Thursday, May 13, 2010

What To Do When You're Not the One

I am so incredibly grateful for my mother. She left her job and her life in NY to move to NJ to watch Isabella while I worked. She is so in love with my baby. She really just adores her. There are no words to describe how indebted I am to her and how much I love and appreciate her. BUT, it also means that she is spending the majority of the day with Isabella.

It means that even though I'm her mother, SHE is her primary caregiver. This also usually means that she's the one Isabella prefers. When my mother walks into the room, Isabella's face lights up. She crawls right over to her and wants her to hold her. If I'm holding Isabella she reaches for my mom. I'm glad they have a good relationship, but that shit kills. It breaks my heart.

So what do you do when you're NOT the one that your baby wants? Get angry? Cry? Sulk? Become riddled with guilt? I've done them all, but none of them changes the fact that I have to work. On the weekends its much better because it's just us, but Monday never fails to roll around. I'm just really hurting about this right now. I know I'm doing the right thing for my family by working and being a working mom isn't completely terrible, I even posted about it, but not being the one my daughter gravitates too is beyond painful.

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Quixotic said...

I've had these moments too, and they truly are heartbreaking. All you can do is be glad that Isabella is having all her needs met, even if it means sacrificing some of your needs, the need to be her one and only. Stay strong.

Jess said...

While it does hurt to go through this, like Quizotic said, her needs are most important. You Mom is able to and more importantly willing to take care of her while you work. Your working helps provide for her and will show her how strong and independent you are as a woman and as a mother. These life lessons are more valuable than anything in life. My Mom worked three jobs to take care of me and my sister. Her dedication and hard work have made me who I am today. I am not a parent yet, so I haven't experienced this myself yet. But one day I will because Lord help me, I'm already a workaholic. I'm sure I will be a working Mom when the time does come.

Jessica Warrick said...

i have been in this situation and it gets better at first she may only want your mother but eventually she will start realizing that grandam is grandma and you are mommy and will start wanting you more than her. and that is when you feel better. just spend as much time as you can with her and always make sure she knows you her mother loves her. it will all work out.

Teresa said...

i'm back from blogging hibernation! hehe =)

My 'glass is half full' take on this situation is your full-time job lets you have the summer off, so you get those few months to spend with Bella alone and enjoy the weather together!

erin said...

wow, can i relate. i am blessed to be able to stay home with the kiddos. but when my first was a baby, i wasn't able to. my MIL was kind enough to watch him. but man, did it stink. i think it's normal for a young child to favor the person they see during the day. i know it hurt me, like i wasn't the parent. you just have to remember that you're providing. i think it gets easier as they get older.

VKT said...

Dear Melissa,

You are so fortunate to have a family member take care of sweet Isabella. As a teacher, I know you what a difference that will make for your child. I know it hurts you that right now she prefers your Mom, but when she gets a little older, that will change. She will have this blog to look back on and read about how her Mom sacrificed for her. That is so awesome!!!

Sarah at The Stroller Ballet said...

Being a former teacher, I think this is also the time of year when we all start itching to get out of school. I agree with Teresa - soon you will have your summer and all the time you want with your baby! Hang in there!

Miranda said...

I definitely went through this when I'd take J into the daycare and he'd immediately get excited and start reaching for his room teacher (a grandmotherly lady who has rocked a lot of babies in her day) or the owner (a woman who loves children so much she has five of her own, ranging in age from 21 to 5).

It hurt. It hurt a lot. And then I realized how happy he was and how much they love him there. And that has helped me feel immensely better about the situation. Because now, when I show up, he lights up to see ME and he toddles over to ME. And yes, he does still want to go visit them when he sees them, but I know it's because he feels safe with them. So I don't let myself feel bad about that.

((hugs)) to you.

Shorty said...

I had the same situation with my kid and our nanny. It was devastating but I tried to remember he was lucky to have this much love in his life. Best thing is, he's sort of outgrown it. Well, not exactly outgrown it, more like he's learned to express himself more and now when he climbs up on my lap and says "I love you" everything's perfect! Hang in there!!

Mrs. Adventure said...

That's a tough one... Just know you are doing the right thing for your family. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Rachel said...

Aw, so sorry, this is really heartbreaking. I am a working mom too and know how hard this can be. I think you just have to constantly remind yourself that no matter what, YOU are her mother and no one else in the entire world will ever have the same bond that you and your child have. I know that this always helps me get through those times when my girl reaches for someone else.

You are doing what is best for your family and Isabella is so lucky to have such a loving Mom and Grandma.

First time commenting, but I really enjoy your blog.

Heather said...

What a coincidence. I felt this just this morning when I dropped my babies off with their sitter. I noticed my Shaye Baby got all kicky and excited to see "Aunt Tia" just like she gets when I pick her up.
On one hand I am glad she is getting great care while I am at work.
On the other hand - She's NOT the momma!

ButI know from experience it will be ok. Momma is the there in the middle of the night and when someone doesn't feel good. They know.

Good luck!!

Ang said...

I know how you feel. Isabelle is with my dad 3 days a week and then at daycare 2 days. But she still spends more hours out of work week with my dad then with me. It kills me. What helps gets me through it is the smile she gives me when I get to her each day after work. It makes everything worth it. It will get easier. Know that she is well taken care of and by Grandma.

I am with you on hating work. I would much rather be at home with Isabelle each day and keeping a clean house. But I have to work to help support our family.

Mama Hen said...

You are doing the best that you can! The fact that it is your mom who is with your little one makes it SO special for you both. Right now you are feeling so many emotions, but in time you will see what a wonderful gift this situation is. I am new to your blog and love it! You got my Top Mommy Vote! Visit me at Mama's Little Chick.

Mama Hen

Whatever Dee-Dee wants said...

That's a toughie! Though I am not in that position I would recommend that you two have your own special rituals. My husband was feeling that way when my son was younger so we decided it would be his job to get my son ready for bed every night. I sit and watch them laugh and play together, I love it. Now if I go to get him ready for bed he gets a little upset and wants his daddy to do the job.

Hang in there!

sanjeet said...

She will have this blog to look back on and read about how her Mom sacrificed for her. That is so awesome!!!
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