Saturday, February 23, 2013

My Broken Heart

I went back to work full time a couple of weeks ago. This has been a huge change for the whole family and it's a lot harder than I thought it would be. I thought I was going to start bawling my eyes out last Sunday night as I laid in bed contemplating if I was doing the right thing by going back to work...I remember feeling the same way when I went back to work after both of my maternity leaves. I never thought I'd say this, but I miss their crazy antics!

Parker has had a few tantrums at night due to being over tired and dealing with the new changes, but overall I think he has transitioned pretty well. He went to a home daycare from the time he was 4 months until he was about Avery's age then I started staying home. He started pre-school two mornings a week last August and he has loved it. Then he started speech therapy 4 mornings a week mid January so he's been away from me, which has prepared him a little. But being gone in the mornings is totally different than being gone all day! I prepared him by telling him I was going back to work all day like Daddy and he was going to be going to school all day. I really built it up about how exciting it would be for him to go to his new school and he was excited to go to his cousin's school. The downside: he has barely been napping at school and he normally naps 2-3 hours a day! Parker does pretty well during pick up, but has had a few tantrums due to just being tired and hungry.

On the other hand, Avery has been having a tougher time. All she has ever known is staying home with Mommy. She's never even had a babysitter that wasn't one of her grandmothers or her aunts! She does fine when I drop her off at the nanny's house, but all hell breaks loose in the car on the way home and while at home. Last Friday she had a harder time during drop off. Her lip quivered and she started to cry when I tried to tell her goodbye and she tried to shut the door to keep me from leaving. But she was fine and eating breakfast when I came back a minute later to give Ms. Debbie something I had forgotten in the car. Ms. Debbie said she's the best kid she's had in a long time as far as adjusting really well to a new environment and that she plays all day and plays well with the other kids, which makes me feel better. She's had a few more times where she cried after I dropped her off or I'd see her lip quiver, but I just say a quick goodbye and give her a hug and kiss and run out the door. Ms. Debbie says she does really well all day and doesn't cry. She's having a tough time with napping though. Her first day at day care she didn't nap at all and just cried/whimpered all through nap time. She's never been a good napper, but I can usually get a 1 hour nap from her. An hour and a half or two if I was lucky. Unfortunately she only naps for about 30-40 min at daycare so she's absolutely exhausted and just not in a great mood when she gets home. When Kevin picks her up she does this whiny cry thing where she's not really crying, but just wants attention from him.

Their reactions when I get home is so different. Parker is very excited to see me. The best part of my day is when I walk into the house and I'm met with a chorus of "MOMMY!!", "I miss you so much!" and "I love you so much!" and I get a lot of big tight hugs and sweet little kisses. Avery started out greeting me enthusiastically, but towards the end of the first week she started to say "no no no" when I would try to kiss and hug her. She has been so mad at me for the past week and a half and has been breaking my heart! Not only does she tell me "no" when I reach for her, but she calls out for her Daddy and cuddles up to him. I'm trying not to make a big deal out of it. I know she's mad b/c she feels like I'm deserting her every morning and leaving her with all day long with a strange lady in a house with a bunch of other kids. It's tough b/c I also don't get much time with her at night when I get home b/c she still goes to bed fairly early...7:30 and we've pushed it back to around 8 pm. I'm sure she thinks I'm ignoring her or something. I do make sure to give her lots of extra hugs and kisses in the mornings before I drop her off and I try to make our mornings as positive as possible. Avery and I have always had a "thing". But she's also a Daddy's girl...she has been from the moment she was born. Ok, even before then! I know they have a special bond, but up until recently I thought I was her "favorite". GASP!!! But there I said it! It just might be b/c I feel entitled to being the favorite parent. I mean I was the one who carried her for 37.6 weeks. I was the one who went through morning sickness until I was almost 20 weeks. I was the one who gained 28 lbs and got crazy stretch marks on my belly. I was the one who dealt with sciatic pain. I was the one who got kicked in the bladder and had to pee 100 times at night (a big deal since I rarely get up to pee in the middle of the night). I was the one who constantly felt like there was a foot stuck in my rib and couldn't breathe. I was the one who endured contractions that was like no pain I had ever felt (Parker's labor was practically pain free even before the epidural). I was the one whose epidural barely worked and felt her coming out and being stitched back up (TMI??? Sorry!). I was the one who endured months of trying to breastfeed and pump. I was and still am the one who mostly wakes up in the middle of the night to be there for her if she needs something (rare, but still). I'm the one she runs to when she's hurting or needs a snuggle. So yes my heart hurts when I come home and she refuses to acknowledge me or to give me a kiss hello.

But it is completely heartbreaking at night when I try and cuddle her and she just cries out for her Daddy and tells me no. I left them alone a few times b/c I figured she needed time with him and to feel comforted without me intruding. But, after over a week of this craziness, I just couldn't take it anymore! My solution: I put one arm around Kevin and the other around Avery, lay my head on Kevin's chest right next to Avery's little body and we stand there in the dark while I sing "Twinkle Twinkle". So yes I've pushed my way back into her night time routine! She has let me put her to bed the last couple of nights, but she doesn't want to snuggle at all. She just wants me to lay her down in her crib right away. Being the pushy mom I am, I don't just leave her alone. I lean over her crib, rub her chest, run my fingers down her face, sing to her and talk to her. I need some Mommy and Avery time! Sigh!

Oh, and Parker...while he is adjusting fairly well he has started to ask me every night and every morning if I'm going to work. After I reply yes his next question is: "You coming back home?". His little lip quivers sometimes when he asks this as if he really thinks I'm not coming home! Ugh! Somebody help me pick up the pieces of my broken heart!

Has anyone else dealt with being ignored by their child or the child suddenly favoring the other parent? How did you deal with it?

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