By Jess, Contributor
One week. That’s all it took for my baby to get her first cold at daycare. Or maybe she got it from Ava after her first week in kindergarten. There’s always the benefit of the doubt, but we all know it was probably daycare. Then she gave it to Ava.
“Wow! She slept a ton at daycare today!” I thought. That’s awesome!
Then the next day, she barely ate. Great.
For some odd reason I was really nervous about admitting she was getting sick.
That night her sniffles and trouble breathing started. And by the time she woke up Saturday morning my poor angel was screaming and crying like she never had. Oh yeah, then there was a fever. No doubt she was sick.
Why did I feel bad? Because it was MY fault she was sick. I work and she had to go to daycare to begin the never-ending cycle of colds and everything in between. Ridiculous, right? I don’t expect the girls to live in a bubble and not get sick. But…Ava never was sick. Until she started daycare at 2 years old and I used to take her everywhere under the sun.
Then there’s the guilt over the fact that my kids will never know what it is to have “summer vacation.” Ava was constantly asking about summer vacation. “Are we on summer vacation?” she’d ask as we stayed home doing pretty much nothing.
I’m not sure what she expected, but I tried to explain that even though we were home together this summer, it was only because I had Allie and I couldn’t go to work yet. In the future, I told her, you’ll be going to fun camps and doing other fun things in the summer.
I’m sure there are tons of other occurrences that will come up, which I’ll feel guilty about because I am at work. And thank God I work for a great agency that lets me take time for my kids when I need to. It’s nice not to worry when I have to call in because my baby is sick (See Also: Guilt about not being at work to do my job).
Do I wish I could stay home? Not necessarily. I think being a work outside the home mama is good for me. Will I still feel bad because I have sick babies and missed playtime and lazy days doing nothing in the summer? Probably.
But you know what? It’s our life. We make the most of what we can, and at the end of the day it’s really not an option so we have to make the most of it. The weekends and quick getaways, and even the days I stay at home with my sick babies, I’ll cherish even more. Because after the long days at school and work, it’s just the four of us and we get to be together. Appreciating the time we have, that’s all that matters—the lingering guilt about everything else will have to wait.