Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Guest post: My secret

I have a secret to tell you. I love dropping my daughter off at daycare. Shhh...let's not tell anyone. There are people out there who will frown at the relief I feel when I drive away from the daycare. People who will shake their hands and cross their arms. People who will accuse me of being a bad mother.

Don't get me wrong. I love my daughter like I've never loved anyone or anything before. Her smiles in the morning. The way she puts her arms around my neck to kiss me good-bye. The way she tries to wink at me but closes both eyes instead. She just melts my heart.

But her headstrong personality. The incessant cries of mommy. The tantrums. The potty training messes. Those things wear me ragged.

Work is so much easier. My schedule. Examining joints. Diagnosing patients. Prescribing medications. Sitting in front of my computer in my quiet office. No baby talk. No chasing after a screaming toddler. I am the one in control, not subject to the whims of an adorable, stubborn two-year-old.

Weekends are difficult. From the minute she wakes up at 5:30 am on Saturday morning to 7:30 pm on Sunday night, I am running around frantic. Everything revolves around her schedule. When she eats, when she takes a nap. Keeping her short-attention span toddler self entertained. I cannot remember the last time I slept in. I am exhausted after I put her to bed Sunday night after reading her favorite book two times. When Monday rolls around, I happily rush to bring her back to daycare.

I applaud those moms who are stay-at-home moms. Spending all day every day at home with their children. Being a mom is the hardest job anyone can do and they do it all the time. They are super human beings. Stay-at-home moms are not recognized enough.

I could never be that stay-at-home mom. It would drive me crazy. I need to sip my coffee in front of my computer in my office. I need to read scientific journals and not just nursery rhymes. I need adult stimulation. I need to be away from my daughter to be a better mother.

So, shhh... that's my secret. Let's just keep this between you and me for now.

Karen Yeter MD


  1. I have a secret too, might even be worse... sometimes if I am off on a weekday, I still take my child to daycare. My husband does the same. He feels no guilt about it, I stopped feeling guilty about it too. This dichotomous thinking that there are either parents who want to spend every minute of every day with their child, or they want to spend no time at all with them, former=good and loving, latter=bad and unloving, this thinking is defeatist and unproductive. Sometimes on an unexpected off day I'll take my son to the zoo or the playground. Other times I just chill by myself and read a non-toddler book. After dealing with massive tantrums in the morning where every sentence begins with "I don't wanna...", it is a relief to drop him off at daycare. My toddler still likes to be carried, and it literally feels like a load lifted when I walk out of that daycare door. We're clearly not the only people, as evidenced by this hilarious and popular comic: http://www.fowllanguagecomics.com/comic/long-weekend/. And I completely agree, stay at home parenting is a greatly underappreciated job, and I could never do it.

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  2. I worked part-time until my daughter was 7. I had full-time daycare that entire time and I used it. I had two afternoons and one morning off each week. I would often take her in later than usual on my morning off (8:30 instead of 7:30) and maybe pick her up a little earlier on the afternoons (5:30 instead of 6:00) but had no guilt about having her in daycare while I was NOT WORKING. It helped me appreciate my time with her and it made me happy.

  3. THIS. WAS. ME. I couldn't wait to get back to work after a maternity leave with sweet moments but mostly loneliness and exhaustion and what the hell have I gotten myself into? Office = control and quiet. A note to your future self: When your daughter is 14 like mine you will be so grateful for any one on one bc she will disappear to her peers and social life. We had dinner together alone last night at her request and it was a wonderful recap of her weekend with dad and stepmom and her growing friend circle and possible boy interests. I was in bliss and trying so hard to be cool about it - proper balance of parent and friend - so it happens again soon. Two doesn't last forever, but don't feel guilty about taking you time so you can be more for her! I remember sitting at work decompressing for a half hour or so on the internet before I went to relieve the nanny and work my second (I agree much harder) job as a single mom. Great post:)

  4. No judgement at all. I feel very fortunate to work part time and have part time daycare. It's such a good blend of spending time with my toddler while also letting other people take care of her a couple days a week. And I'd like to think she benefits too from the exposure to other people, kids, and places. Occasionally we take her on a day off too, just to get a little adult break!


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