About two hours ago, Mark took the kids to a new daycare. We’d been planning to send them back to their Montessori, but the hours they are open aren’t the hours we NEED them to be. So we chose a daycare a little farther away. We had hoped to take them there yesterday and introduce them and make sure they were okay, but they were closed for MLK day, so we ended up having to rush through it this morning. No introduction and no way of knowing if they would like it or not. Mark had to be at work earlier than normal, so we were all up before it was light out, rushing around and getting the kids dressed, fed, and cleaned up, as well as getting bags and lunches packed. Then it was a kiss goodbye and fingers crossed that the daycare (which I HAD visited and deemed fine) would accept two little troublemakers on no notice. They did. And I cried in relief when Mark called me and let me know.
The truth is that I love my kids. I’m sure that doesn’t really need said, but I feel so much guilt that I just NEED people to know… I LOVE my kids more than my own life. But hell’s bells they aren’t the easiest kids to have in a tiny house all day. I can’t give them all the attention they need and deserve, and it breaks my heart. I get so frustrated with them day by day. From their toddler meltdowns to their constant messes, I see red quite often. And because Chester takes so much of my attention, it becomes harder and harder to give the older boys the constant overseeing they clearly need.
It doesn’t help that for the past two weeks I have been woken up at EXACTLY 2:18 AM every night by one child or another. It’s like some weird internal alarm clock they have! What is it about that particular time??
Chester has been doing great sleeping in his own crib for the first part of each night. But then 2:18 rolls around and in to my bed he comes for nursing and cuddles. Dan has been sleeping fitfully for about a month now, and though he has always been a GREAT sleeper, he has started to wake several times a night screaming and crying. And Dexter has never been a good sleeper – at least not in his own bed. He always either wants to come in bed with us or have one of us go sleep in his bed. Of course this past weekend we re-arranged the house, moving all our bedrooms upstairs. So now Mark and I have taken the Queen size bed that used to be in the kid’s room and the kids each have their own toddler beds. We even got Dex a race car bed to make it easier. But so far the new arrangements are NOT working.
We are exhausted. Three kids under four years old is no joke. I do my best, as does Mark. In fact, Mark is often a better mommy than I am. He is much calmer and doesn’t let things get to him. I have trouble in that area. But now that night times are so fraught with angst, even Mark is getting frustrated. We are each other’s backup. When he is finding it too much, I step in. When I am finding it too much (which is much more often), he steps in. It’s a good system.
Which brings me back to the whole “I put my kids in daycare again” thing. Look, I don’t like it. I wish I was Super Mom and could give each kid 100% undivided attention. But the truth is that they NEED interaction with kids their own ages. They need people around whose entire job is to ensure they are taken care of. I mean, that’s MY job, obviously, but I also have to maintain a clean house, cook, change diapers, oversee nap times, and WORK. Not to mention that about 75% of the time I am breastfeeding Chuck, and it leaves me unable to do anything else for 20 – 30 minutes at a time.
So yes, as much as I love my kiddos, today I have sent them to be looked after by someone else. We will see how it goes. I think Dexter will be super happy, and Dan will enjoy himself. There’s more room for them to play, new toys to play with and daily outdoor activities to keep them happy.
That’s the main thing. Their happiness is all I care about. And if it coincides with my own happiness, there’s nothing better.