Tomorrow at around 9:30am, my heart will be broken. I am taking Rio to spend the morning at her new daycare where, starting in January when I return to working full time, she will be spending all day Monday-Friday. The first day of daycare drop-off is a special kind of torture of an especially brutal kind. I have gone through this exact scenario twice before but contrary to popular belief: IT DOES NOT GET ANY EASIER! In fact, this time feels the worst of all...
Maybe it's because I know exactly what's coming to me. There is no doubt in my mind that she will cry hysterically when I try to walk out of the room and I will physically have to unattach her from my body. She has spent everyday of her entire life with me and she loves her Mama something fierce. The first couple of months of her life she didn't even like being with her own Papa and it is only recently that she will calmly go to and stay with her Grandmas who live upstairs. Now I am going to leave her alone with a complete stranger in a brand new place. She is going to be miserable.
I am fully aware of what a blessing I received to be able to stay home with her for an entire year, which is the longest I stayed with any of the girls. Maybe being with Rio for so long is why this round of daycare drop-off feels like the most painful ever. We have had a blast. I have deeply loved every minute of getting to play with her, cuddle her and care for her and honestly I am going to miss her even more than she will miss me.
It's only for 3 hours and she won't be able to remember it when she is older, but tomorrow will be one of the most monumental experiences of her life. It is the moment when I send her out into the big, bad, beautiful world. It will be her first bond and relationship that she forms with a person completely on her own. She will learn all kinds of social norms and lessons and start to develop solid pieces of her identity. I know in my hearts of hearts that me going to back to work and Rio going to daycare is truly what is best for her, for myself and for our entire family. At 1 year old, her attachment to me is heartwarming and adorable but later in her life, that same attachment can very easily turn annoying and impeding. Even though turning my back and walking away from the love of my life when she is in extreme distress goes against every fiber of my being, I know that having to do hard and painful things for the sake of my family is what earns me the coveted title of "Mama". Hey, both Justice and Chuli flipped out on me the first day (or week, or month!) I left them at daycare, and now I am lucky if I can get a hurried good-bye from them as they leave me in the dust when they run into school.
Tomorrow morning will be rough. I won't be able to cry and scream hysterically and I won't have someone to hold me and try everything they can to make me feel better but I can guarantee I will shed some serious tears and spend some time feeling like the most horrible Mama on the planet. I can only hope that the incredible amount of work I am able to accomplish when I have no little ones demanding my attention will help cushion the blow a little. That, and that these 3 hours past by quicker that any 3 hours in the history of time!