As a working parent I always feared it could happen, but when my toddler rejected me for the first time I was devastated.
After a long day in the office I was excited to get home to my twins. We completed our nighttime routine and my husband and I began tucking them into bed. He hopped in one crib and I hopped in the other. (Yes, you heard that right! However, I do not recommend this routine unless your crib mattresses are resting on the ground like ours!) After a couple of minutes we switched cribs so each child would get equal time, but on this night my daughter wanted nothing to do with me!
“Mama, NO!! Switch, switch!! DADA, DADA!” My daughter yelled at the top of her little lungs while physically assaulting me. Her tiny hands couldn’t hurt my body but her words bruised my heart that night.
Part of my own personal mom guilt revolves around being away from my kids during the day. Layer on top of that a dose of jealously over my husband’s schedule and you get one insecure mama. He is a Preschool Teacher and has the flexibility to be home many afternoons. Not a day goes by that I don’t feel like I’m missing out.
Recently my husband brought them to his preschool’s summer camp. They were the youngest kids there at 23 months. Wise beyond their years, they were quickly running the place. My camera roll filled up with photos sent by my husband; mementos of their first big adventure. I lit up with each new photo, but also felt a pang of jealousy to not be able to witness these “firsts” in person…their first art project, their first game of tag, their first round of “Ring Around The Rosy.”
Being a working mom is not without its challenges. My daughter’s rejection made all of my insecurities bubble over that night. I had waited all day to spend time with her! How could she be so cruel!?
I wish I could tell you that it only happened once. I don’t have a special technique to “Let It Goooo.” (Although deep breaths and a little perspective do help). You see, I love my daughter’s relationship with her Father and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
While I wish I could spend just as much time with them as he does, I’m slowly learning that some unintentional heartbreak may come along with being a working mom. Instead of dwelling on what I’m missing, I do my best to focus on the positives. There are many daily indulgences I couldn’t live without. I am at my most “zen” while driving to work in my cool air conditioned car, iced coffee in hand and music blasting. So, I guess you could say I’m torn between two worlds (But aren’t we all as working moms!?).
I know the “Daddy” phase is just that, a phase and it will pass. When my daughter dismisses me, I am trying to be okay with it. On the occasions when she calls for me, my husband is very sweet to point it out.