Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Woman in her Thirties is a Good Mom. I Swear.

Yesterday was a milestone in Mommyhood-- I took Anna to daycare. Okay, that's not true. I took her to one hour childcare while I took a yoga class. I left her with strangers; that's the point.

A couple things before I begin this story:

1. I really, really needed to work out. Not just because of the spare tire I've got going on, but because I could feel my woman in her eighties body shutting down on me. I was achy everywhere. My knees hurt. Unlike those of you who keep posting on facebook every five seconds how awesome the weather is in California right now, I don't have a lot of options for getting out in 9 degree weather.

2. This childcare is-- literally-- in the room next to where I take yoga. I can hear kids crying in the room, that's how close it is. I figured this would be a stepping stone to getting her used to strangers, and a good opportunity for me practice letting her go (the latter, more importantly).

I fed her, put her in her car seat, and went to get my Zen on. The teacher knew I was anxious about leaving Anna, so she said 'Don't worry. If there are any problems, they'll just come get you.'

So I tried not to worry while I got my ass handed to me by my teacher. (This ain't prenatal yoga, people. Holy crap.) About 45 minutes in, one of the childcare volunteers came into the class. 'Anna's Mom?' she asked. And I lept over a bunch of downward facing dogs to get to my baby.

I found Anna in her car seat, haphazardly swaddled, eyes red from crying. 'We tried everything,' the volunteer said. 'She was just inconsolable.' Everything inside of me collapsed, and I leaned over to grab her and hold her and never let her go, not even when she's a woman in her thirties herself.

And despite red eyes and crocodile tears, this is the smile I got when she saw me:

(no, this is not the actual moment or the actual smile. Do you think I'd let my baby cry while I took a picture of her for my blog?! I'm a good Mom, I swear!)

I held her for about five minutes while she hiccuped and calmed down, and then she fell asleep in my arms. I put her back in her carseat to let her sleep and stared at her, wondering how you convince an almost three month old that there's nothing in the world that would keep you away from her, ever. My heart was broken in tiny pieces, thinking that she'd needed me and I wasn't there.

The daycare volunteers practically dragged me back into class to finish, and I spent the last ten minutes wiping tears from my face during my humble warriors. 'It's okay, it's good for her. And you,' the teacher said as we were leaving.

Really? This was good for us? But I'd had such definitive plans of sheltering Anna from even the tiniest amount of misery until she was at least... eighty.

Last night I gave Anna a bath, sang her the ABC's and added a new verse:

Now I know my ABC's
Next time won't you trust your Mom
And know she'll always come back for you
So there's no need to cry
I'm sorry if I traumatized you
I love you more than I love anything in the world
Please don't take your revenge out on me as a teenager
Oh yeah, and
Next time won't you sing with me


  1. Oh honey, it IS good for both of you. Mostly you though, as you learn she is not going to be scared for life... or for even an hour. All part of growing as a parent. :)

    Thanks for sharing this. It's easy to forget, once you're out of this stage of parenting (which will be soon, I promise).

  2. I want to give you a big hug! I remember those exact feelings vividly. But like Tegan says, it will pass.

    And how freaking cute is Anna in that picture??? Seriously.

  3. I'm so proud of you for doing the on site care in the first place! You both did awesome for your first try!

    Next time will be easier...the yoga AND Anna.

    p.s. How adorable is the sock monkey outfit?? You're killin me!

  4. The money socks are awesome. Teddy still can't go to childcare (sorry to say) without screaming - and he is 3.

  5. So proud of you for taking that first step...try try again. It's worth it in the end. How heartbreaking to find your little sweetie like that though :(
    I LOVE that sock monkey outfit!

  6. You are a wonderful Mommmy! It's so good that you tried to take Anna to the childcare at your gym. Just keep trying, and both you and Anna will get used to it. Such a cute picture of Anna!!