Day one, hour one
It’s happened, I have dropped my daughter off in the care of relative strangers after two weeks of induction. I placed her on the floor where she eagerly joined her friends and started pushing balls around. I kissed her on her sweet little head and I said, “mummy’s going now”. She looked up at me and smiled, and then waved. I walked out the door, feeling OK. I looked back, she was still playing, looking around a little – I’m guessing (hoping?) for me.
I walked out the door mentally telling myself not to cry. As I walked out I saw another mum behind me and the tears began to fall. “I’m sorry,” I sobbed. “I haven’t left her before.” And the tears ran freely. The poor mum. She pat me nervously on the shoulder and told me it gets easier. I had to restrain myself from asking her if she’d like to go for coffee and talk about our kids while we waited for them.
Related: My first childcare experience
Then I walked home. I was so annoyed with myself for not driving. If I drove I could have sat in the car for a while and cried. But no, I had to walk down the street with the tears flowing and try to hide them. At least I had the sense to leave the pram at the centre instead of crying while wheeling a childless pram home. My chest ached. My stomach churned. I felt a pulling that was unknown to me. This was different to leaving her with Mum for the first time. This was different to her first sleepover (though a little similar). This ached all over and it felt like grieving and a horrendous break-up all in one.
By the time I got home the tears had stopped, the ache was still there. I thought “I’ll be OK” and then I entered the apartment. I saw her bedroom and tears threatened. Everywhere there were reminders of her. I saw her sippy cup on the table, her bib hung over the chair, an audible sob exited my throat. I practically ran to my laptop, shoved it in my bag and got out of there, heading to my local coffee shop, where the server very kindly agreed not to talk to me about my daughter, who they are used to seeing every morning.
Then, one of missy’s favourite waitresses smiled at me and said cheerfully, “You look so empty all by yourself!” I think she got it in a nutshell.
Now, I’m off to the hairdressers for a much needed colour and cut. It probably won’t stop the ache, but at least the foils in my hair combined with my vanity will prevent me from running back to the centre and pulling my baby to my chest and never letting go. I’m told it gets easier.
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Your story hits too close to home. In just three short week I’ll be dropping my daughter off at daycare for the first time after a joyous and wonderful year together. I feel your pain, momma. I already cry too often just thinking about it.
It’ll be OK. If it’s any consolation picking her up was like racing to the spectacular first date. Butterflies in my stomach and absolute joy to see her again.
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That sounds heart breaking. It always seems the mum’s are much more upset than the children – I think that’s probably a slight consolation for mums.
Thanks for linking to #AnythingGoes
I remember that feeling well, you are not alone. It wont take long however before you apreciate the spare time you have. The joy when you pick her up will always be there though 🙂
After summer Tyger will be starting at preschool. It will be the first time I’ve left either of the boys with anyone other than family (and even then we’re generally talking half an hour here and there). The preschool are amazing, though, and insist a parent stays with the child for as many sessions as it takes for the child to settle. They’ve been very proactive because Tyger is being assessed for ASD so I’m confident he’ll have fun there. In fact, I’m quite looking forward to some one-to-one time with Bear and maybe even some completely child-free time if Bear naps! Does that make me a bad mum?
Forgot to tag #AnythingGoes!
Not at all! That sounds like a positive way to think!
Aw bless you *hugs*
This makes me feel a little guilty about how gleefully we ran off into the sunset when we left my tot with my parents for two nights.
Oh I feel for you! I can’t imagine what you went through as I’ve haven’t yet had that experience myself, but I can only imagine and it just fills me with dread. Hope you had a lovely coffee and haircut. That’s was a great plan to keep busy and do something for you. X
Aw, you love your baby. That is so sweet.
My 4th grader went to school yesterday and wouldn’t let us walk him to class. I didn’t cry (years of dropping him off), but there might have been a single tear. Just the one, I swear!
I remember the first time I left the Tubblet and it was horrible, but it has to be done. And it does get easier. Hope you enjoyed your coffee and haircut!
This is so true. I would like to say it gets better and it does gradually, but not quickly, or at least it hasn’t got that much better for me yet. My son is 11.5 months. I started back at work full time when he was 7.5 months. I have also separated from my partner so our time is split so that we both spend time with him. This unfortunately means that on occasion I drop my son off at nursery on a Monday morning and know that I won’t see him until Tuesday night. I need to be more assertive on this issue because it is having a detrimental impact on our son (not that my ex will ever agree so I probably have a fight on my hands). My babe spends 2 days a week at nursery and then 2 days a week with my Mum and then alternate 5th day with either me or my ex. I am glad that I don’t have to send him to nursery every day and he loves spending time with my Mum. The nursery are actually really good with him. They kiss, cuddle and tickle him which he loves. He certainly gets attention and that is great, but I want to be able to give him my attention…and I can’t. You will get used to it, and in time you will be able to see that your child loves spending time with friends at nursery but also loves seeing you again at collection time. Be nice to yourself though and try not to beat yourself up. You are a great Mum – you wouldn’t feel like this if you weren’t. Good luck!
Awww … that made me cry. Thanks.:-)
That first day is so so hard but I promise it does get easier. I’ve now been dropping Zach at nursery for almost two years and whilst it is only two days a week, he is so happy with his friends there and has so much fun – even if he does pretend he doesn’t want to go! I hope it gets better – picking them up is just the best – and then they have a tantrum and you wonder why you bother to be excited haha! Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday
Aw must have been so hardand I know how you feel. I struggled leaving Monkey at playgroup too and he was 2 1/2 by then! Thanks for linking with #MaternityMondays