Monday, May 7, 2012

Emotions

Sometimes I get emotional..

Most of the times I try and keep it to myself or the Duck, but after the past few weeks I have had...I decided to share it with you all...mainly just because you all lift me up so much and seem to say the right things when I need it most! 

The duck has been gone for 5 weeks now on tour and he still won't be home till the end of the month.

I am a full time working from home stay at home Mom.....

This means I work a normal 12-14 hour day and am a mommy 24 hours a day with a sitter who helps 2 days a week....and a hubby who will be gone for the majority of the rest of the year. 

Recently lots of crazy huge opportunities have been coming my way and quite quickly landing on my lap. I am so excited and eager to make the next big jump in my career and future. However I am carrying around this giant Lump in my throat thinking about my baby.

You see... 

When I first had G the plan was for me to be a stay at home Momma. For 8 months I was at home with my monkey day in and day out just the two of us bonding and being Mommy daughter. The duck was gone for a lot of these first months so I really had a lot of alone time with my thoughts. I was co-sleeping and breast feeding and basically a solo mama and needless to say I got a bit  overwhelmed. 
As much as I loved G, I didn't love the way I felt staying at home. I felt useless and like I was withering away with nothing more to talk about then poop, breast milk, and sleeping..  I needed to do something creative but I felt guilty for leaving my baby.

Because the duck was gone I didn't have a lot of support or many friends to talk to about how isolated I felt so I just decided that I was gonna get my ass back to work and never let G out of my sight for longer than a few hours.

 I could make it work....I can do it all, right???

I would go to work and literally every two hours would get whoever was watching G to come to meet me at work so I could breast feed her. She wouldn't take a bottle ,so I was on a 2 hour time limit anywhere I went.

I grew to just accept that in order for me to have a career I would have to do both Mommy and work at the same time and do both 100%....

and here is where the emotional part comes in.

I have done my best to try and keep G at home with me, but work is overwhelming and G is getting frustrated with my obvious pre-occupation. 

I am realizing that I cannot do it all AND have a happy baby if she is getting ignored. My first priority is to G as her Mommy and I only want whats best for her. 

I say this because it may be time to put her in preschool and I am crying just typing this. 

I have been scouring the Internet trying to find reasons why I should and reasons why I should not, but the general consensus seems to be, you should do what is best for your child.....

What is wrong with me?

I took G to an open house at one of the perspective schools we are looking at and she LOVED it...she talked about it for a week and kept asking if she was "going to go to skoo". You would think I would be happy to put her somewhere I know she will love being...but I am scared shitless.

I am a control freak by nature and the thought of not knowing her every move KILLS ME! 

Who will hug her if she falls, who will understand that when she walks up to you on her tippy toes and says "woobeenook" that she wants to cuddle. Who will know that she is hungry or tired or just needs to chill??????

Seriously I am hysterically crying typing this..

Lovers, PLEASE give me your stories. Tell me it's gonna be OK or tell me I am a horrible Mother for even thinking about putting her in school before she is 3...or just tell me to take a bath and a xanax and get over it.

I don't know!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 


Sorry for the Monday bum out but I am just at a crossroads.

Look at how freaking cute she is!!!!

See how hard this must be!




53 comments:

  1. Hey Amber ~ Really feeling for you this morning. So sorry! I have 2 little girls and it was really difficult to send them to preschool. Sometimes you have to follow their lead...and it sounds like your beautiful little lady is ready. Once she gets settled, it may actually give you peace of mind. Hope this helps!
    Lisa M.

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  2. I so know how you feel but I want to tell you that even though putting my daughter in pre-school at 15 months was the hardest thing I've ever done, I don't regret it for a second- she adores school and is so indpendent- has confidence in herself and is so able to adjust to new situations. G will love her days at school...promise, promise!

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  3. Sending your little one to school is really hard, I stayed home with my daughter until she was almost 3 but the truth is that they are ready for school and we may not be. She will thrive with the other children in the class, the key is to find a school that you love and has open communication so that you don't feel guilty asking how she did for the day, what she ate, if she slept at nap, etc. Each day will get easier as they transition! My daughter loves school and they can give her so much more than I could at home. I try really hard when she gets home to give her my full attention and on the weekends to do lots of fun stuff!

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  4. Amber. You are an incredible mother and you are obviously putting your child first just from the fact that this decision is so hard for you. You love her so much and she knows that. I know you will make the right decision but that is so awesome she is so excited about maybe going to 'skoo'!!
    I was actually going to send you an email to check in on how its going with the duck gone, yay for him coming home at the end of the month! We are on the month countdown too, and I can't wait!!

    xoxo
    eileen

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  5. My kid went to daycare at 2 years and 4 months. She loves it. We found a place that was in line with our norms/values and are pretty happy with everything.

