When I was 17, I made the decision to be a stay at home mom. I worked in a day care center, had babysat for years, had taught all sorts of kids by that time. I didn’t want someone else to raise my kids, I didn’t want to watch my kid screaming as I left, I wanted to be there. I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up, but I knew I was going to be a mom and I was going to stay home with my kids.
There are days when I want to wring the neck of that young, naive 17 year old girl.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what is best for my sons and what is best for me. When I made that decision to stay home with my sons, I made it assuming that I was what was best for them. And, for the most part, I am. When A was a young toddler, he went to day care one day a week so I could teach some music classes and flute lessons. I also took him to music class, occasionally attempted mommy and me story time, and went to playgroup every week. I did what I could with such an energetic child. But with J, I haven’t done any of that. Most of it is the scheduling with A having afternoon kindergarten. I can’t take J to classes and leave A out in the lobby, and in the afternoon J is usually napping. J doesn’t go to playgroup; the one I go to is when he’s at preschool. J doesn’t go to day care one day a week. He doesn’t get the exposure to others like A did. And so J is a bit more hesitant with people he doesn’t know. Don’t get me wrong, I think that’s healthy. A is more likely to walk into strangers’ homes and introduce himself and he has done that.
But I think J needs more. His speech is improving daily, but I think being around other kids more would help. His speech therapist said having him around other kids wouldn’t hurt and would probably help. J had a friend over this afternoon and they had a ball. The little girl speaks so well, and it was interesting watching the two of them interact.
I could use time away from both the boys more, if for no reason than to enjoy the silence. Next fall will be nice, with A in full day school and J in more preschool. But the summer is looming before me, long and empty. A is signed up for some camps, J is signed up for almost nothing. I looked into programs for him, and they either require the child to be potty trained (which is great and all that, but come on!, learning and bladder control don’t necessarily go hand in hand), or are so short/expensive/far away to not be worth the trouble. I’ll get them both back into swimming, but that requires me to be in the water too.
So the solution is to get a punch card for the rec center and drop the boys in the child watch area. It’s cheap, I get to exercise as well as get some silence…hey, I can find a quiet corner and read if I need to.
And find a way to go back in time to wring the neck of that naive 17 year old.