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Small acts of cruelty

There are some things that it’s just best that you don’t know about.

You know, like the real cost of whatever gadget Mr Muddling has bought (yes darling, I can read receipts…), what is hidden behind the sofa and how much your children miss you when you’re at work.

Friday didn’t get off to a great start. I went into work a bit late so I could take Bigger to nursery. Its the first time I’ve done that. Ever. Which is probably a bit rubbish but what happens when you start a new job and are trying to get things to work out ok. But I had had a couple of late nights at work and so felt it was ok to take a bit of time to drop her off.

I was a bit apprehensive about it. The nursery had been a bit funny when I’d said that New Nanny would be dropping her off on her first day – my logic was that it would mean less change and drama and hopefully make it easier on all concerned. They gave the distinct vibe that they felt that perhaps I should be there. But I wasn’t and it was a success and all went very smoothly. So smoothly Bigger never even looked back as she sprinted into the room.

But Friday was my turn and I guess I had hoped for it to be something it probably couldn’t be. You see I’d have quite liked it if the nursery staff had said hello to me, made some effort to engage with me, had at least said something about how Bigger was doing. Instead I stood around like a lemon trying to work out what to do, plastered a manic ‘please talk to me’ grin on and tried not to feel a bit, well, hurt that they couldn’t understand the effort it had taken to get there to drop her off this time.

I’m now wondering how I can be more engaged with nursery when I can’t physically do the drop off or pick up every day, when I can’t be there, when I am different from all the other mums who are there more of the time. I’m wondering why they couldn’t make a bit of an effort to make me feel welcome. I’m wondering why I care so much about all this but I do.

It turns out Bigger wasn’t too well on Friday. That she ended up spending the afternoon curled up with Granny and feeling sorry for herself.

It turns out she missed me.

That she wanted me.

That she stood by the window and told Granny that she was going to stand there and wait for me to get home.

At 4pm.

It was bad enough to hear that once. But it was repeated a lot over the weekend. A lot.

I already felt bad enough just knowing it had happened. But each time you repeat it to me its like a kick in the heart. I know that my choice to work has consequences for the girls. But I really don’t need the mental image of my big girl stood waiting for me to come home and knowing that I didn’t get home for hours after that.

There are some things I’d rather not know because once I do know it makes me feel terrible. And each time I hear it, it hurts just a little bit more and makes me doubt my choices just a little bit more.

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15 comments to Small acts of cruelty

  • Becky

    >starting off with a hug xx
    I used to feel guilty as DD was collected from school by a taxi 3 days a week. I felt like a "real" mum on the days I picked her up.

    nursery doesn't sound very friendly my kids have always been at ones were the staff find time to talk!

  • susie @newdaynewlesson


    I think you should read this post by Susan Mann.


    My answer to her is similar to what I would answer you.

    Just remember in life there are "profits and losses" . I am sure you have weighed the pros and cons about working and this is what you have to do. If that is the case, let go of the guilt and once you do, you will see how others will as well. 9I know it worked for me)

    Hugs again.

  • Marylin

    >Oh hun, no advice, but lots of *hugs* xx

  • Emma

    >Oh lovely!! As well as having this post open I had a job search engine open and sat staring at the jobs thinking if I could actually leave Oli. I cant especially after reading this, I admire you so much and you are doing what is best for them by going to work and bringing in the money. I know our lives would be so much better if I was to have a job but I'm being spiteful by continuing to stay at home with Oli. I'm going to continue to be spiteful a little longer because I just cant bare the thought of leaving him. You are doing the right thing by your family and that's what you've got to remember!! xxx

  • naomi

    >I would get an exercise book and ask them to comment on his day and you can mention stuff the nursery need to know. Then you can pass it between you when he goes and both parties will be informed of whats going on with bigger.

  • mama2blog

    >Oh, I'm so sorry. Please don't be hard on yourself to the point of no-return-guilt. You know what the best thing for your family is, and be confident in that. The nursery should definately reach out to you, in fact they should reach out to you (the parent) the most. I work a full time job and my daughter goes to daycare. Sure she wants to be home with me most days and oh how I would looove to be home with her too. I know that there are good days at daycare and bad days. There are days she misses me to the core, and I miss her some days I could sit at my desk and cry with emotion. But thankfully the good days will out weigh the bad days.

  • Jean

    >That's just so horribly unfair. I did the working mum thing for many years and it's so desperately hard. I feel for you XXX

  • Domestic Goddesque

    >I do feel for you. It's desperately hard living with Mother's Guilt.

    What you have to bear in mind, which I am sure will be of little consolation, is that whilst you will carry these moments of guilt around with you until the end of time, they won't remember them once they've lived through the hell of teenager-dom.

    Courage, mon brave. You are doing a wonderful job.

  • Legally Weighting

    >Big hugs as that would upset me too. If I had been looking after her then you would have received a lttle white lie from me. x I've just taken a full time position and am getting the hits of mummy guilt already. But I know that it is what I need to do, you are doing the absolute best you can, so please don't forget that.

  • cartside

    >Why is it just mothers who feel this guilt? My daughter, every day when she gets up and again when I pick her up from nursery, will ask for daddy, and cry if I say he's already/still at work. Yet no daddy guilt ever.

    As to nursery – I have the same experience and I'm always the one who pick up / drops off. When hubby did it (while I couldn't drive), he was also ignored and sometimes even treated in a patronising way. Must be something about nurseries… Nothing to do with you, but I know the feeling.

    Above all, big hugs, work and being a parent can never be fully balanced but I hope you will feel less guilty knowing you are doing a fab job.

  • Kat

    >The people who say "you can have it all" are lying. There is going to be guilt or pain no matter what decision you make regarding work. You just have to do what is best for your family.

    ((BIG HUGS))

    There is no right or wrong in parenting. You just have to make the most of the time you have together.

  • PhotoPuddle

    >Ah, mother's guilt, there's nothing like it eh?

    I think it probably is best not to know. It's a lose/lose situation. When you know they miss you so much it's really heartbreaking but if you heard they didn't miss you at all that would be rather upsetting too.

    Sending big hugs to try to cheer you up x

  • auntiegwen

    >You know when you're in labour and they give you the injection of syntometrine ? that's a big lie, it's not syntometrine at all, that's where they inject the guilt.

  • Michelle Twin Mum

    >Just having a good catch up with yoru blog. Been thinking about you lots since your post in Sept.

    Do nursery have an email you can chat with them on? I email the nursery teacher at school and she is happy to communicate with me this way.

    It is just life that some of us can not always be at school/ nursery.

    You know what is best for your family. Stay true to yourself and do not let others bother you.

    Mich x

  • Babies who brunch

    >am welling up. i feel the same way. it's only because she loves you so much. and that won't change just because you work. that said, i struggle to believe it myself sometimes. god it's tough. and the toughest thing? there's no right answer….

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