    Two things: (1) I found that at about 18 months she needed more than me. She needed other kids and her own "life" outside the home. And I still kept her home for almost a year. (2) I try to keep the control freak mom in check as much as I can. I'm even jealous (but try very hard to hide it) of her time with her dad!!! Crazy talk. The control freak tendencies are normal, but doesn't mean they are healthy.

    Your baby needs little friends and you will learn to let her go. I've found that parenting is a lot about little by little letting them "go" and watching them blossom.

    And you have me crying here too. It is never easy. Hope you feel better when you see how happy she is going there.

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  6. i've really struggled with this as well. i run to management companies from home two days a week, as well as being a screenwriter every other day...and on top of that i am a mom to two beautiful kids who i homeschool (and we're remodeling and adopting) - i think i might lose my mind. anyhoo - i don't think we ever figure out this mommy guilt thing. ever. we just have to learn to connect with the feeling inside that tells us if this is good for our family (who care's about the consensus of the world) and follow through. for us, it was making sure that the kids were always home with me - and when i was locked away in my office, they knew that i was always available - with our helper knowing to moderate the amount of times they come and jump on me. it's not easy and it has made for days where i want to scream in frustration - but it has been worth it...because it was right for us. so, if this is right for you - do it. take a deep breath, cry every time you drop her off...but do it. your gut knows what it's talking about and if you're daughter is in love with the transition - even better. best of luck. this mommy stuff is tough.

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  7. We all struggle with balance. I'm not that good at it myself. I am not half as busy as you with work but I do have three kids. And I think it is so important to not lose yourself. That's why I started my little blog. But, I think as hard as it is preschool will be a great experience and my kids have learned so much from theirs. I know putting my baby in school may be the hardest thing I do though. So I feel you. Just know that you are doing a great job and that the time you do spend with her will be more quality time because you will have a better schedule of when you work and when you play. Hang in there! And I loved the break in posts for a little honesty and reality :) Sometimes you just need to talk it out.

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  8. Awwww... you are breaking my heart. Your baby girl will be fine in school - she will love it and you will come to love that she loves it. And you will be doing her a favor by sending her. You should read Wendy Mogel's "Blessings of a Skinned Knee". It's hard to have perspective when you are in it, but ten years from now it will not make a difference whether she started school at 2 or 5, and in the meantime you will be helping her build her confidence and independence while allowing yourself the freedom to pursue your talent and passion. You will both be the better for it. Take it from someone with older kids!

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  9. I quit my job to be home with my daughter, and now my son. 8 years later, I have many if the same feelings you do - you are not alone - and neither is your daughter! Find a teacher - adult (even a young friend) who is interested in your daughter and trust them to do what you do so well - love her! (For the record, I do still wince when I watch my daughter walk away from me to go to school.) I know now that, without me hovering, my daughter has a chance to just be herself, too....It really is going to be OK!

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  10. Hi Amber! I have never commented, but I LOVE your work - you are so talented!! And, you are a great mama. That you care this much, and are obsessing over these kinds of decisions, shows how great you are. TOTALLY put your sweet girl in preschool. My oldest - who is almost four - LOVES it, and he has been going three mornings a week since he was tiny. His twin sisters, who are two, will join him in the fall (two mornings a week). And I (an ex-lawyer at the moment) am a FULL time stay at home mama - no work to juggle, like you! My experience, (and this is coming from someone who is pretty attachment-y), has been that it is actually better, at this age, for your kids to have the benefit of other people in their lives. We don't have family close, and so this is the next best option - it means friends, learning new things, art and music, ENRICHMENT. It means things that I am often too overwhelmed to provide myself. IT TAKES A VILLAGE, girl! It really does!!! You just have to let your concept of "village" get a little bigger, I think, to include a wonderful preschool. Also, you can always change your mind - you can always change your life - just do what feels good right now, keep your eyes and heart open, and reevaluate in a few months. Give yourself the space to try this out and see how it works for you and your girl. It's going to be okay - more than that - it's going to be great! xo!

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  11. You are such a talented designer and an amazing mommy! She will love preschool, Em can't get enough of it! I guarantee she will be so proud of you, and your amazing talent! I can't wait to see what else is to come!

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  12. Everything will be alright.
    My Mom is the one caring for my son,
    before she passed away she wanted to make sure that I take care of my son personally. You see, I have been working for 9 straight years and since no one else will take care of my son I did it, he is 4 then. I became his friend, mother, nanny, and tutor, he is now 11 and I didn't regret a thing. I put up my own clothes shop last December and is busy again catching up on my career... but still I didn't regret anything.

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  13. Amber: Even you, superwoman, cannot do it all. I know exactly how you feel because I know I will struggle with the same dilemma. But honestly, it makes you a better parent being able to be mentally stimulated and rewarded. She will be JUST fine going to preschool. While it may feel tough at first, she is going to love meeting new friends and making new experiences. It will be great for her development. Hold your head high. You are an amazing woman, mother and entrepreneur. You are an inspiration to everyone!! It will all be just fine!

