Tears & Fears

Tears & Fears

Tears fill his eyes the moment he spots me at the door.  He runs, frantically, into my arms.  He buries his face into the nape of my neck, muffling the sound of his cries.  I hold him tight, smothering the back of his neck in kisses, telling him how much I missed him.  I ask about his day.  Did he have fun playing outside?  Did he sing fun songs?  Was lunch yummy?  Searching, always, for some snippet of happiness.  A glimmer of good in this week that feels far closer to crappy.  Instead, every question is answered with a firm “No!”  My heart sinks, despite the teacher’s report of a mostly great day filled with playing with trucks, laughing at songs, and devouring his lunch.  I take a deep breath and make a deliberate point to add cheer to my voice as I carry him outside, chatting away about heading home to make dinner.  He fights my attempts to put him in his car seat, clinging desperately me.  I surrender for a moment, standing in the parking lot and clinging just as tightly to him.

A few minutes later, as we head into the house, he rushes to our chair and asks me to rock.  I dump our bags onto the kitchen counter and decide that dinner can wait for a while.  I pull him onto my lap, holding him tightly, and rubbing his back.  I breathe him in.  And can’t help but notice the scent of his teacher’s perfume in his hair.  The lump in my throat grows, and the tears threaten to spill down my face.  We sit this way for quite some time.  Mother and son rocking back and forth, lost for a moment in the desperate need to reconnect.

Dinner done and bath time finished, we settle in for our bedtime routine of stories and songs.  He stretches out next to me, laying close against my body, asking for round after round of “Bird.”  As the room darkens with the setting sun, I run my fingers through his hair and quietly sing about mocking birds and dogs named Rover.  I feel him finally let go, relaxing further into me.  His hand rests lightly on my face.  I scoop him into my arms and carry him to his bed, giving gentle kisses as I whisper good night then tuck the blankets around him.

This night, I don’t turn to my computer to play catch-up or veg out with the TV.  I worry not about dishes or lunches needing to be packed.  Instead, I crawl back into my bed, pull the covers up high, and, finally, let go of the tears I’ve been holding onto all week long.  I sob into my pillow, wishing it could have continued to feel easy, yearning to go back in time a couple of weeks for just a bit more time spent at home with my sweet little man, worrying that maybe we’d done more harm than good with me staying home for the past twenty months always knowing that I’d have to head back to work eventually.  I drift off to sleep, surrendering to the exhaustion that has come with this stressful week of nerves, fears, and interrupted sleep.

When the alarm sounds, I push myself up from the bed, realizing that we both have slept through the night.  The first time all week.  I go about getting ready for my day, fears of what our morning drop-off will bring lurking at the corner of my mind.  Reminding myself that we have just this one day to get through before we can soak each other up for two full days.

The days passes by, and the weekend arrives.  We hustle our way through busy days of fun and silliness.  All too quickly, it’s over.  Bedtime has come and gone.  And I’m left to sit and wonder what this next week will have in store for us.  My heart races as I contemplate another week filled with anxiety, tears, and confusion.  I swallow past the lump in my throat.  Attempt to shove the fears aside for a bit.  Remind myself that it will get better.  And try to believe that it will happen soon.

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49 thoughts on “Tears & Fears

  1. Raquel -2dayswoman

    Beautifully written, it touched my heart. I can so relate to your story, it is so so so hard when all you want to do is hold them in your arms all day long and protect them from any harm. Just believe you are doing such a wonderful job of being his mum, it does get better.
    Blogging awesomeness from Raquel -2dayswoman: Destination MotherhoodMy Profile

    1. Aramelle Post author

      It really is, by far, the most difficult task that we take on, isn’t it?

      I, too, believe that it all works out in the end. It’s that in between stage that is so incredibly difficult.

    1. Aramelle Post author

      It is most definitely bittersweet at times. The tug of war of wanting to hold on to them as tight as you can and helping them move towards growing up a bit is a difficult one.

    1. Aramelle Post author

      Thank you so much for visiting and for the encouragement. It’s so helpful to hear from other moms who have been there and understand. There are definitely many parts about being back to work that I am enjoying.

  2. Kenja Purkey

    It will get easier for both of you, and no it didn’t do more harm than good to stay home for 20 months. This is just a transition time, and it gets better.

    I totally identify with the smell of the teacher on him. My 4 month old always just grins at his sitter, and though I’m glad he likes her so much and that he has a great place to go, a part of me is a bit jealous.

    Nice post.
    Blogging awesomeness from Kenja Purkey: An Epic Milestone: Solid FoodMy Profile

  3. heidi

    With parenting comes worry…it seems to go hand in hand. It will get better. You’re there for him at the end of every day…don’t forget that. Be kind to yourself.
    Blogging awesomeness from heidi: 14 years agoMy Profile

    1. Aramelle Post author

      Thank you for visiting and for your thoughtful comment. I am trying to not beat myself up too much. In the meantime, it really means so much to have the encouragement of others.

  4. Jennifer @KiddiePoolMommy

    Awww…I’m sorry. I know it’s hard. Especially smelling the perfume part. It’s something you don’t expect to bother you but it always makes my Mamma Bear come out and growl. With my oldest, he adjusted fine but with my youngest, he did not. I think it just depends on the kid. I now only work part time which I know isn’t always an option but I know what you’re going through and I’m sorry.
    Blogging awesomeness from Jennifer @KiddiePoolMommy: HomeMy Profile

    1. Aramelle Post author

      You’re so right about the perfume. I had never expected something like that to bother me in the way it does. It’s just a strong, tangible reminder of how much things have changed…the scent of the woman who now spends more time with my child than I do…it’s proving to be a tough one for me to get past.

      Thank you for stopping by. It really is so helpful to hear from other mommas who understand!

  5. christina

    oh. :(
    my girl’s been in daycare since she was 9 weeks old. it was hard. SO VERY HARD for me that first year. but now that she’s older, it’s way better. we both love it. we both thrive with the routine of it all. and, the times we do spend together, are that much more beautiful. it really does get better and it will happen sooner than you think. hang in there.
    Blogging awesomeness from christina: Letting Go and GrowingMy Profile

    1. Aramelle Post author

      Thank you SO MUCH for this, Christina! It is a great perspective to have on the time that you do get to spend together, and I really appreciate you sharing that with me. Thank you, also for the encouragement.

  6. MIchelle Longo

    Very well written. I remember when my son would come home smelling like his teacher. It does get easier. My son was a tough case, he really struggled with the separation and change, but it does get easier. Easier on them, easier on us. Hugs Mama, hang in there.
    Blogging awesomeness from MIchelle Longo: Cycle.My Profile

  7. Shannon

    Beautifully written, this took me back to the days when I had just my one son and I worked full-time. I remember I used to crave him like a smoker craves a cigarette and I lived for the weekends and holidays.
    Blogging awesomeness from Shannon: Insha’AllahMy Profile

    1. Aramelle Post author

      I’m going to hold you to that promise, Stasha! ;)

      Thank you so much for the compliment. I am such a fan of your writing that that really means a great deal to me. :)

  8. Lauren

    I was popping by to see how things were going. This absolutely breaks my heart. So beautifully, poignantly written, Aramelle. I hope it gets easier, I do. My husband keeps reminding me that tons of families do this and survive, which often helps the hurt a little but doesn’t make it any easier. Thinking of you!!
    Blogging awesomeness from Lauren: Monkey’s Emergency SurgeryMy Profile

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