That one is Mine

I inch my car around the parking lot and pause in front of the big window.

Snow flake stickers and painted reindeer decorate its glass and help set the winter scene; they also help hide the tiny finger prints from curious toddlers who press themselves against its pane to watch the cars drive by.

No one is watching for me.

Tiny bodies sit in tiny chairs and share whispers and giggles, they make crafts and paint pictures, they sing songs and twirl until they all fall down.

This is their world.

My heart aches as I look longingly into the sea of children, my eyes landing on the blond toddler with the pony tail sticking straight up and out of her head.

That one is mine.

Full of life; eye’s bright, smile wide, so very smart.

I miss her.

She was fully and completely mine for only one year before I had to go back to my full time job, and every day since then the guilt of leaving her at daycare has overwhelmed me.

I miss her.

I miss her squeals of delight ringing through the park as she takes off running towards the play structure, eager to climb, to make new friends, and to explore all while I exploded with pride.

That one is mine.

For now she explores and learns through her daycare, soaking in new experiences and lessons, sounds and smells, meeting new friends and learning new routines.

This is their world.

She won’t remember the year we spent together, just she and I, learning, singing, reading,  giggling. She won’t remember the endless laps around the kitchen to sooth her cries or the two hours it took to feed her, everytime.

Guilt overwhelms me while I sit on the outside, wishing I could have one more year.

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33 Responses to That one is Mine
  1. Alison@Mama Wants This
    December 1, 2011 | 5:57 am

    Oh the ache. I feel your ache. I so wish you have another year like the one before too.

    • multitaskingmumma
      December 1, 2011 | 8:12 pm

      Its a sucky feeling…
      But I will get better.
      Thanks Alison.. love seeing you every morning.

  2. Mark
    December 1, 2011 | 7:56 am

    I lot of us have been there and we made it through. You will too!

    • multitaskingmumma
      December 1, 2011 | 8:12 pm

      Thanks Mark!
      It kinda sucks.
      Could you guys move here and you could look after her?

  3. Jenn@Fox in the City
    December 1, 2011 | 8:25 am

    Ah yes, this post could have been written by me.

    What I think I have figured out is that, while they may not have memories of that first year spent with mommy, they have the bond, the love and the innate knowledge that mommy was there for them . . . from day #1. xx

    • multitaskingmumma
      December 1, 2011 | 8:11 pm

      I agree.
      The bond is there.
      When I am feeling down and depressed I don’t think about that stuff.
      Thank you for pointing that out Jenn.

  4. Julie
    December 1, 2011 | 2:12 pm

    She might not remember the specific moments, but she will, deep inside, always remember that year. It did make a difference.

    We’re looking at putting our kiddo in a pre school next year if I return to work. This made me cry. Even if it is the best for our family.

    • multitaskingmumma
      December 1, 2011 | 8:10 pm

      I had anxiety about returning to work as early as 6 months before I went back.
      I knew I had no choice but I didn’t want to leave my daughter.
      When I eventually had to go I was so worried and scared for her, but she loved it and still does.
      I’m the one with the problem.
      Your son will have such a good time, he’s so outgoing and social.
      He will make great friends and be exhausted when he gets home.

  5. Ali
    December 1, 2011 | 2:43 pm

    You just said “She is smiling.” Smiling = Happy Child. Isn’t that our job, to keep our kids happy?

    Don’t feel guilty. I’ve never had a year home with my kids and I know there is no mother on this earth that loves her kids as much as I do. I also know that they are learning so much at day care and being exposed to people and things (and germs…) that I never could expose them to. Plus, INCOME! They will never be able to appreciate the time we spent with them early, but they WILL understand that Mom works so we can eat, go on vacations, have clothes and some day go to college.

    We are sending our kids to places where they are learning and growing as social beings. It’s totally alright to feel sad because we miss them, but please don’t feel guilty because you are doing what you need to do for your family.

    Ali’s two cents. You can tell me I’m crazy now.

    • multitaskingmumma
      December 1, 2011 | 8:06 pm

      Thank you my friend!
      Your two cents means a lot!
      You are so right, I have to go to work so that we can survive and she will understand that one day, just like I understood that my mother worked.
      She loves her daycare and she loves it for different reasons than she loves me.
      I am just having a hard time with life right now and the guilt I feel for having to go back to work doesn’t help.
      You are wonderful for being here and supporting me.
      You are good people.

  6. Kir
    December 1, 2011 | 5:00 pm

    Oh sweet girl, I feel that ache sometimes but yours in your words was so heartfelt and real. Kiss her up, hug her tight and know no matter what she’s yours! Xo

    • multitaskingmumma
      December 1, 2011 | 8:04 pm

      Thank you Kir.
      I’m feeling extra sensitive these days and can’t seem to shake it.
      I feel like I am failing her by leaving her everyday, and although that may not be true, I can’t get rid of the guilt.
      I know that I will get better with time.
      Thank you for your support.