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  14. This is such a raw, relatable post Amber. I LOVE your blog and your designs, but I'm not sure if I've ever been compelled to comment until today. I've so been exactly where you are. When my daughter (now 7) was 2, I had to make the tough call to put her in daycare a few days a week so that I could work, and I remember calling my sister after the decision was made and sobbing uncontrollably, feeling just as you're describing...that no one could possibly care for my child the way I had been. She adjusted so quickly, loved school, blossomed into such an outgoing, social little kid. On top of that, the time that I did get to spend with her was that much more special, and working outside of the home a few days a week gave me another source of pride and creative satisfaction, and I know those things also made me a better mom AND a better female role model. What was heartbreaking for me was so-so good for her, and while there is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to staying at home vs. working vs. a combination of the two, I can tell you that for me and my family, the decision to let other people help me care for my child was a really, really good one. Hugs to you...know that you are such a good mama, and whatever you decide will be the best choice since it is born out of your crazy-intense-overwhelming love for G.

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  15. I can't imagine how tough of a decision this must be because I don't have any children of my own. I have, however worked at a preschool. My first year out of a college I subbed for a year at a preschool and it was a lot of fun! I can tell you that the kids truly love it! The entire day is planned out for them with fun activities, snack time, songs, books, playtime, etc. I think it's good for children to experience different environments growing up. It will also allow you to do what you want and retain some of your sanity! haha. Even if it's just a couple days a week. You'll get used to it and you'll know she's off having fun with other kids!

    Laura
    www.HappyroostBlog.com

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  16. It's going to be okay. Part of parenting is letting go, and while we may think this happens when they are grown and leave the nest, it starts, in little ways, from the moment they are born. It is very, very difficult to be a good parent if you are unhappy and overwhelmed. And it is very nearly impossible to work full time and parent full time. In the here and now, she will love school and flourish having a social environment and being independent from you, and you will get to focus and give your career the attention it deserves. And in the long run, it is highly unlikely that you will regret sending her to school, but you could end up resentful if you are unable to take on opportunities because you thought that putting G first only meant staying home with her. Putting your children first can take so many shapes, but all of them have one thing in common: a happy family means considering the balance of everyone's needs.

    I remember going back to work when my older daughter was 3 months old (she is almost 6 now). I brought her to the in-home daycare on the next block, the one we had vetted and thought was great. When I went to drop her off, it seemed chaotic, and there was a diaper that hadn't been throw away yet, and someone was crying, and I excused myself and called my husband from a corner of the hallway, whispering that we had made a terrible mistake and that there was no way we could leave her with those people. In the end, he talked me down and we tried it, and when I got off the subway in the city and walked the few blocks to my office, it was like the sun was shining for the first time, because I was an individual person with work to do. And when I picked her up at the end of that first day, it was like the stars had never shone brighter because I was so in love with my baby and felt it even more after a short day apart. Which is to say, it is so hard to let go, but you have to in order to have it all. You can have it all, just not all at the same time.

    It will be okay. You're doing great.

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  17. Time is the one real bummer about motherhood. It never slows down. I have 2 with a third on the way and for whatever idiotic reason I have decided that this past year was the perfect time to start delving into my own ambitions. I think kids motivate us to want to be our best and if that means diving into work then do it! You will be happier, more fulfilled and that is a great example to show your kids. You already know that you are an awesome mom so don't fear that you are going to suddenly not be as loving or as involved. You will find your right balance and will probably have more meaningful time together when you can separate work from mommy daughter time. Bite the bullet and let go of the guilt!

    ps. I put my first in at 3 and my second is already going 4 days a week at 2. I cannot tell you how much it saves my sanity and theirs!!

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  18. Preschool was tough for us too...I have my almost three year old in two days a week. I couldn't stand the thought of 5 days last September when he started. Now he is signed up for 5 days in the fall. During the summer, my neighbors daughters - 14 & 15 years old will come play with him. Of course, I pay them for bAbysitting...but I'm around. I have just started a nanny to come on Thursday's to let me actually leave the house .... And here's the thing, I don't work!!! It's just intense having two young kids and zero personal space ...my world was shrinking in around me. Now I have some help, plus the boys are entertained!

    Listen, the world will only ever know one YOU...if you have something to offer (of course you do), then you need to share child care...

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  19. Well, I'm no mother, but I did work with children at a child-care facility for two years, and I can relate to having your husband away. My husband went on three deployments to the middle east(each lasting 7-8 months) during the course of our, now, five year marraige. Luckily he is back for good, however that time apart is often hard especially when your mate is the one who understands you best, and can reassure you when you're doubting yourself. Being separated for any length of time can definately be hard.

