Mama’s Sorry

Monday, Thursday, and Friday mornings are the worst. I absolutely dread these days because these are the days that Lily goes to daycare. Every time I drop her off, without fail, she cries. It’s not just a regular one and half-year old cry either. It’s a screaming bloody murder, blow out your ear drums type of cry.

I still can’t figure out why she cries like this. When I pick her up, they always tell me that she stopped minutes after I left and that she had a great day. If she has fun, what is the need for these terrible melt-downs?

Today was different though. She didn’t say “no” the minute we pulled into the parking lot like she usually does. We walked into her room and were greeted by her favorite teacher. She seemed excited as we were taking off her coat, was laughing while we were washing her hands, and then she began talking and walking to the table where she proceeded to sit down in a chair and look up at us and smile.

Her teacher and I stared at each other with large grins. “Lily how great!” we both exclaimed. “No crying today! Are you happy to be here? Are you happy to be able to get out of the house after being sick all week? Mama’s going to go now. I love you! Have a great day!”

I was practically skipping with glee toward the door when I suddenly heard a little, tiny voice. “Mama?”

I turn to look and there is my baby, sitting in her chair, lips quivering, and the outpouring of tears begins.

I begin to move toward them. I need to rescue her! She is so, so sad right now! This is her first day back to daycare after being sick all last week. SHE NEEDS ME!

Her teacher insists that I leave. She will not stop crying whether I stay or go, she tells me. I know this is true, but my heart breaks into a million pieces as I walk out that door. The rest of the drive to work, I just keep thinking, “I’m sorry, honey. I’m so, so sorry.”

There are many things I would say to her if she only understood at this age:

Mama leaves you at daycare because she has to work to keep a roof over our heads.

Mama leaves you at daycare because she thinks it’s good for you. She has seen you learn so many new things since you’ve started going and you always have fun with your friends.

Mama leaves you at daycare because she wants to be a role model for you. She wants you to see that women can have it all. They can be successful by working in a career they love and still come home and be good mommies to their babies.

But, she doesn’t understand right now. All she knows is that Mama is leaving her and it tears me up inside every Monday, Thursday, and Friday morning.

Does this ever get easier?

At least tomorrow is Tuesday.

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11 thoughts on “Mama’s Sorry

  1. Oh Michelle- this hurts my heart. I totally love the writing and repeating but it still hurts my heart. I know that it gets better for her- not so much for the mommas though. Well, a little bit. But I still feel like I want to sail in and “save” Maddie all the time and she’s five. You’re a better mom for it.

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  2. I don’t have children. I don’t know your struggle, but this helps me get some insight into what mothers go through. Thank you for sharing. I especially liked the part on wanting to be a role model for your daughter. I got a little distracted by the phrase “have it all”–women don’t really get to have it all, we make hard decisions and sacrifice a lot. You describe sacrificing your peace of mind for example–but I am moved by how you describe trying to keep things in balance and how that can be hard. I love, love, love the name of your blog.

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  3. Beautiful slice capturing the heartache so many of us feel. For me it is Mon-Wed and I have to peel her fingers off of me to leave. We are certainly loved and the contrast makes mommy time that much sweeter.

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  4. Michelle, this slice really tugged at my heart strings. My son cried every single time I dropped him off at daycare, Monday through Friday! The teachers told me that he always stopped after I left, and a few times I stuck around just outside the door to see that they were right. It didn’t matter though. Hearing your child cry is always hard, for a Momma. It does get easier though. In my situation, Jaleel adjusted and stopped crying. Until then, I tried to focus on how happy he was when I picked him up.

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  5. I have tears in my eyes…you told this beautifully and honestly and it’s heartbreaking. One day she will understand but for now I know it’s hard. I love how you ended it though with at least tomorrow is Tuesday.

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  6. heart-breaking! They it gets better! If everything these people “say,” comes true, you’re daughter will be the healthiest most well-adjusted individual in the world! Cheers!

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  7. I’m not an expert but my sister did day care in her home for 13 years and I saw first hand that the best thing tondo is exactly what you did…leave without making a big deal about it. Hang in there it will get better!

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  8. So well written. I can sympathize completely. Just today I was thinking about my baby during the day wishing to be home with him, but knowing that that is not possible for our family right now. I hope it gets better soon for you.

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  9. Oh, that is so hard! You so clearly expressed the heartbreak of leaving a crying child. I really feel for you on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays!

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