Don't get me wrong, I loved my time at home with my baby. It was nice waking up in the morning and planning my day with her. Whether we would go out for a walk, head to the local baby playgroup or just have a pajama day at home, it was a great time just her and I. Watching her grow over those months was priceless and something I wouldn't give up for anything in the world. When I first left my job on maternity leave, I was excited. Excited for the break away from work, to spend time at home, to get away from the daily routine. After my daughter was born, I couldn't even conceive of leaving my baby with someone else and heading back into the office full-time. Then the weeks wore on. I got to see her roll over, sit up and crawl for the fist time. My home was cleaner than it has ever been (or ever will be again). I worked harder than I ever did going into work everyday. I was up whenever the baby was, and cleaned or cooked while she napped. As time went on, I became lonely and longed to get back to a life that wasn't dependent on a nap schedule. I dealt with a lot of mom guilt about sending my daughter to daycare but looking back it was the best decision I could have made for her and for myself! Here's why: She loves it! This is always my priority. Doing what's best for her. She gets excited to get on her jacket and her boots to head to daycare each morning. She loves interacting with the other kids and our daycare provider is absolutely wonderful. They have story-time, crafts and she is picking up so many things from the older kids.
I get to have lunch without sharing! Okay moms, you know, nothing is ever actually yours unless you are having it far away from your baby. At work, whether I am too busy to head out and eat at my desk or I have a few spare moments to grab a coffee with a coworker, this is an experience you can never have at home.
My house stays clean during the day. You've cleaned up after dinner, put all the toys away and have settled in for the night. When you get home after work the next day, the house will look the same because no one has been home all day to mess it up. Sanity restored temporarily.
You can to talk about something other than your kids. When you're at home all day with the baby you find yourself talking to your friends, family and even strangers about what babe did this morning. When you head into the office, conversation around the water cooler could be movies, breaking news and even recipes for dinner.
Baby becomes more independent- and so do you. When you spend all day, every day with one person it's hard to tear yourself away. In just a few short weeks, I noticed a change in my daughter and it has been amazing. We come home and after some snuggles and playing together, she goes off and plays on her own. She has become more independent and confident to being away from me, and I think that's an amazing trait for her. It also make it easier to consider leaving her with a babysitter so that my husband and I can go out for dinner or a movie.
On a final note, I have major respect for all you stay-at-home moms. Being at home all day is a challenge and there is no doubt that it is the hardest job out there.