    As far as G going to pre-school, I think it's a great idea! You could get her into a routine where her mornings are spent at pre-school, and you could go get her whatever time you can. I would maintaining some type of consistent schedule so that G and her caregivers can know when to expect drop-off and pick-ups and so that G doesn't get out of sorts if something is off (like say if she comes in late and they're already napping, or if she stays until later in the evening, and gets antsy to see you).

    You know your daughter, and you know what will work for you guys, but I would def not feel bad at all or fault you for putting her in a child-care program. I'm sure you'll find a safe place for her to play and socialize and learn while mommy gets her work done and takes care of things that need to get done. I think it will be good for both of you. Also, just one more thing, it may take a few weeks for her teachers to get to know G, but I promise you, they will come to know her very well just by being with her consistently and learning her habits, patterns, etc...

    Go mom!!! :)

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  20. girl, it's going to be okay. i put my son into preschool when he was 2.5. it was 2 days a week for 3 hours each time. i thought of it like this, with all the time i spend with him, 6 hours a week is nothing. he loves school. i'm a better mom because of school. i don't know how often your daughter will be going, but she will love being with kids her own age to play. the time you have with her will be that much better because she can get some of her energy out. the teachers will take care of her and love her, but if they don't you'll take care of them ;)

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  21. i will always vote for xanax and a bath...

    now, i'm a single girl, with no kids and one might assume that i am able to keep it together. but i'm not. every day i marvel at people with children who have to make these kinds of decisions. i won't even board my cat when i go on vacation.

    that said, i am a social worker and a therapist and i've worked with families. i've also been a daycare worker. i've seen preschool work wonders for both parents and children. i can't tell a mama to get rid of mama guilt, as that seems to be something that doesn't ever end with parenthood, but there are qualified caregivers out there who love kids and will love and protect them in your absence. every day, we strived for happy kids and happy parents. parents were always welcome to spend the day with us or drop in any time to see what we were up to. we welcomed that. and the kids get to make new friends and the parents get to meet other adults who understand what it's like to be a working parent. it can be a really good thing, if it's the right decision for your little family.

    i think one of the best qualities we have as humans is knowing what our limits are, whatever situation we are in. knowing limits and taking action, what more could we ask of a wonderful mother? there's nothing wrong with asking for help or making some changes.

    nothing at all.

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  22. Thanks for writing such an honest post. Most mothers have been where you are. I never had the choice to be a stay at home mom, however I only work enough to keep the health insurance so my kids don't have to be somewhere else all day. We put my kids into a formal daycare setting at 3 and 1. It worked out just great!
    You are doing a lot on your own and that is tough!!! (Single mothers amaze me!!!)
    Reading all the comments before mine makes me realize that all mothers have struggled with this and have come to see that the decision they made was the best one for them and their kids. You know your daughter so you know you'll make the right decision for her. Her asking about school is awesome, she will love it and you will be ok, too. One of my working mom friends was asked if it eveer gets easy dropping your baby off, her reply was that it gets easier. Small steps, try school just a couple of days a week and go from there. It does sound like your daughter is ready for that. As parents we aren't ever ready for the way they grow and start to have their independence from us but it sure is awesome to watch.
    Good luck!!!

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  23. Oh I know your pain! I love all these replies above as everyone is absolutely correct.
    It's totally okay to put her in pre-school and it will be good for both of you. and it's totally okay to be freaked out about it!! My oldest went at about 2 years when I went back to work and I realized that I simply wasn't enough for her all day everyday. she needed the outside influences and she had a blast there!
    And now with my almost 3 month old I'm sure I will do the same thing.
    I work from home as well but because I do makeup freelance my schedule is a little less demanding than yours on a daily basis but I'm sure as business starts to pick up I will need the extra days for consultations and whatnot.
    Don't fret though - I'm sure baby girl will let you know if she's not happy and you will learn to trust the caregivers there sooner rather than later. best of luck!

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  24. Oh my goodness... I am so with you on this. I have three kids... put my interior design business on hold for a few years with the first two and then adopted my third from China... so I felt even worse putting my little munchkin into pre-school.... but it all worked out in the end. A happy Mum makes for happy kids.... plus since you work for yourself you can go and pick your daughter up early or drop her off late should you feel the need to hang out together... know what I mean??

    Good luck with your decision.... read all the lovely articles about how crazy talented your girl will be because she started school and socializing, etc.

    Keep us posted... we're all thinking of you.

    Val

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  25. It is so hard being a mom! I work part time and have had my son in a preschool at a church since he was a year old. It was hard to do but he loves it!! The teachers there are so loving and they play and learn constantly. I am sure you will find the best school for you both. And when you do your mind will be at ease knowing she is being taken care of and having fun. Love your blog and like everyone else said you are so talented!!

