Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Mom (or Dad) Guilt

Freddie was very excited about going to preschool.  We talked it up and told him about new friends and playgrounds and teachers and arts and crafts.  Up until he started, he could only remember the in home daycare that he attended every day with his sister.

He talked about it.  He jumped up and down about it.  But then that day came and he was not thrilled.  I don't think he realized we'd be leaving him there.  I don't think he realized that Ainsley wouldn't be staying with him.

I guess that's my fault for not preparing him.  I gave him all the good parts, but I neglected to tell him the parts he wouldn't like.  Honestly, I didn't even think about it.  I didn't think that keeping him apart from Ainsley all day, every day would be that big of a deal.

But it is a big deal.  It's a big deal that we leave him in a new place.  He likes his routine.  He's not a fan of change.  It's a big deal that we leave him with people he doesn't know very well.  He's not as outgoing as Ainsley.  He's shy at first.  It's a big deal that he's not with Ainsley all day.  She's been his constant for the last 2.5 years.  She's his best friend.

He's having a hard time adjusting and it's making my mommy guilt rear it's ugly head.

I thought it would get easier as we went along.  There's really nothing I can immediately do to change our situation.  We have bills.  We have debt.  We have responsibilities.  And none of those things can be met on one salary.  Clif may be the breadwinner, but my job and my salary are just as critical to our survival as his.

So accepting that, at this moment it's out of my control, I thought would make it easier.  My kids are getting older, they've never spent week days with me.  So it should be easier right?


Freddie is struggling through his days and it's tearing me up.  I can't stop thinking about it.  He's not doing better once we leave.  He's sad and he doesn't seem to be improving.  He needs stability...he needs security.  And right now, I don't think he has that.  Maybe time will make it better, but how much?  Is it fair that he has to feel this way?  I feel like he's missing out because of my financial problems.

So Clif and I are sad about it.  We want to make a change, but we don't know how.  Every penny we make is accounted for.  Even if we take the enormous cost of daycare away, it does not balance out.  We still end up in the negative.

I'd quit my job in a heartbeat.  If there's something quicker than a heartbeat, I'd do it that fast.  This place...this work...it means nothing to me.  My one and only motivation for coming here day in and day out is $$$.  I spend a lot of my free time trying to come up with ways to make money at home, with my kids nearby.  It never really lands me anywhere productive.

There was a time that I was told to follow my passion and the money would come.  I actually believed that.  Problem is, my passion is my family - which I don't really see as a problem, but I'm sure my landlord would think differently if I stopped writing him a check.  There is no job that I have had or will ever have that will make me feel anywhere near as fulfilled as my kids do. 

So there's my rant.  Nothing new.  Same old feelings coming to the surface again.  But how do I fix it for Freddie?  How do I make sure he's living the happiest life he can?

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