I work a Tuesday through Saturday week, so I’ve always had Mondays off with my son, Jacobi. My wife affectionately called this day, Bro Day, and I soon learned to love the moniker. Tomorrow, Jacobi starts full-time daycare (or school as we call it). Bro Day will never be the same again.
Up until now, Jacobi has been all on his own…well, with Grandma’s supervision. Four days a week, he has spent his days with Grandma, going on errands and to the park, doing what he wanted pretty much whenever he wanted. As he got older, his little brain and body were growing too fast for us all to keep up with. Something was missing, and it became apparent to Jen and I (Grandma, too!) that other kids might be the answer.
Jacobi has a few friends and cousins, but he doesn’t see any of them often enough to make a good connection. Visits or play dates were so short that by the time he warmed up, his friend was on her way out the door. Trips to the playground were the same. He loved interacting with other children, but such trips are always so hit-and-miss. School seemed like a good start.
Originally, we were on a waiting list for part-time enrollment. Our plan was to keep Bro Day intact, and have Jacobi go to school four days a week. After a year on the waiting list, we changed our enrollment to full-time, and then promptly got in. Could we go only four days a week and still pay for five days? Sure. But why throw away the money when the benefits of school are so good? What does Bro Day offer that school doesn’t?
Dad time, of course. On one hand, I’m selfish. I don’t care about school benefits. I want a day to spend with my son and do whatever we want to do. We’ll have pancakes for breakfast like we do every Bro Day, and we’ll make a trip to the grocery store. We’ll go to the park to play and walk on the hiking trails. We’ll do yard work or chores together, or we’ll build something. Sometimes, we might even watch a TV show that’s not age appropriate or play video games! Bro Day is always a blast, and I cherish the time I get to spent with my son.
If on one hand, I’m selfish, then on the other hand, I’m also selfish. Before Jacobi, Mondays were always my day devoted to writing. Jen would be working, so I could stay home and write all day if I wanted. With Jacobi at school, I can reclaim my Mondays as a writing day. The evening writing habits I’ve been keeping just aren’t getting the work done. This is something very important to me as a writer!
This sort of flip-flopping has been standard practice the last few weeks. I swear this has been one of my most difficult decisions. I can keep Jacobi on Bro Day and have an awesome day all to myself with my son, or I can send Jacobi to school and stay home and write. Not once during these inner conflicts have I thought to myself, “I’m an awesome parent!”
I’ve reached a compromise for now. I’m still going to get up early with Jacobi on Bro Day and we’ll have our pancake breakfast like usual. We might even squeeze in a short walk outside before going off to school. When he’s at school, I’ll write, and after his nap, I’ll go and pick him up early for a fun-filled afternoon. It’s not perfect, but I think it’ll work for now. The best part is that it still feels like Bro Day, however I’m seriously balancing on this fence and jumping the posts. I could fall to either side.
And please, any advice/support/criticism would be welcome!