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  26. i didn't even realize that my mom put me and my other 2 siblings in preschool when we were little. I didn't even remember back that far!! (i'm now 30). What i do remember is that my mom is fun and whacky and she was a great mom. so thought i would comment that G will be great in school - especially that she is excited for it!!! and you will probably be an EVEN funner and greater mom too since you won't be spread as thin trying to do it all 24/7. i see it as a WIN WIN. :-)

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  27. I went to day care & preschool and the whole shebang year round growing up because I have just one parent and I was always happy as a clam! I think my mom was happier having a career and I loved being with other kids all the time. Apparently she had to really talk me into leaving daycare at the end of the day every day because I was such a social butterfly! G will love it and you will feel good about the decision once it is made. :)

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  28. Oh, Sweetheart...why is it that the dads don't have these emotions, too? We get all the guilt.

    I have struggled with the same feelings, like so many other moms. It means you're a GREAT momma. If you choose to put G in school, she will flourish, and grow, and GASP! - maybe even be fine with leaving you for a while! She'll make friends, learn wonderful new things, and then you'll both be happier when you get to spend time together.
    I was never going to be a SAHM, but i've been very lucky to have that opportunity. My kids are 11 and almost 7. I went back to school, and also started my business. Even now at their ages, I still feel guilty when I have to work while they're at home. But it makes them independent, and they also realize that the world doesn't revolve around their needs (such an important lesson!!). They have all my love, just not all my attention. And that's okay. Love is so much more than just attention.
    Find a school that you feel good about, and that G loves, too. You have a momma's intuition and you'll know if it feels right (though it will still be hard - maybe for a while). School is a good thing for her. And for you. The guilt will probably be there until she goes to college. That just comes with the territory:) But I promise that after you see how happy and well-adjusted she'll be, then it will be easier to take.
    All my hugs to you both!!

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  29. First off I just want to say how much I admire you for wanting to be a good mom and a good career woman too. I can't even imagine how hard it must be to put a child in pre-school (I don't have kids yet). My mom stayed at home with me but took me to a mother's day out type of thing 2 days a week so I could socialize with other kids and so she could get everything done. Is that an option for you? I also remember her saying how hard it was to drop me off at kindergarden and see me go, but I guess I told her "it's okay mom, you can go now" which made her laugh but also be thankful I was confident enough to spend a day without her. It seems like G would enjoy preschool, so maybe that is the best decision for her at this point! Whatever you decide, I know it will be the best decision for you both.

    XO,

    Sam

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  30. Oh...Amberooni! I love U! I was looking for something out there in blog land and saw today's post and had to check in with you - Okay - You know I'm not a word girl, so I'll get right to the point! I would definitely take the bath and a Zanax! LOL! You're an amazing mother/person and putting little G in preschool is a very unselfish thing to do on your part!!! SHe'll thrive from all the interaction with the kids and all the other fun stuf!! Good Luck to you and little G!!! The first day is always the hardest!Love you, girl!!

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  31. Hello,

    I am in a similar position, I'm a single mother in the midst of a divorce, I have a growing interior design firm and two kids 4 and 2. It's going to be okay, your daughter will LOVE pre-school, trust me. I had to put my children in for 2-3 days a week in order to focus on work. The time you then spend with her will be wonderful and you'll be able to focus on just your little one!!
    The balance can be tough but it's good for both of you.

    Good Luck, it sounds like you're doing a great job to me. You'll always cherish the memories of being home with her when she was little!

    Julie
    Shelter

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  32. You are a great mother!!! i just put my 3yr old son in preschool for similar reasons...he loves it soooo much and doesn't even miss me!!! now i can get my work done without guilt and he can learn, play and have fun expanding his social skills! i think its a win win. good luck!

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  33. A-i am not a mom but i am a daughter. My mom went back to work when we were in grade school, and she did so because she wanted to, not because she had to. I find that if mom and dad are happy with themselves it trickles down to the kids. They see happy well-adjusted role models and they naturally migrate to being happy well-adjusted kids. Do NOT feel as though you are letting her down! If you let you down, you ultimately let her down. You are brave to admit what your fears are. Fear not, sweetheart, you are a step ahead already. Xoxoxo

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  34. If momma ain't happy, nobody's happy. Enjoy your work and it will all balance out nicely in the end. For every decision you have to make, ask yourself or journal these questions:
    What is the WORST that can happen if....
    What is the BEST that can happen if...
    Once you have answered these questions (and you WILL be able to because YOU are the expert in your life!), answer this last question:
    What is LIKELY to happen if....
    Your answer will be clear and you probably won't need the Xanax :-)

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  35. I know EXACTLY how you feel. I have two boys. My first didn't go to pre-school until he was 3, almost 4 (when we were both ready). My second son is 2 and i am seriously contemplating putting him in pre-school next year for 2 mornings a week so i can regain some of my sanity. I hear a lot about the need for self-care; but never listen. Well, i'm paying the price and am now realizing that the only way i can be a good mom is to work on myself instead of focusing all of my energy on my kids. I've been exploring this on my blog; if you're interested, take a look: www.ittakesavalium.com. I've also written an homage to moms who raise kids alone: http://www.ittakesavalium.com/this-ones-for-all-the-single-ladies/. Hope you like it!!!

