Sorry for the novel. Can you tell I'm having a hard time with this? :/
I have a ds-6 (almost 7yo) and a dd-2yo. We homeschool, so both kids are with me all day. The thing is, my 2yo is overwhelmingly demanding. And she doesn't really nap. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE do not give me advice on getting her to nap because I have had multiple threads on MDC trying to deal with it. Take "get her to nap" off the table. She has a few issues and sleep is one of them (she is adopted and was drug exposed--which might contribute to these things).
But my ds needs me. My family has been through holy heck 42 ways to Sunday in the last nearly 2 years. It has hit all of us (seemingly except my 2yo!) VERY hard and we are in "healing" mode. So asking my ds to be understanding of his very demanding sister is really doing him more harm than good. And asking him to share me with her at a constant is really hard, too--and only because he is recovering from such a horrible season of our life. Otherwise, I would absolutely "get" that this is just a necessary part of growing up in a family--ya know? We have endured multiple deaths including a second trimester pregnancy (and so, emotional "absence" and sadness from parents), physical absence from multiple trips out of state for relocation and for a court case, multiple house moves (4 in the first 6mo of this year) and then a relocation halfway across the country--away from everyone we knew and loved. Oh, and the fighting (loud & verbal only--but really bad) that comes with parents trying to weather all of that together and probably not doing it really well. :/ Oh, and ds was already not well attached. He had severe developmental problems as an infant that made it such that he didn't even know we were in the room until he was 18mo-ish. :(
I don't know what to do. My husband thinks that dd should go to daycare 3 days/week for 5-ish hours/day. Three days because one day ds goes to homeschool classes and I have to be there all morning and there's not really a place for her to play for 4 hours. An hour or so, yeah, but not 4. And later that day, ds has a swim lesson where I need to be in the pool area (his behavior has really gotten bad and I need to witness what goes on to decipher what's really a problem and what might be instructor misunderstanding) and I can't have her in there. And then another day we go to a Bible Study where the kids attend nursery/kids Bible study. Neither day gets me any significant one-on-one time with ds (well, the bible study is morning only) so there's two days there... and I'd rather dd not be going from the Y nursery to the bible study nursery to another place for me to get a fully day with ds. I don't think she'd handle it well at all and it's just not necessary (or right for us). Where she is going isn't really my issue. There's a place we are totally comfortable with, and affording it would be a stretch--but it could be done.
I just hate, hate, HATE the idea of putting her in someone else's care. I hate the idea of handing her off to someone else... no matter who it is. I did it for 3 weeks (to the place we are considering now) because she needed help learning how to eat solid food and she often responds to doing what kids her own age do (although it wasn't a huge impact for the eating). On the other hand, my son is suffering and I know that the weekly "date" he gets with each parent are truly not cutting it. Even when I CAN get my dd to nap, anything I do with ds is interrupted and ended when she wakes up. There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING you can get her engaged in that she doesn't want you right there in the middle of. If you even try, she will stop and come do what you're doing--which is wonderful, but not really helping matters with my son. And he's starting to be resentful towards her (not in any physical way). I've even resorted to allowing her to watch a TV show (Dora) and even though she LOVES it, she wants you to sit with her (she's not scared, just loving). If you don't, she'll come do something with you. She just loves to be together. And it's hard because it's so hard for my son right now.
I don't know what to do. I guess I'm just thinking out loud. Not even sure this is the right forum for this except that I'm a SAHM with my kids all day and so are many of you. :(