Big changes happening over here; anxiety producing changes. But, really, isn’t that what makes life so exciting?
This whole Maddy-has-SPD thing has really thrown me for a loop. The path I thought I would be taking in life was completely flipped upside down. I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do next. I felt as though I needed to be at home with Maddy where I could drive her to and from therapy, and work techniques into our daily routine to give her the best start I could, but I also wanted to use my education. I wasn’t sure staying at home full-time would make me happy… especially staying at home with the daily frustrations that Maddy’s sensory issues create.
My sister, Lindsay (whose son also has SPD), and I were just talking about how we feel as though having a child with SPD has given us some anxiety over things we truly believe wouldn’t normally cause us anxiety. Sending Maddy to daycare is one of those things for me.
When I was pregnant, I believed I would be heading back to my PhD when Maddy turned one. I knew that I would find it hard to leave her. I thought that I might find this more difficult than some, because, let’s face it, I’m an emotional kind of gal. But, I also knew that that would likely be my path, and that I would deal with it.
After having Maddy, it was a surprise to me how much I actually wanted to get out of the house… even before Maddy turned one. I just couldn’t handle the stress of being with Maddy all day, every day (as much as I love the sweet little girl). My patience was waning, and I knew it would be best for our entire family if I had some time away.
Then we found out Maddy had SPD. I felt like the walls were crashing around me… like I would never be able to get out and start a career (I told you I’m an emotional gal). Since then, we have seen incredible progress. I actually enjoy being home with Maddy many days. We have addressed some of our major issues to the best of our ability at this stage of her life – colic, sleeping, eating, and she smiles and acts/is happy now. We know as she grows we will need to continue to address these and other issues, but our daily life has certainly gotten easier… even fun!
Because of these very positive changes, not too long ago our OTs suggested that it would be a very positive experience to send Maddy to daycare part-time. Mostly because SPD has created very strong separation anxiety for Maddy, and SPD is known to cause some social development issues. They told me that daycare would help Maddy to learn new coping mechanisms for social situations and unexpected events in a different way than I could ever offer at home. They felt that part-time daycare, combined with a therapeutic play group starting this fall, would address any social issues before she started school. You can’t argue with that logic!
I immediately started looking at job postings out of curiosity to see what would appear. Would it be possible to find something part-time? Well, not only was it possible, but I was so lucky to get offered an incredible opportunity. And the kicker, it’s a five to ten minute walk from our house! I feel like I get the best of both worlds. I get time to be me and start a career, and time to be Maddy’s mommy. This still allows me to incorporate therapy into our routines, and enjoy her as she grows. The thought of having three days out of the house already has my patience growing.
But, as I said before, I’m much more anxious about daycare than I think I would be if Maddy didn’t have SPD (though, I know I still would have found it difficult as a lot of mommy’s do). Intellectually I know it will be good for her, but I’m feeling anxious over how long it will take her to adjust. She still cries sometimes when Eric holds her if I’m in the room because she wants to be held by me. I’m worried about how patient others will be with her, though my sister reminded me that in her experience they are always much more patient than we are since they’re not their own kids. I’m nervous about how some of her quirks might be interpreted by others… will they think she’s misbehaving? But, I think what most scares me, is that all of the hard work we have done could start to unravel. We have worked extremely hard and put a ton of effort into turning eating into a positive experience. All it would take is for her to get fussy in a high chair, and forced to stay there, or be forced to eat the food she has said no to because they are busy with the other kids, or think she is just being stubborn. That being said, I believe that this won’t happen intentionally, but I still worry about it.
Our journey starts this week. First Maddy and I will spend a few hours there together. Friday will be her first day alone. I’m more than a bit thankful that we’ve only been able to find care in Waterloo, across from Eric’s work, so that he will be the one to drop her off.
I just need to keep reminding myself that the world is full of good people, and that daycare will be a good thing for both myself and Maddy. I know that Friday is going to be a tough day. Eric is already prepping me for it by telling me repeatedly how proud he is of me and reminding me that it’s okay and normal to find this stressful. He so knows that Friday is gonna be one of those big tear days… and I’m not just talking about Maddy. Isn’t he the best?
The times they may-be-changin’, but life sure is beautiful!