Today I had to drop my daughter who is almost 3 off at her daycare. Last week she transitioned to the new 3 year old’s class. She has friends in that class but the transition has still be really hard. She was very attached to her previous teachers. Drop offs have always been hard but these have been especially brutal. She is always happy as a lark when we pick her up and tells us all the fun things she did at school. But whenever I drop her off and she screams and cries and looks at me with this face of desperation as the teachers have to hold her, it breaks my heart into a million little pieces. The guilt. Oh the guilt.
I have so many conflicting emotions. I wish I could stay home with her, or at least just send her to school 2 days a week so that maybe she would have more mommy time. I want this for her sake, not for mine. I feel tremendous amounts of guilt sometimes that I like working and being at work. I enjoy being away from my daughter. It’s exhausting playing with a 3 year old all the time. I don’t know if that’s because I have so many other things on my plate that I feel like I need to do, or because I just generally only have so much enjoyment over playing playdough so many times or doing pretend voices for the little people toys or playing “doctor” role plays over and over. For her sake, I want to be present and just be this awesome person who plays with her non-stop and comes up with all kinds of creative things for us to do. I think about my best friend who stays home with her 2 kids and I just kind of want to blow my brains out thinking about that scenario. But working 30 hours a week as well as doing some photography on the side and working on starting up a private practice right now definitely means I’m stretched very thin.
If I really wanted to, could I just stop working and send my daughter to school 2 days a week? Probably. But my spouse is still actually “unemployed” although he is doing a lot of contract work (he’s a computer programmer/web designer). But he doesn’t have benefits. My job provides us *incredible* health insurance. I also have other major benefits like sick and vacation as well as retirement. We would be paying an arm and a leg without it. Second, we have a mortgage. We could probably sell our house and move somewhere else but my spouse really likes where we live. His idea of his standard of living is rather high (in my opinion).
Anyway, point is, I’m not cutting my hours anymore anytime soon. But I am working on starting up private practice. June 1 I start 4 hours a week, Wednesday evenings. A big part of me thinks, I really have to cut out photography. At least maybe only reserve 1 weekend a month for photography each month. I’ve enjoyed making an extra $400 a month but at some point, something has to give. I can’t be committed all the time every weekend. Oh, also in June, I’m going to this major conference for like 5 nights for work. I am SO EXCITED but also freaking out because I’ve never been away that long from my child. Already I feel like I am not making enough time for her.
Part of the reason I am doing this private practice thing is that my goal is 1 year from now to possibility be able to reduce my hours at my current job to maybe 20 hours a week. If I can average 10 full pay clients a week in counseling, that will definitely help pay the bills. But for now, I have to start somewhere.I just know I can’t continue this structured *must be at work these certain hours* kind of job if we are going to have 2 kids. I just can’t function like that. I DO need work. We absolutely cannot afford to be on one paycheck. And I DO need work for my mental health as well. It’s very very very important to me. So, send me the good vibes this year of pursuing my dreams. It’s terrifying.