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  36. I've had my kid in daycare since he was 6 weeks old....single mom, no other income, I had no choice....and you know what? My kid is fine, and yours will be too. It seems like she's really excited about school. If it's too much for you to handle, can you do part-time care, or short days? That way you can work really really hard while she's at preschool, and when she gets back you can spend some quality time with her, without being preoccupied by something else.
    Personally I've found the main advantage to be socialization. My son loves his friends, and his teachers. They're all early childhood educators too, so they definitely teach him skills that wouldn't even occur to me. Do they always care for him the way I would? No. But they do help him in ways I can't.

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  37. I started my baby girl in school this past fall, a couple of months before she turned three. We were, at first, looking for something a few days a week, but the school we ending up loving, only offered five days a week. It was hard a first, but now we have all adjusted. And as much as we all love our babies, it's best for them to have a chance to interact and learn in ways that we can't always provide (everyday, all day). It's hard to let them go AND hard to admit that we can't do it all...but, we can't. Good luck.

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  38. Amber, pre- school is good for children. They learn how to interact with other children and learn how to socialize, but this can be a very difficult decision.. Our society makes women feel that being a Mom is not important. I have 3 children that are 24 to 30 years old. My father has Alzheimer. As you get older you realize the most important thing you can do is nurture your children and family.Life is very short and it goes by so fast. It isn't about poop and diapers, its about loving them encouraging them and teaching them. It sounds like you have a good balance between work and children. Just balance your time, but don't let today's society make you feel that being home is not important or productive. You are giving your child you.. Only you and your husband can make this very personal decision.It comes down to balancing your time. Hang in there....It sounds like you are a wonderful Mom.

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  39. awwww... it's so hard, especially when it's your favorite little friend. preschool is exactly what this kind of thing is there for. it's not about the academics and the structure at this age, it's for FUN. you get your work done, she plays..you both win! you will know where the right place is for her, it's a mama's instincts. don't beat yourself up about it, because u can ALWAYS pull her out! u have your priorities straight, G is first and work...it will always be there for u because you're that great & people will wait! just think of all the awesome fingerpainted art she'll bring home. my 3 girls r 12,9,6 and i still cry somedays that i have to send them to school. and my husband travels too, i get it! as women, we need to feel normal. sorry it's made u so sad. xo, keli (courtney's new friend :)... )

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  40. hello, usually I comment on design, never about private matters. Hello emotions! I couldn't finish reading your story without crying as well. You see, I too have a little one and my story is a bit different I didn't have the career before the baby. It took us seven years to get our son. I love being his mom and he is now two. WIth all the work that it took us to get our child, I was obssessed with getting pregnant, I couldn't do anything else, but work at getting pregnant. Then he arrived and I felt like I could breathe again. I love, love, love being a mom, but I also started to feel a tug of war inside myself. I need to do a little something for myself so I went back to school for interior design. I also put my son in a preschool three times a week. He loves it! I guess what I wanted to say is, hang in there! It's not easy and there are sacrifices, but you will know in your heart what is right for you and your family.

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  41. I relate to you on this so so much! My husband works 5 am to 7 pm Monday to Saturday, on a very stressful job, so basically I'm a single parent (I have a 2 year old boy) 6 days a week. Besides that, I live in a remote town up in the north of an even more remote island in the pacific where there is absolutely nothing but us and some grocery shops. So I stay at home with a child all week long. And I know is not easy. I know that there are some people out there who were born to be just mothers and maybe it's easier for them, but I'm not one of those. Not that I don't love my child to death, but I have my own ambitions and aspirations. So I feel what you're going through. We have to make decisions based on what's best for our kids, but we also have to think about ourselves too, and is not being selfish, it's just how someone once told me: If mommy is not happy, everything falls apart. So I believe we got to find a balance and it seems to me that your balance is putting her into school. I support that decision, don't feel bad about it, I can see you're a good mother!

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  42. Thank you for this post! I too am currently struggling with these emotions, and I don't even work! I am lucky to be able to have the opportunity to stay with my now 3 year old son, but I am now feeling the need to go back out there and work and connect with other people, but most importantly, I am starting to see and realize that my son needs to have other people around to interact with besides me and my husband. He needs playmates that are of his age! I have the same fears and control issues as you and it is killing me inside but I know that it will be the best for his own personal growth. Maybe start part-time with G and let the both of you adjust to the new settings, I for sure will def start slow with this pre-school thing as well!

