Because of Stephen’s work schedule during the fall and spring semesters (he works 9:30-6:00), I have the happy job of picking Charlotte up from daycare, whereas he has the not-so-fun job of dropping her off (except for Fridays, when I handle both). Dropping off has always been hard, but now that Charlotte has developed some separation anxiety, it’s become even harder. Some days aren’t so bad: she’ll start to cry but then go to one of her teachers with open arms and be fine before we’re even out of the room. Other days, like today, are torture: she started to cry before I even put her down, and the crying only got louder once I did put her down. She stood there, looking up at me with huge tears leaving a trail down her face, mouth wide open in distress. I wanted to cry just looking at her. I assured her that I loved her and that I was coming back, and one of her little friends even came over and put her hand on Charlotte’s shoulder (cutest thing EVER), but Charlotte howled through all of it. I’m sure she thought I was abandoning her. Reluctantly, guiltily, I tore myself away, shutting the door behind me as her little cries continued.
I’ll be honest: being a working mom breaks my heart sometimes. It’s a financial necessity for our family right now, and I am thankful that we are able to place her in a safe environment while we are away, but it’s hard every day. I know that Charlotte benefits from being around the other babies, and her teachers are good to her, and I know that she’s not being scarred for life. After all, I myself grew up going to daycare, and I loved it. My mom would tell me how she would come to pick up my brother and me and we wouldn’t want to leave because we were having fun (I’m sure that day is coming for me, too). I never questioned my parents’ love for me or felt abandoned; my mom and dad showed their love for me every day, and I know that Stephen and I will do the same with Charlotte.
Still, while I have come to accept my status as a working mom most days, on days like today the guilt and sadness lingers when I am at work and my baby is with someone else. At least I have the comfort of knowing that even when I can’t watch over Charlotte, my Lord is always watching over her. He is the Creator of her heart and Seeker of her soul. I need to rest in His provision and protection and sovereignty and model this so that one day Charlotte will be able to do the same.