Parenting is an exercise in completely contradicting myself at regular intervals. Blogging allows me to illustrate this in a public forum. Case in point: Child care.
About three months ago, I wrote a piece called Babysitting Will Be Provided, which basically outlined the reasons I disliked short-term, temporary child care situations and rarely utilized them.
Guess what has happened since then?
We started attending a new church where—you guessed it—the Agents began going off to their individual children's church rooms and loving it. (They cannot wait to go each week, even willingly getting out of bed earlier than usual each Sunday morning to make it on time.)
I started taking the Agents with me to a new women's Bible study offered by said church where—you guessed it—the Agents hang out in the next room while I go off and do "Mommy stuff" . . . aka, grab a coffee and chat with other women from the congregation and then discuss a few chapters of our current book and then chat some more. (They tell me, Ms. Wendy's house is so much fun. Can we go there again?)
I followed up on a lead for a sitter (a college sophomore at a local university) and—you guessed it—set up a regular gig with her coming to the house while I "disappear" for about two hours every other week. (After the first time she came over, Agents were asking when she was coming back before she made it out of the driveway.)
Are you noticing a trend here?
It turns out, my children actually love these times and consider them just another adventure in their day. Maybe I underestimated their ability to handle the separation? their desire to do their own thing? how situations like the above were just as much of a positive experience for them as for me?
Now, Agent A still waffles a bit, and I respect that. Sometimes he hangs with Momma at church or the Bible study instead. I'm sure it's just a little more difficult for him to adjust than the girls because of his age. Which is fine. He can be Momma's little boy and stay with me as long as he wants.
Because sooner than I think, he's going to be the one pushing me out the door.