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  43. I knew you would have tons of comments on this subject and they are the longest comments I have ever seen on a post. Comments above have pretty much said what's abundantly clear. Good mothers almost always feel guilty when leaving their children in the care of others. Especially true with a first child. Bottom line is that the right daycare can be 1 of the best experiences for their little minds. While we all think that there is nobody that can love and care for our children like we do...it's simply not true. Children flourish in good daycare settings and learn so many things that cannot be taught to an only child staying at home. Doubtful you will have any regrets by sending her and you will quickly see how much she loves it. Fair warning: you will probably cry the first day you drop her off. We all did too and then later realized they were needless tears. Good luck!
    PS: many daycares have webcams, so that you can always take a peak at what they are doing. My colleagues would just keep it open at work and peak in several times a day to see happy children enjoying their day.

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  44. hear me....
    it is a win win situation. having her at preschool will eliminate this crazy control issue. i was the same as you. 100%. most moms are. your situation is not uncommon. and trust me when i say, once she is at preschool she will thrive. and you will be happy bc she is thriving. she needs the playmates. she needs to learn how to interact with children. fiona is an only child too. and once she got to preschool she learned so much that i could not teach her at home.
    and g is giving you the signs that she needs more. and being at home with you isn't doing her any more favors. and listen, preschool only lasts for like 4 hours. so it's a blip of time. in 3 months you are going to be wishing that it was longer. trust.

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  45. Hola Amber, I love your post and this is the first time I will be writing to you. I feel that I have to share with you.
    It is so true as many others say that all of us go through the mami guilt. I have a 3 year old and she was born with a heart defect; after two open heart surgeries and other two angioplasties one of the many lessons that I learn is that we can't protect our kids from everything we would like to. So please don't feel guilty, you are making her stronger and able to get her needs/ideas through. Last year, before my daughter turned 2 I decided to enroll her in daycare 2 days a week while I went to work. Part of the reason is that she is really shy and I wanted her to socialize with other kids and the other part is that that is how I grew, I went to school since I was little and I think I came out all right ;P. The first 2 weeks were the hardest; I sobbed and she cried every time I left (remember she went to school just 2 days a week) but as soon as I got to the parking lot I connect to the daycare webcam and realize that she was a happy butterfly playing around.

    It is the wisest thing I've done, she is so happy, has learn so much. The way I see it is: no one will love her more than I and her daddy do but I have to accept that this girls that went to school to work with kids have more knowledge and skills to offer her. She loves to go to school and she has flourished in so many ways. I am so happy with what I can get done with a little of me time.

    Now we are expecting our second daughter and will definitely will register for daycare before she turns 2... Is a way to get my sanity back!

    Love your way lady!
    Mónica

    It is my way of saying it is going to be ok, it is a smart decision, you will be in a better place knowing that she is having fun, learning and socializing.

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  46. Oh my gosh, Amber. Completely feel your pain. I now have two in daycare. My son will be 3 in August and my daughter is almost 11 months. I went back to work b/c I had to for financial reasons. Either go back to work or move. So I went back to work and cried all day in my cube for at least a week. It was awful. I really felt like my arm was amputated or something. But then, I saw how much my son loved it. He learns so much from being in "school" with his friends, and he has the best time with them. I only work a half day on Fridays and I used to keep him home with me, but now I send both kids because they really love it. They need it, and I need the extra time to run errands, buy groceries, etc. With my little girl I thought it would be easier, but I started crying about going back to work when I had two more months at home. It stunk again, but she loves it too. Hang in there. It will get better. Sweet G will thrive at school! And you will learn to appreciate the time you have to yourself while she is there so you can really concentrate on the amazing work you do! Love your blog and all the projects you are working on!! You are a superstar mommy!!!

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  47. You've got guts lady. To put this all out there for us to read, and to ask for help in understanding what you're going through, you are incredible!!

    I'm not a mother yet. I struggle with time issues, control issues, and issues of this idea of self-ish vs self-less ..which I think is an incorrect notion of comparison...am I selfish because I want my free time? but I also love that having a child is giving everything I have to them to make them everything they can be in this world- but i'm terrified of it all seeing women who are stronger and more powerful than me struggle with this...how can that work for lil ol me? I'm creative and own my own business too. I wonder if I'll ever "have the time" to have a kid, if i'll mess it up, if i'll be constantly overwhelmed. Maybe everyone struggles with these questions. I think it might be true. I see you as a strong creative powerful woman who has it all and i guess you struggle too. I guess it's part of being a woman. We're built with this level of expectation to perfection for ourselves and we live every moment living up to our own expectations. YOU ARE AMAZING!! To be able to juggle everything and fit it in the way you do- you've got mad skillz lady. How you've done what you do with a baby is just incredible. Everything you are feeling is something I see all my mom friends go through.

    I don't have kids, but I do know that kids thrive with other kids, they challenge eachother to learn more, they learn how to be around other people, they surprise us constantly with how deeply perceptive they are, I watch my god-daughter and I am always in awe of her.

