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Let me start by saying I’m a stay-at-home mom, so my daughter doesn’t go to daycare. When my daughter was born, I decided to leave the job I loved to spend my days changing diapers, singing nursery rhymes, and playing peek-a-boo. I’m thankful to have a very supportive husband who allows me this time to bond with our baby while she is little.
While I still do some freelance work on the side, for the most part, Avery has been my full-time job. And she is certainly a job! She is the most demanding boss I’ve ever had. In nearly two decades of employment, no boss has ever made me work sun up to sun down plus be on call in the middle of the night; no boss has ever followed me into the bathroom, or threw things if I did not comply with demands; no boss has ever destroyed my personal property or wiped their nose on my shirt. If any other boss treated me like that, I most certainly wouldn’t have stuck around very long. But this little tyrant has my heart and I’ve enjoyed every moment with her.
For that reason, I have not been away from her for more than 2-3 hours in nearly a year, and I’ve never left her with anyone I did not know. We don’t have family nearby so the opportunities to leave her for a date night are few and far between.
But like everyone else in the working world, stay-at-home moms deserve a vacation, as well. Heck, they probably deserve one more than most people, because they never get a day off. Moms work seven days a week, and the pay sucks.
So on a recent trip to Steamboat, Colorado I had just that… A vacation day. Actually, I had several of them… Well, several half days of them. While we skied, Avery went to daycare! I’ll admit I’m a bit of a helicopter mom. So I thought that leaving her in daycare with strangers for 5 hours each day would be extremely hard for me. Surprisingly, it wasn’t. Dropping her off was heartbreaking because she would cry and cling to my shirt, but then after I handed her off, I would stand outside the door, just out of sight and listen to see if she calmed down… She did almost immediately.
Why daycare is a vacation necessity
On the mountain, I got to be me again… The me I was before kids. I got to be Melissa… Not Mommy. And I was with the absolute love of my life. And he got to be Damon… Not DaDa.
We skied our hearts out. We skied until our legs burned and we talked and laughed and kissed on the chair lift. We had quality time together without the baby. That is so important, and yet in this last year I’ve put that on the back burner… I’ve put my marriage on the back burner.
Somewhere among the beautiful snow draped trees and some seriously crazy moguls, I realized I needed this time with Damon… Like, desperately needed it. Not that our marriage was in trouble or anything. In fact, I love him more today than I did before Avery was born.
But parenthood is a lot of work… You invest a lot of time and energy into your children, which doesn’t leave much time or energy for anything or anyone else. So sometimes you just need to stop being parents for a few hours and play in the snow together.
Avery survived daycare, although she wasn’t too happy the first day we picked her up. And I survived the tree runs my husband took me down. All’s well that ends well.