Thursday, 10 October 2013

Anxiety ridden

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I find myself having moments of intense anxiety these days.

It's not a nice feeling.

It's overwhelming, heavy, uncomfortable and feels like a heavy weight is sitting on my chest, restricting my breathing. I'm not used to this. I don't usually feel this way. If something is bothering me, I allow myself an hour to get over it--I give myself an hour to be upset, then I purposely do something to make myself feel better, to get over it, to move on.

But this time is different.

The anxiety this time is coming from the countdown that is going on in my head to the day that I go back to work and leave my babies at daycare.

My friend just got a tattoo that reads "Just breathe". So I'm trying.

But it's hard.

I look at my kids and can't imagine dropping them off, saying goodbye, and leaving them for hours. Leaving them in a room--one room, for most of the day.

Please, parents who drop their kids off each day...tell me something to make me feel better about this. Tell me that it's wonderful. Tell me that it's okay. Tell me how great it will be. Because right now, I look at the comparison to what they have right now and I just feel guilty already.

They will be going from their life at home, where nap time is met with snuggles against my chest, back rubs and kisses...where bike rides outside and walks to the park are just part of our every day routine...where day trips and experiences are snuck into each and every week...where skinned knees are kissed, and dirty faces are wiped with warm cloths...where dance parties in the living room are common place...where cookies are baking in the oven and where their mom is just always, always there.

And yes, of course there are days that don't go smoothly. Days when kids are grouchy, when their mom is tired, when the house is a mess and dinner isn't made. There are days when I have shown up at a friends house, teary eyed and exhausted--asking her to please tell me that she understands, tell me that she feels the same way and that we'll get through it --and she does (thank you Sarah B.). Days when I sit there and completely understand why so many people have one of their two kids in daycare at least a few full days a week--because sometimes you just really need a break. Days when things just don't go the way that you want them to.

But I still love it. Absolutely love it.

I love the great and the hard parts. I love the good and the bad days.

Because they're my kids and I love them more than life itself and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else but right here with them.

That's why I struggle with this. I don't want to miss a thing. I don't want to drop them off with strangers. I don't want someone else to do what their mom is supposed to be doing. I don't want them to wonder why I'm leaving them. I don't only want a few hours with them each day.

But then...the other part of my brain tells me the other good stuff. It reminds me of how much I love my job as a kindergarten teacher. How I'll snuggle those little kiddos who walk into my classroom each day and let them know how wonderful they are. How I'll spend hours and hours late at night creating and coming up with fun ideas and activities for them for the upcoming days ahead. And when that parent writes me a heartfelt note or when that little child smiles and wraps their arms around my neck, I know that I'll be making a difference--and there is nothing better than that.

And daycare? Well the logical part of my brain tells me that there are a lot of benefits to it. It will build independence, encourage strong social skills and language development and provide my kids with even more people in their lives to love them. And (heaven forbid)...they might even have fun! The logical part of my brain knows this.

But the mommy side of my brain still says otherwise.

So I sit here in limbo--trying to now cherish these last 2 months that I'll have with them at home. Trying to wrap my mind around the stress of starting a new job, in a new school...and trying to convince myself that they'll be okay as I drop them off. They'll be okay without me during the day. I'll be okay. I'll be okay without them during the day. And I'll keep telling myself this because I don't believe it right now--so if I repeat it a bunch of times it might come to be true. Just maybe.

Erica xo



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