I didn't want to admit it to myself, but I like my son even more after spending less time with him. This year he started part-time daycare, and at first it was a little painful for me to see him go, and to be away from him for entire days. But as the weeks have gone by, and my work at home has increased, I have come to realize that I love these long days apart.
Having all this time apart (and knowing that he's having a blast) is good for both of us. I seem to have so much more patience when it comes to him, and can handle his usual quirks with humour, and ease. Before, or still on the days he's not in daycare, I lose my mind and my wit all the time. I can easily handle one or two nightly meltdown's, messes, crazy antics or whatever he seems to throw at me, but all day long, something's got to give.
I'm thrilled to pay someone else to entertain, teach and guide my son through his days. This takes a lot of energy, positivity and hard work, and it's nice to share this burden. Yes, I said a burden. Sometimes that's exactly what it feels like, or at least used to feel like. Just keeping him safe all day is tough. Add to that the need to teach, entertain, engage with him, all while getting a somewhat healthy, hot meal on the table each... It isn't easy.
Even though he's only 3, it's nice to know he's out there living his life, having his own experiences that do not include me. I can't tell you how exciting it's been to hear him try to tell me about the highlights of his day (cars, outside time, and food). He's still struggling with some speech issues, so getting him to pull out even one or two highlights of his day is super exciting. I almost lost it when he told me he ate salad! He's trying new foods, and telling me about them. "What else did you eat?" I asked. "Salad." Huh! Really great, right!
I know he's happy, and learning and trying new things. So am I. That's another reason I like him more these days. I'm feeling more like my old self again. It's nice not to be just mommy around here. And we all know how much I love being mommy. Now I get to be Amy, and mommy. That's pretty sweet. So, no. I won't miss him (that much) today. I will, however, enjoy my little guy that much more when he returns. I wonder what new foods, new toys or exciting new adventures he can tell me about tonight.