  7. Bruna
    December 1, 2011 | 7:36 pm

    I’ve so been there and still feel guilty working even part-time! Isn’t it awful? Listen to Kir and totally kiss her up and hug her tight when she’s with you. That she will always remember.

    • multitaskingmumma
      December 1, 2011 | 8:03 pm

      I am doing just that!
      I am trying to spend every extra minute with her so that she knows I choose her every time!

  8. Cathy
    December 1, 2011 | 7:37 pm

    Don’t ever feel guilty about doing the right thing for your family. Daycare is the place that she is learning to share with others, not just Mommy and Daddy, and become the social butterfly that she is. You are wrong if you think she doesn’t look for you. Many times last week, she asked where you were, and I repeated over and over, Mommy’s at work, and every time I said that, she would run to the window, to see if she could see your car. Every thing you taught her in that year, and every day since is shaping her in being the beautiful spirited child that she is. And remember Mommy, not mine…ours. 🙂 xoxoxo

    • multitaskingmumma
      December 1, 2011 | 8:02 pm

      You brought me to tears.
      Thank you so much for this.
      It means so much that you are able to tell me these things and understand how important it is for me to hear them.
      What a special comment.
      Thank you Cathy. xo

  9. Not a Perfect Mom
    December 1, 2011 | 7:53 pm

    oh, you just broke my heart…
    but she’s happy, and content, and confident…
    you’re doing the best thing for your family which is the best thing for her…
    maybe one day you can stay home?

    • multitaskingmumma
      December 1, 2011 | 8:00 pm

      I know in the end I am doing the right thing and that she knows I am her mom.
      But the guilt is over whelming and I should really look at it differently.
      She IS a confident, happy, wonderful girl.
      You’re right.

  10. Rach (DonutsMama)
    December 1, 2011 | 10:41 pm

    Your girl is happy. That means you’re doing something right, you know? I know that mom guilt is so stinkin’ hard. I feel guilty leaving Donut for 2 hours. I think no matter if you work or stay home, there’s different things to feel guilty about. I feel bad that she doesn’t have friends to play with or that maybe she could be learning more if she were at daycare. Or maybe she would’ve crawled earlier, blah, blah blah. It’s never perfect, but your love for her? Is.

    • multitaskingmumma
      December 3, 2011 | 10:01 am

      I agree with you 100% Rach.
      No matter if you work or stay home there will always be some kind of guilt.
      It’s part of the job.

  11. Carri
    December 1, 2011 | 11:31 pm

    Awwww 🙁 I’m sorry. I really think being in a school or daycare environment helps them grow and develop. I’m sure she is having a great time with her friends.

    • multitaskingmumma
      December 3, 2011 | 10:00 am

      She is developing really well and her social skills are great.
      The issue is all mine and I know it.
      I have to work on it.

  12. Jessica
    December 2, 2011 | 2:29 am

    She won’t remember those times but you will. Continue to cherish them.

    • multitaskingmumma
      December 3, 2011 | 9:58 am

      Thank Jessica.
      I am trying hard to cherish every second. xo

  13. JDaniel4's Mom
    December 2, 2011 | 7:48 am

    You will have such wonderful stories to tell her and she will remember the events because you share them with her.

    • multitaskingmumma
      December 3, 2011 | 9:57 am

      I think you are right! xo

    • Marcelo
      April 12, 2012 | 5:07 pm

      That is awsome that you guys have alraedy had your first snow! My kids have been praying for snow, but still nothing yet. Not a big suprise here in Texas tho.Send some our way 🙂

  14. Sweaty
    December 2, 2011 | 12:00 pm

    Oh sweetheart, even though she won’t remember, the bond that grew during that first year could never be replaced. I know how your mommy heart feels every time you have to leave her at daycare… but know that you are a wonderful mother! The fact that you must return to work full-time doesn’t make it otherwise!

    Much love to you, dear Leighann.

    • multitaskingmumma
      December 3, 2011 | 9:56 am

      Thank you my friend.
      I know this round of depression will leave soon and I will feel differently about these situations, but for now it sucks.
      Big time.

  15. Galit Breen
    December 2, 2011 | 11:36 pm

    Oh my, this is lovely. And stunning. And so very much full of love! xo

    • multitaskingmumma
      December 3, 2011 | 9:51 am

      I am struggling with the guilt of going back to work and leaving her everyday but I know she is happy and we are doing the best thing for our family.

  16. Amanda Austin
    December 3, 2011 | 12:57 pm

    This one makes me ache. I know all too well how this feels, although I only got 8 weeks. 🙁 I am comforted by the fact that I know mine is having lots of fun and loves his sitter, but still….

    • multitaskingmumma
      December 5, 2011 | 9:23 pm

      8 weeks?
      that makes me so sad.
      So very very sad.

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