    One thing that helps me when I feel down is remembering a couple things the Dalai Llama said- take care of yourself first and then others -ok mom's i know you're going to throw tomatoes at me for saying that, i hear the collective gasp- but this is a metaphor. If you ignore "taking care" of yourself, you are not strong enough, whole enough, wise enough etc to "help" others when they need help without hurting yourself. Martyrdom is not a gift to others. "Taking care" can mean different things to different people. For you, it's obvious that a huge part is feeling fulfillment with your creativity and the career that you've built for yourself. The second is that you are not doing the world any good by not being everything that you can be, meaning don't hold yourself back, that creates regret. You are an example to your daughter and what you do, she watches and learns from and it shapes her as a woman to come. And now that she is old enough, you are now able to start teaching her how to be as strong and independent and amazing as you are by letting her develop on her own who she is not just around you, but with the rest of the world, so that she can be everything that she can possibly be in her life. This is your gift to your daughter.

    Of course you don't want to let go, of course you feel guilty, of course you want to be there for every moment. But you've seen THOSE kids right? they're wack. (i hope that made you laugh) As your daughter grows, you grow and your relationship changes. Recognizing those moments of change is hard and you're AMAZING for talking your way through this big one!!

    Keep doing what you're doing, you're a dope lady!
    xx

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  48. There is nothing that matters to kids more than having happy parents who love them. You will do the right thing for yourself and baby G because you love her. Good luck and don't be so hard on yourself.

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  49. My daughter went to day care around 4 months and it was the HARDEST thing I've ever had to do - I mean HARDEST. I cried and cried and cried. I had the same thoughts that you wrote here, but I soon realized that no one is going to love her like Mommy and Daddy. It's a different love. And she is still at that same school and LOVES it. She talks about her friends and her teachers - that's how I know that she is happy and that makes me happy. It is going to be a hard first day for you and maybe even a hard first week, but it will get better quick.

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  50. Dear Amber, You poor thing. This is a heart-wrenching dilemma that mums go through around the world every day of the year and no matter how many kids you have it's still a struggle and a painfully difficult decision every time it presents itself. I am pregnant with my 3rd and both of mine went to daycare, not because I was working full time, I was freelancing and working a bit from home, but because I simply needed a break from being a mum and so did they. It was galling putting my son into daycare at 2.5yr but then a little easier with my daughter at 18mths. I'm sure I'll sign this one up at 6 weeks! The key is finding a centre that you feel completely comfortable with. I have found that it isn't the facilities or the fancy equipment or the number of toys they have, it's the carers that absolutely make the difference. You need to find somewhere she will be cared for, loved, nurtured, cuddled and listened to. That's what counts. I have found that older women are generally better at this, and more committed to staying at a centre for the long term. Young girls out of college or school tend to move around a lot more and it's hard for little ones to bond and then lose that person if they keep turning over staff. At my daughter's daycare the women are in their 30-50s and have been there for several years. They are all mothers and act like her aunts. It's wonderful and I feel completely at ease. You need to know that the staff are committed, because I think that provides stability and confidence in your child. It does become easier though I assure you. You will stop worrying about her in time and thinking about every little thing she might be doing, and you will so enjoy your time apart to focus on what you love doing. In fact, you'll get to a point when it's 3pm and you suddenly realise you haven't thought about her all day because you've been so busy and you suddenly remember you have a child. It's quite a surprise! She needs stimulation, socialising, meeting other children, learning the rules of interaction and play, sharing, and can benefit from the huge range of activities that they can offer which you can't. It will be great for both of you and I'm sure you won't regret it. Mother Guilt is a pernicious, powerful and destructive thing, so don't let it take over and dominate you. Know that you love your daughter, and the fact that you're agonising over this is proof enough. Good luck. Mel x

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  51. Your a good mommy for admitting you can't give 100% to it all 100% of the time. I've sent all my kids to the same school for 10 years...trust me, if it's a good one the teachers will give hugs when she's sad and they will love and nurture her. My kids all started at 2 and they have done great! It's ok to be a little selfish, taking time for yourself helps make you a better mommy!!

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  52. Dont feel bad at all! I work at a childcare in Sydney where we have kids aged 4 months to 5 years. I work mostly with the toddlers and kids who are about to turn 3 and they are the ones that seem to have the best time.
    Yes they might occasionally get sad when you leave them in the morning but I can honestly say that ends in 5 minutes and then they are puzzled as to what fun activity to do with their new friends. And the kids leave at different times in the afternoon and when some kids are at pre-school longer they make ask when Mummy or Daddy are coming and then when the parents do come to collect them the kids are SO EXCITED!
    Its great becuase they get to learn, make heaps of new friends and interact and eventually love their teachers.

    Hope this helped x

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  53. Working mom is better than a crazy mom. (Daughter of a full-time working mom.)

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