Ever since we got the bottle situation figured out at daycare (she takes about 6 ounce in the morning, I feed her at lunch, and another 6 ounces in the afternoon), I've been feeling better and better about her being there. Sure, part of me still wishes that I could be a stay-at-home mom, but for the first time today, I realized that daycare gives her something that I couldn't give her on a day-to-day basis: community.
While I was feeding her at lunch, one of the care providers started playing with the puppets, and the other older kids--between 8-10 months--quickly crawled over to join her on the mat. When Ella finished up, I brought her over to the group and sat with her for a few extra minutes before sneaking out. As I left, I peaked through the window to watch her for a bit and was just touched at how happy she seemed. She sat there, so confident and so poised, alongside the older kids. She just looked so comfortable and cozy and...grown-up. Okay, I know that she's not even six months yet, but she just looked like she was so content there among her friends.
For the first time, I felt good about leaving her and going back to work. For the first time, I smiled as I got back in my car. For the first time, I felt like maybe I really could balance being a good mom and a good employee. For the first time, I felt good--really good--about our arrangement. For the first time, I felt...peace.
Today's blessing was finishing a four-day week, and it feels so good to know that I'm taking tomorrow off! My husband and I are looking forward to bringing Ella to her first Cubs Spring Training game tomorrow. Aside from the sick days, this is my first real day off since going back to work in early January. I can't think of any better way to spend it!