My son attends daycare five days a week, even if I’m not working. I use the time I have at home catch up on chores, write articles, and work on the latest course I am taking.
One night, my daycare calls to cancel for the next two days for personal reasons. That’s ok, I tell her, I understand. Then the thought sinks in: what will I do with my kid for the next two days? My anxiety sets in: how are you going to entertain him for two whole days? I start running through scenarios in my mind. All day? Just me and him? Panic pulls up a chair, relaxes, and makes itself comfortable.
This is my kid for goodness sake! Why am I anxious about spending the whole day with him? Because he’s a toddler and he’s busy and he’s at a point right now where the whining has no end and the defiance doesn’t stop. I’m frightened because he’s busy and demanding and the days are long with mini-humans. My boy is being a typical two-and-a-half-year-old child and I’m a neurotic mother. Not a great combo. I immediately assume that the days are going to be rough and that he’s going to be a mini-terror. I’m not shocked that I go straight to the negative instead of the positive, which is being able to spend an extra two whole days with my little man, who I love dearly. Instead, I’m saddened by the revelation that I’m not shocked. This is a special time right now. He’s growing and every day is a new day, with new words and new discoveries. I should be excited that I have some extra days to be with him instead of fearing them.
But the truth is that I do fear them. I’m afraid I can’t live up to his expectations. I’m afraid he’ll make me crazy and I’ll get impatient with him. I’m afraid because I cannot understand what’s going on this tiny human’s mind! I take a big breath and remember that those expectations are created by me, not him.
Am I the only one in the world who gets anxious by spending extra time with my own child? I sure hope not. Are there other mothers who panic when daycare closes and they’re the ones who take the day off to care for their kids? I sure hope so.
While I may experience anxiety over the thought of caring for my kid on my own for an extra two days, I remind myself that I am lucky that my kid loves to spend time with me and that we always end up having a great day.