Today marks the one year anniversary of the lil' dude starting daycare and Mama going back to work.
As I sat down last night to write a thank-you note the the daycare lady, I struggled to come up with the right words.
Thank you for wiping her tears.
Kissing her owwies.
Encouraging her imagination.
Letting her enjoy cupcakes as rare treats.
Thank you for being there, for being me, when I cannot be for her.
I still struggle with finding balance a year later. I am missing things. I am cutting things short.
I am doing the best I can.
I want the lil' dude to know I make this decision in majority, for her. I am in the minority. I want her to know I worked hard to get through college and obtain a four year degree. I am proud of my career and put my education to great use everyday. I try to remember I am doing this for her, socking away money into her saving account each week so she can choose her path someday. So she can have her education and chances at the career she desires.
And me? I did not go to daycare when I was little. Before my brother was born, my mom worked days, and my dad afternoons. He had to learn to how to do my hair. They- we all- made it work. Once my brother did arrive, my mom quit her job to stay at home. She went back to work once he started school and has worked since.
The Dad? He did not go to daycare when he was little ... except his mom did daycare out of their home. Once the daycare kids would go home for the day, his mom would head on up to the chicken plant in town where she worked the afternoon shift. She would see her kids, the Dad and his little brother, on her supper break in the car in the parking lot, where she would say her goodnights. They made it work.
People make it work when it comes to their families.
Like I am trying to.
One year ago today, I got this email from my dad:
Welcome back to the working world. I suspect there were a couple tears shed at some point over the past 24 hrs. Just remember there are 168 hrs in every week and the lil' dude will be with you or the Dad around 123 of those hours. More than enough time to mold her into what ever you want. Just make sure you go to the right house to pick her up instead of a neighbor two doors down like I did with W. when we lived in the City.
I have that email taped up in my office. I read it often ... a constant reminder to make it work, make the small stuff count, and to never be too hard on myself.
The lil' dude on her first day of daycare ...