In my last post I was on a glamorous (!) business trip. I have been back for over a week now and am still dealing with the ramifications of my absence with my darling and heinous two-year-old.
It occurred to me that this was the first time I had been away from her that she was conscious of, and I have been paying the price ever since.
On the days Sofia goes to daycare they give a one-page day summary of all the essentials: how much she ate and pooped, if she sat on the potty, what activities they did and also her temperament. My kid ALWAYS has gotten the “helpful, happy, cheerful” qualities circled. Until I went away. Then she was “sad.” She also went on a hunger strike and has not, for the past two weeks, really been willing to eat at school. Her school called me one day because she would not eat and kept crying all day and asking for Mommy. This was right after my trip so I figured some dedicated Mommy time would help. I picked her up from school early and we went and had cupcakes and went book shopping (that’s right–I am not above bribery.)
But, here we are a couple of weeks later and she is still not back to her “normal” self. At bedtime she has been struggling as well–when it’s Daddy’s turn to put her to bed she wants Mommy and vice versa. So, after letting Daddy try to calm her down I caved and went to put her to bed. (Note: it is a fatal mistake to leave the monitor on while your spouse is putting your kid to bed. Whatever you hear can lead to nothing good in this world, I assure you.)
So I go in there and have her in my lap and have my therapist mommy soothing voice going and I ask her why she is sad and she wails, with her head back in anguish and eyes towards the ceiling “I lost my mommy and my daddy!” Repeatedly.
Let me pause here and say that not all blood is crimson red. I assure you I was so pained that I was bleeding invisible mommy heart blood from my eyeballs–this was before the tears hit me.
Mother fucker! What a completely sucky statement to hear from your kid. All the working mom guilt that I coach myself out of, my philosophy that “providing for your family is another way of being there for them” was no match for this scenario. I was guilty and mean and an abandoner and it’s all my fault that my kid is living a miserable existence.
I have no answers for this problem. I know guilt is a waste of energy, but it seems to be a constant in the life of a working mom. A couple things we have tried is bringing a picture of mommy and daddy to daycare so she can bring it out anytime she misses us. This is helping. Today my friend gave me a “mama bear” that she made–it’s a picture of my face on a cloth bear that she can hold and hug when she misses me. She says it worked on her kids. Fingers crossed.
Have I mentioned my husband and I are going away for a week next month to Mexico to celebrate my birthday and make baby #2–and baby girl is staying with Grandma?
I am Cruella DeVille.