Consider yourself warned!
A guide for those who think they want children.
The day came with mixed emotions. One the one hand, it felt good to go back to work. There, I could talk to people who could respond to me with real words, and I’d be able to understand them. On the other hand, I didn’t want to leave my three month old baby … even if it was with my mother. But, bills had to be paid, diapers needed to be bought, and Sallie Mae was like, “Yo, where’s my money?” So back to work I went. Leaving my firstborn home was one of the hardest things I had to do. I worried, “Would my mother be ok?”, “Is the baby ok?” “What are they doing?” “Does he miss me?” Of course, when I got home, he was just fine. And why wouldn’t he be? He was left with the woman who raised me, and she did a pretty excellent job. And just so you know, it was just as hard to leave my daughter when she came seventeen months later.
Next, it was time to leave him with the babysitter. He was one years old. The first day he didn’t cry. When I went to pick him up, he was sitting in a high chair with this look on his face that said, “What's going on? Why am I here?” When I took him home, I put him in the crib so I could change clothes. That little boy stood up and gave me an earful for a good fifteen minutes! I’m not lying! I have no clue what he was telling me, but whatever it was, it was serious. That child did not have a smile on his face.
The next day, I dropped him off again thinking, “Hey, this should be easy. He didn’t even bat an eye yesterday.” Wrong! That kid had a good memory. It was like the light bulb flicked on and he said to himself, “Oh hell no! You ain’t leaving me again!” Oh my God! That child cried and screamed when I put him in the babysitter’s arm. I almost started crying. It felt as if my heart was being pulled out of my chest. The babysitter brought him inside and I could still hear him crying as I walked away. I don’t know how I made it to work.
When it was time to send the kids to preschool, the old feelings came up again. Why couldn’t I have just been born, or married into a rich family or dreamt up some Lotto numbers? Why did I have to be a working mom? I just didn’t want to leave my precious little kids. Even though I knew that it was the right thing to do, after all, they did need to get an education, it was still hard. My son must have cried for two weeks straight. I’m not exaggerating here. If preschool had a major, his would have been crying when mommy leaves, with a minor in how to make mommy feel guilty for being a working mom! My daughter on the other hand, cried for only three days. It didn’t take her long to realize that she could play with other kids at preschool and have fun. On the fourth day, I was all geared up for her to start crying. She shocked both me and the teacher when she waved at me, said “Bye Mommy”, turned, and walked into the classroom. Good for her!
Now that they are both in high school, I realize that my time to spend with them is limited. Soon they will be leaving me for college and that they will want to go away for school (as my daughter made perfectly clear to me when she said to me this summer, “I can’t wait to get out of here!”). So I will just have to enjoy the time I have with them now, knowing that my heart will break again … and then again when they get married!
So future parents, the moral of this story is this: you need to develop a thick skin. When you have to leave your precious child with someone new, or at school, get ready to feel the guilt, the pain, the suffering, and the heartache that comes along with leaving them. Believe you me, it’s not fun.
To the other parents out there, how did you feel leaving your kids for the first time?
As a parent, you will find that you will have to lie to your kids sometimes. I know, we all are told that we shouldn’t lie, but sometimes, you just have to do it.
SassyGirlTye lives with her two wonderful teenagers in Brooklyn, New York. No matter what she says in her posts, she truly loves her children with all her heart.