It is $%^&$% impossible to work and watch a baby at the same time.
And yes people, I just said the word <bleep>.
Little Miss Charlene swore.
Frankly, it is liberating.
For 9 months now (okay, more like 6 since I was on maternity leave) I have been working and taking care of my son, on average, 20 hours a week with no alternative care for him. I juggle and juggle and juggle.
He sleeps, I work.
He sneezes, I look at email.
He wants to eat? Great, I can tweet.
No parents around to watch. My in-laws are older and thus don’t know one side of a today’s nappy from the other. My own parents are, well, busy. My mom works a few jobs and has a lot on her plate since my Dad is, still, in Afghanistan. Plus, the one hour drive for her equals an overnight stay. Sometimes I just want go to the grocery store and don’t need a freaking overnight guest as a result.
Where does this leave me? Tired, frustrated, at wits end, and feeling guilty.
I am sure everyone gets the first three, but the last? Yes, guilty.
I feel guilty because my mom ran after three kids all under the age of 4. She did not have a house cleaning service once a month like I do. She did not have babysitters until I was at least five, and she mowed the lawn, did the laundry, made us clothes and had dinner on the table every night that did not involve a microwave because there was no such thing.
So why can’t I freaking do it all like she did? What is wrong with me?
So here I am. Contemplating care so I can get a break. The even more pathetic thing? I am only contemplating it for 10 hours a week, and I still feel guilty. I feel guilty because I am putting my 9 month old son in the hands of some other person, for how ever many hours a week, because I cannot handle it all. I feel like I should have been able to handle it all and now he is paying the price. Like those women who have an ‘heir’ and send them off to boarding school so they never have to deal with bathtime again.
I contemplated a babysitter/nanny, but poo-pood that off the bat. If I hear them playing outside the office door, I will want to go play, which will make the whole nanny-thing pointless.
So I went off to look at a couple of daycare facilities. (Even the word “Facility” sounds like a state prison). So I went to see what the place was like and if there were any openings. Both had openings, which should excite me, right? Wrong! (Geez, haven’t you been listening?) It means that I have no excuse. No built-in reason to put it off! Then, I start to wonder “Why there are openings?”. What is wrong with the place that there is not a waitlist a mile long? (Weird logic, I know.)
So hear I am. Still debating, still wondering. Everyone states, “You will be fine” or “It will be good for him”. Yes, I know and maybe it will, but it is a huge choice that I cannot make easily, and, before anyone jumps on my back; yes, I am happy I even have a choice to make. Yet, it does not make it any easier.
Trying to figure out what is best is not always clear, and I know these decisions are what parenthood is about. I also know that fear, worry and guilt are common parenthood emotions if you are doing the parenthood thing remotely right.
But it <bleeping> sucks.
(P.S. I did use the F word, but then I felt guilty about it.)