Friday, August 06, 2010

SO Much Harder than I Ever Dreamed!

I type this with tears in my eyes and empty aching arms as I’ve faced what many moms do and have left Hannah at daycare for the very first time. I know that she’s in a great home where she will be well cared for and loved but still, oh how I wish I was with her!!

What is she doing? Who is she playing with? Does she miss me or more importantly, does she know I’m coming back soon? I told her I’d be back soon and she happily scooted out of my arms to play but is the reality hitting her that I’m really not there at the moment? I truly hope she’s having so much fun that it doesn’t even register with her! I want this to be a fun time for her as very soon this will be our new normal as I return to work on August 16th.

I have a feeling she’s doing just fine and this time is much harder on mommy than it is on her. When I left her she was playing outside with the other kiddos and as I closed the gate she was looking at me but it wasn’t with fear or apprehension. More a look of, ‘Hey Mom. Where are you going? I’m going to play!’ I went into the house to write down my cell number and I could see her outside, happily pushing around a little lawn mower. It’s funny how certain images just ingrain themselves in our minds. Right now I see the pic of her little eyes meeting mine as I closed the gate and then I see just minutes later she’s happily playing with the mower.

Oh how thankful this makes me feel. She is happy. She is secure in my love for her and she knows that I’ll be back. Attachment was something we’ve worked very carefully on and I am so thankful for all the time we’ve spent together helping her learn that she is loved, cared for and mommy will always be here for her. Hannah is attached. She is secure and she knows that she is loved. And oh how she showers that love back to me! Is there anything sweeter than your child suddenly grabbing your face between their little hands and planting a precious, wet, open mouthed kiss on you? No! Nothing sweeter in the entire world! Or, the sweet, ‘I uve oo’ that spontaneously erupts from them?

Before receiving Hannah I remember reading blogs of friends who had left their child for the first time and found themselves sitting in a coffee shop, pining for their child. At the time I totally didn’t get it. I remember naively thinking, ‘Wow. Don’t you just want to run about and get all those things done that are easier without a little one to carry in and out? Aren’t you enjoying this little bit of freedom?’

I was wrong. Oh so wrong! As I type this I find myself sitting in a Starbucks parking lot just a stone’s throw from Ange’s place and checking the time about every 2 minutes! What a l-o-n-g hour this seems to be. Why am I in the parking lot? Because with my tear stained, bloodshot eyes I could only go through the drive-thru with my sunglasses on rather than into the store itself. Oh yes, leaving Hannah for the first time has been difficult but I know that she is in very good hands and that in just umm….21 minutes, we’ll be together again!

Thank you Lord for Hannah…the most amazing baby girl in the entire world! And thank you for providing Ange to care for her.

Now…it’s time to go back to my precious baby girl. Yeah!!!

UPDATE: Hannah did wonderfully and mommy survived!! She played with the other kiddos well and didn’t shed a tear. Way to go Hannah! Mommy loves you so much!


  1. I knew your first practice sessions were happening this week and I'm so happy the first hour went well!

  2. The first time is always so hard! I cried my eyes out when I left the girls at school for the first time. However, now when they are gone for a period of time, I enjoy my free time immensely. On the other hand, I am always thrilled when they are back home again. Glad to hear that Hannah did so well.

  3. You are a wonderful mother and Hannah is so lucky! From one mother to another, best of luck on your transition!

  4. Both Hannah and Mommy did great! no doubt she can sense her mommy's love for her, she's a very happy little girl!

  5. I feel for you. I know you know that everything will be o.k. Not that that makes it any better...

    You and Hannah are lucky to have each other.

  6. Glad that Hannah fared so well and hopefully when you have to leave her next time you'll do just as well. Hang in there, she is in good hands.

  7. I felt so guilty when I left Cady at daycare to go back to work, 3 months after she had been home. I didn't cry but I felt so guilty leaving her. After a week or so, she was crying when I left her, and it was hard. After the first few weeks, she did great, and really started to excel socially when she was in daycare.
    Now, she's been thru preschool, Kindergarten and is in first grade. I miss her during the day, and sometimes I feel angry that I don't get to spend that time with her. But she has learned so much, and SHE is thriving.

  8. I understand your pain. I think every working/single mom does. It stinks...the whole thing stinks.

    I cried when I left LiLi for the first time. I wish I could say it gets easier;it doesn't. I thought my friend was crazy when she said it got worse as her sons grew older.

    She was right! It was worse when LiLi knew what was happening and cried for me not to leave. It was worse when she was sick and I couldn't always be the one to stay home with her. It was worse when I couldn't be at every school function and had to explain to her why my job had to come first too many times.

    The good news is our girls are seeing that their mommies are strong independent women. They are seeing that just because they are women it doesn't mean they can't have it all. Finally, they are learning to be strong independent women themselves that have to problem solve.

    It is funny because I have found that the children whose parents both work tend to be more organize because they know no one will rescue them. Many of my stay at home moms are too quick to run up the forgotten lunch, homework, report...

    As much as it hurts, it will be ok. Hannah will grown into a strong woman and it will be because of you. ;0) Just do your best and know that you are among a great group of women that show each and everyday-we CAN do and HAVE it all!! ;0)

  9. Sounds like Hannah is a secure and happy angel-baby! So glad she did well.

    Hugs my friend... I remember just how hard it was to leave Tate that first day. Kind of like leaving your heart and walking away.

