Yesterday as I was putting the toddler in the car in the daycare parking lot, I looked over and there was a dad, standing by his car door. I heard a squeal/screech coming from his car and he looked up to the sky, took a deep breath, and then got in his car. I love that I got to see that moment. I think with all the sterotypes and daycare guilt, whether you have it or feel like you should have it, working moms and dads feel like they should just bounce right in to the car happy for the next few hours they get to spend with their awesome, amazing offspring.
But, that is not always the case. Sometimes I wish I could go home and sit on the couch all night with no responsibilities. Sometimes I want nothing more than to go home and play with my kids. It all depends on my mood. I make no excuses and feel no need to justify why I work, but I know many moms do. Whether or not you feel guilty, it is okay to take a step back and take a deep breath. You always love your kids, but that does not mean you need to want to spend every second of every day loving every single thing they do. Sometimes, I go to daycare high on life, wanting nothing more than to go home and play with the kids. But, then the toddler does not want to hold my hand in the parking lot, and by the time we get to the car she is upset and calling for daddy, and the second the baby realizes I am buckling her in to her carseat, she starts with the tears, and my mood deflates. Those are the days I take extra long walking from the toddler's side of the car to the driver's seat. Yesterday, watching that man, I felt united with him as a working parent. That is what this is all about - being a community. Whether we talk, or just observe each other, all parents share some connection to this world and this life of parenting and all its joys, sorrows, happiness, and stress.