at using one hand when there are two hovering at your ankles.)

I’ve had a few days up in Melbourne visiting lots of friends, hanging out with my family and getting a few jobs done. My husband gets some time to himself and my family get to spend some time with their nephews/ grandsons. Then I walk in the door to have friends arrive to stay for the weekend. They are easy friends. They let their kid eat whatever, watch telly, sleep wherever and don’t make too many comments about how crazy my kids are – which is nice. But by Sunday night I was knackered and bubbling under the surface was this angst.  As I pat my baby back to sleep having just got into bed and realising there is a load of washing in the machine to hang out, the angst grows.

I have just spent four solid days of making sure everyone else is okay, doing my bit to help out, check in, support, build relationships, offer food, clean up, make conversation, listen, make sure others get sleep and by last night I was done! I took the lap top and a book to melbourne, hoping to read and write, but couldn’t find the time to do either. Now my life is pretty easy compared to lots of my friends with sick babies at the moment, but it’s always busy and by Sunday night I was exhausted. I want someone to make sure I get uninterrupted sleep, or that my toddler isn’t being too offensive. I would like my kids’ uncles to make the effort to hang out with their nephews instead of me having to drive two hours with two kids down the freeway. I would like to go to bed complaining how long it’s been since I went for a really long bike ride, instead of how nice four hours of sleep in a row would be. I would like someone to call me on an afternoon and say, hey haven’t seen you for ages and we are just up the road can we come visit.

So instead of whinging about it, hang on, as well as whinging about it, today I just took a couple of hours off. I did my chores while by babies were awake and now while I have a little bit of quiet I am relishing it! Sure, I’ll pay for it later when the dinner isn’t made and the house is a bomb and the washing piles up and the dog hasn’t been walked, but today I don’t care. My son is in day care and I’m having some time off. I’m not feeling guilty about him being there. Not justifying putting him there so I can clean and cook and shop and work. I’m tired of telling people who don’t put their kids in day care why my son is going. Because for those of us without the luxury/ interference of grandparents round the corner, we know the benefits of day care. When you are two years old peer pressure is fantastic! You learn to use the toilet, stop crying at drop off, share, eat good food and even SLEEP IN THE DAY.

So goodbye to the guilt, sure it’ll be back this weekend when we see the in-laws and they wonder why he goes for a whole day when I work for one hour, but today we are strangers. Now for another cup of tea and a tim tam.

 

 

 

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