Have you ever thought about something so much that you feel like you could write a whole book on the topic? That’s me right now with this idea of the privilege of choice.
Ever since we decided to start Mila in daycare, I’ve been thinking about my privilege to choose to put her in school at this time. And then my mind automatically goes to my parents and their lack of privilege with so many things. That, of course, brings it’s own sense of guilt…
…such a layered topic for me!
I’m sharing this because I think there’s some hidden shame for those of us who are the ‘in between generation.’ Personally, I am the child of immigrants who quite literally worked their butts off to give us a good life. That good life, which I undoubtedly live, provides me with privilege. And even though my parents have never shamed me for the way we live our life, I feel like I owe them something, and one way I can do that is by choosing the harder path.
Are you still with me?
Ok, so this came up for me because, as you all know, I quit my corporate job to really put my whole self into Awarify and now Momsanity. But then we kept Mila home with me for a year because we couldn’t find a nanny and because I didn’t want to start her in daycare until at least 12 months.
The 12 month mark rolled round, and I found myself conflicted again. Cold and flu season is on steriods right now. Are we doing the right thing? Should I take her out and put her back at 18 months? And the real zinger of a question was…
…am I being selfish by choosing to put my child in daycare when she could stay home with me?
I went in circles over this decision. I talked to friends, I obviously talked to Vishnu, and I talked to my sister who’s a pediatrician.
Obviously, everyone I talked to had differing opinions. Some agreed with my initial idea to restart her at 18 months, and some thought the complete opposite – keep her in!
Vishnu, and my sister agreed, is of the mindset that, in terms of sickness, we’re just kicking the can down the road if we start her later. And who knows what other viruses are going to be circulating in the springtime.
I was also concerned about her nap schedule being thrown off (and it is), but my friend Monica reminded me that transitions take time, and that Mila would in fact adjust.
And finally, everyone said that I also have to take my wants/needs/desires for my businesses into account. I can’t keep pushing those to some future date…because I’m scared. And that really got to it for me. Taking care of Mila is so natural to me. I know how to do it, and I think I do a good job. Whereas, I’ve never built a business from the ground up before. There’s definitely some fear there!
Ultimately, the decision we came to was to take things month by month. If for any reason, we/I feel like she’s not thriving or it’s too much for her, we can take her out for a bit. Also, she’s in school 3.5 days, which is an amount of time I’m comfortable with.
At the end of the day, it’s still a privilege to put her in school when we don’t technically have to, but I’m realizing that it’s good for both of us. I’m making some headway with Awarify and Momsanity, and Mila gets to grow her social skills and have fun with other babies which she absolutely loves! It really is a win/win.
Also, when I compare sending Kaiden to school versus Mila, there was no choice with him. We had to send him, which brought with it a different kind of guilt.
Life is never going to be black and white. Most things are pretty gray. And that’s where I feel like I sit right now. 100% in the gray.
As another friend told me when I basically shared this whole blog post with her via a phone convo, it’s ok for our lives to look different than our parents. It’s called progress, and more importantly, how we choose to live our lives, no matter what the decisions are, is up to us. No one else has to live with our choices. Only we do. So be kinder to yourself.
I hope you’re kind to yourself through every though choice.