Tuesday, February 12, 2013

And then I was reminded why being a working mother can really suck sometimes

As a working mother I spend approximately 10 hours away from my son Monday-Friday. I drop him off at daycare between 7:30-8am and get home between 5:30-6pm. Fortunately (or maybe unfortunately) Hunter never has any issues with being dropped off at daycare. He loves it there. He loves the teachers, the other kids and all the extra toys. He doesn't cry or cling to me when I leave, even though I ALWAYS go back for one last kiss after putting all his stuff away. Granted it makes drop off much easier to leave a happy child but I would be lying if I said that a part of me didn't wish just a little that he was more upset to see me go each day.

When I get home in the evenings Hunter will usually crawl, or now walk to me. If Kristian is holding him he will smile and reach for me. It is definitely one of the highlights of my day. I love coming home to a baby toddler that is happy to see me.

Last night when I got home I walked in the door and stood in the entry hall, as I always do and waited for Hunter to come greet me. I got down and held out my arms and he smiled as he walked towards me....and right past me into the kitchen to play in the dog's water bowl. Yep I was dissed for a dog's water bowl. I realize these things can be distracting so I went in after him and scooped him up for some hugs and kisses and he cried and squirmed wanting to get down. He had absolutely no interest in me or my kisses. And my heart just about broke. I almost burst into tears. After 10 hours away from his mama he wanted to play in a water bowl rather than accept my affection.

And that's when I was reminded that being a working mom can really suck sometimes. I know that Hunter is a very active toddler whose attention span is about 3 seconds long. I know I shouldn't take it personally but in that moment it was hard not to feel rejected. To feel like maybe being away from him all day is causing us to not have a strong bond, especially now that we no longer have the nursing bond to share. To feel like he is more excited to see his daddy or his daycare teachers more than he is to see me.

Kristian tried to reassure me that this isn't the case. He's becoming a moody, independent, active little toddler that doesn't always want his mama kissing all over him. But it doesn't make it any easier. It doesn't make me miss the newborn days, where all he wanted in the world was his mama to hold and nurse him, any less.

I only get a few hours in the evenings with him and I try my best to make the most of them. To help make up for my time away during the day. So whether he likes it or not, I will smooch on him when I get home, I will play with him and follow him around the house and make him listen to me read bedtime stories, no matter how much he would rather be getting into mischief. He can ignore me when he's a teenager.

11 comments:

Heather said...

This is definitely something I've heard from lots of parents, and I'm sorry to hear that you're feeling this way. Even though I know it doesn't make you feel any better, I think a lot of toddlers do that on occasion, even if they have a stay-at-home parent. Still, I know what you mean about it being harder to accept after having spent the entire day away from him.

Kristen Lawlor said...

Oh honey. I know. I know. I wish I could say something to make it that much better, but I have nothing. It sucks fat asshole. Truly.

Nessa said...

I feel the exact same way! There's just never enough time together anymore. If it makes you feel any better, Chloe spent 5 days at my Mom's. When I walked in to pick her up, she had a huge smile on her face. I unbuckled her from her seat for hugs and kisses, and she had no interest in me at all. After almost a WEEK. I try not to worry about those things too much. Playing is always more interesting than mommy haha.

Kristen said...

Hugs!
It is just a toddler stage.

I was home all day with C on Thursday and then again on Monday while Josh was at work and all day it was "Daddy?!", either up stairs, downstairs depending where we were. Being stuck at home with Mom was clearly not enough.

Stephanie said...

I too feel this way often. Chloe is a daddy's girl through and through. You'd think after being with him all day and not seeing me, she'd run to me after I get home, but that isn't always the case. And it's really hard to not take it personally. Another blogger I read wrote on this same thing today, how her son hates to leave daycare now and she knows she should be happy he likes it so much, but it hurts her feelings. I say that just to let you know you are not alone in this at all. Soon he'll be into a new phase where all he wants is his mama. These little ones want what they want when they want it...but it changes so quickly.

palmtreemama said...

It is so tough. We want them to be happy and okay when not with us... but at the same time we want them to 'want' to be with us... just hard to have it both ways right?! I am sure Hunter is just consumed with all the excitement of his surroundings in moments like this. Sometimes, like tonight for example, I could tell Lids wanted to say goodnight to her Daddy who was nursing a bad headache in bed so I called her into the room, she came in so quickly, got on the bed blowing kisses and crawling to her Daddy as quickly as she could... then spotted his ipad on the nightstand and went right for that... forgetting all about Daddy. There is just so much going on in this world for toddlers.. it can make them forget about the other important things (like Mommys and Daddys) at things but of course Hunter is still crazy for you and values those hours at the end of the day with you so very very much.. I just know it.

princess apr said...

Well, if you were home with him all day, he may be difficult for you all day. There are phases. Usually, mine is a Daddy's Girl, but she's flipped lately which is nice. She cuddles more with him than with me though. He still loves his mama, of course.

AV5848 said...

I know exactly how you feel. By the time I get home, it's 6:30. I rush to get dinner ready for him (forget us) and then feed him dinner, bath time, story time and bedtime. There isn't much play time in there and it sucks. Sometimes I come home, he just looks at me and continues to go about his business. I get a small smile. That's all. But like you said, I still pick him up and smother him with kisses. I think eventually they will show their love for us, their mamas. Because no matter what, in the end, we are their moms and they will forever have a bond with us. At least that's what I keep telling myself.

Sean Marie said...

I'm right there with ya, except I am with my little one five outta seven days a week.

I have no real advice for you, except don't get too down on yourself. You're an amazing mom and he loves you very much.

Nat said...

I'm not a working mom, yet, but I can say this. My mom worked my whole life and I never ever felt like she wasn't around or left out at all. Plus since she worked she was able to provide us with not only a very strong example of a parent but with many things like trips or new things that other families couldn't have. My sister and I are constantly making up for it now and are so grateful that she made those sacrifices for us. I think being a working mom is very brave in this day and age!

AmyJean {Relentless Bride®} said...

Nobody could ever replace you in his life. The fact is because he is secure in your bond and relationship he is able to play with that water bowl instead of you. He knows that you are right there watching him play. Perhaps he's even showing off to you something new from the day bc he loves you and wants you to see it.

I'm at home with Annabelle and there are moments she will do the same thing-shrug me off for something else that catches her eye... It's totally a toddler thing and not bc he doesn't love or need you! In fact, I think it's the opposite.

I hope you feel better soon. Hunter needs his mama and that is without question!