Some women are blessed with the gift of being 'stay at home mothers'. They have the choice of staying at home, have been given the Divine token of patience, and have chosen to be at home with their little ones.
It's usually when I consider these women, and the women who want to stay home but can't financially afford it, that I begin to feel a little inadequate in my mothering. I could stay home. There is no "rule" that says I have to go into the office, I could fulfill the majority of my 'requirements' from the computer at home. Though I have learned that the days I do stay home with the boys, it is nearly, strike that, it is impossible for me to get anything done beyond playing with the boys and making sure they don't destroy themselves or our belongings. Throw in the time it requires to change diapers, wipe noses, make snacks, and you've got a full day. (I'm very sure there are some women reading this and saying "And, your point is??")
The boys have been in day care all week this week, and I have been feeling a mixture of relief and guilt over the whole situation. They are struggling a bit with the language/culture issue. (Jonas won't respond to the Spanish pronounciation of his name. And Bram tells me every day "I don't speak Spanish.") I feel guilty for putting them in a place where only one girl speaks a few phrases in English. But I feel relieved in the sense that I have a chance to get involved in the daily operations of the church.
I have felt like a more patient mommy and a more attentive mommy this week. But I continue to rationalize the guilt: They only go from 8:30 to 1:30 (typical Spanish work hours), so they're not even in there the whole day. Bram needs to learn Spanish in order to start school next year. Jonas has been cutting teeth so that's why he's been cranky with the day care ladies....etc, etc, etc.
I don't presume that I'm the only one capable of taking care of my boys during the day. And I think it's good for them to be around other children, something of which there is not a lot of in our church (yet). I know that this transition phase for them shall pass, and they'll probably grow to love it, but it's still hard not to feel like a terrible parent when you leave a crying 2 year old behind in the care of another....