    Tate and I have a ritual of each and every time we leave the house we tell Mesa or her doll or something "Bye-Bye, Mommy and Tatie always come back". Tate would first say "back" but I knew she was getting it. When we come into the house, we make it a big deal to Mesa that we always come back. Maybe a ritual like this will help Hannah know you will be together again soon?

    Word to the wise... Do not call during the day to say hi or check on Hannah. It will just make you both suffer.

  10. It is hard, but you do get used to it.

    There will come a day when Hannah doesn't want you to go, maybe she is tired, or just feeling clingy and she will cry and cling to you.

    It is very hard, but I have found you just have to hand them over to the caregiver, give them a kiss and a wave and then go outside. Once you are in teh car you can sit and cry (and I have many times) but the longer you stay at daycare the more they cry. Generally, I would find that I would drive to work and ring daycare and they would say, she was absolutely fine. But it is SO hard to walk out when you know they are upset.

  11. The first time I dropped Olivia off, she cried the same cry she cried when her nanny handed her to me in China. Oh.My.Goodness. I looked back over my shoulder - huge mistake - and her face was that some blood red with her reaching over her caregiver's shoulders. I crumbled into a heaping mess in the parking lot. It was one of the worst things ever.

  12. Oh, yeah, but it does get easier and better. I miss her terribly when she's not with me, but I do enjoy my time.

  13. Oh!! Hannah is so well adjusted she will be just not so fine! This is one of the hard things to do as a Mommy.......there are lots more & we are never prepared emotionally.

  14. You already know that I can't even begin to imagine the thoughts that are swirling in your head right now. This will be the hardest thing you will endure so far and I know you will get through it with grace. Hannah is so attached to you and it is easy to see when we are together. She knows exactly who her Mommy is and loves you to death.
    Big hugs, my friend.

  15. I know this day will come for me, too. It's the curse of doing this as a single when you're not independently wealthy. LOL!

    I can only imagine how hard it is. But you both got through it. Good luck as you transition to this new phase together.

  16. This is a tribute to the trust she has developed with you!

    I'm praying so hard for you right now. Bless your heart! You're the best ever mom.
    Miss Lila

  18. Your anguish made me cry. I too am going through this right now. I have just started my daughter in a new daycare that will serve for her before and after care on kindergarten days. I never truly understood how wonderful my old daycare was until I started this new one. I spent the first day with her for two hours and in this time, not one staff member approached us or introduced themselves. When I voiced my concerns, their response was they are not used to having parents around. The second day went better and I left her for about 2 hours. The third day they went on a all day field trip so I went along. The forth day I left my beloved there all day by herself. I remain very guarded about this daycare and have used this experience to guide me in my teaching come September. When caregivers and teachers aren't emotionally attached to a child, I think they do forget just how hard it is on the parents and that they too need support and reassurance. I may be looking for new daycare very soon.

    It is a good thing to hear Hannah was secure enough in her play to see you go. This tells me you have done a great job on bonding with her and she believes you are her mommy and will be back.

  19. Oh Catherine! I so feel your struggles. I am dealing with the same thing. Z starts this week for a couple of hours and extending the time each day. I knew it was going to be hard - I never realized just how hard.

    I also start back to work on the 16th. We'll be crying all day together. We'll have to keep in touch to help each other through a LONG day.

  20. I was reading your post with tears in my eyes as well. It seems like just yesterday I was leaving Sarah for the famous hour for the first time at daycare and I too cried in the car all the way home and stared at the clock waiting for that hour to pass. It does seem to get easier but you still miss them so much. The best comfort is when you have a wonderful person caring for them and they just enjoy their time there playing and interacting with the other kids - I know for Sarah it is the best thing for her and she has just thrived with the interaction with the other kids. Having this comfort lets you to eventually enjoy the free time you need for yourself - hang in there Catherine - you are doing a wonderful job with Hannah - the best Mom ever!

  21. Catherine i could feel your sadness and pain, bless your heart.I have been there, and it does get harder as they get closer to school age, but she will be fine. It is so hard to let them out of our arms.If you want to sit in Starbucks parking lot everyday, do it ! ( tee hee, i probably would have) Wait until the day she walks down the aisle, even though she is so happy and you happy for was VERY hard. Sooooo, being a mother, your lap,your arms and your shoulders always needs our babies. I am so glad that Hannah has a Mommy that loves her like you do, God is so good. He will help you face each thing with Hannah, after all, He chose Hannah for you....What a perfect match !!!!!

  22. Go Hannah and go Mommy! This too is a rite of passage and you both handled it with grace and aplomb.
    In my experience it does get a bit easier when they start school - I guess its because they are SUPPOSED to go to school... Hope the rest of the week goes just as well.

  23. Oh sweetheart, hard hard hard!!!! And you both did so well. Sending good wishes for both of you on the 16th. I'll be thinking about you guys all day.

  24. I have cried those tears, too . . .

    You will now show Hannah, day by day, how truly wanted she is - that you brought her into your life and gave her a home, so that you could give each other a family.

    Wishing you the best!


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