"Mummy, go away"- heart-piercing words of a two-year-old
Recently, my two-year-old daughter learnt to sing the song “Rain, rain, go away”. Incredibly cute, I thought, until one fateful day when I sat down next to her while she was playing, and out from her little mouth came, “Mummy, go away,” albeit in the sweetest of tones.
*Heart shatters into a million pieces.
Oh, did I mention she was sitting with my helper, who wasn’t asked to “go away”?
*Shattered heart gets trampled on.
Alas, this has taken ‘working mum woes’ to a whole new level.
My first thoughts (right after “I carried you for nine months, you know!”) – maybe getting a helper was a wrong, lazy choice. Maybe I haven’t been doing enough cool stuff with her. Maybe I should quit my job.
Should’ve, would’ve, could’ve.
Ah, classic mummy guilt – the natural female phenomenon where we mummies berate and judge ourselves.
As a full-time working mum, I am often consumed by mummy guilt. I’ve had to make sacrifices that go beyond just having lesser time with my daughter and missing some of her milestones. It now also means I have to deal with the fact that my little girl will, from time to time, prefer someone else over me.
How did I eventually come to terms with it? Well it’s a daily struggle, but constantly reminding myself of the following has helped:
It is not a competition
Mummy, daddy and auntie all make up an important part of my daughter’s daily life. Especially when we are at work, we need our helper to provide the best care for our daughter. And because she spends most of her day with my helper, it is very natural for her to gravitate towards her.
When mummy is at home, there are exclusive ‘mummy activities’ too – like reading and getting ready for bed.
I have come to realise that at the end of the day, we all perform important roles at different points of the day, and nobody is here to fight for first place.
Having a good helper is a blessing
Would I rather a helper whom my daughter does not like or has no affinity with? No, of course not. In fact, if this were the case, I’d be worried.
I only want the best for her, and that includes having good caregivers around her. I am thankful that I can set my mind at ease while at work and come home to a happy toddler at the end of the day.
Make it count
It is about quality time, not quantity.
This is something that I’m still learning (and struggling) to do – to let go of the busyness of the day and just focus on being with my daughter.
It helps that I get to lay with her while she has her milk; read to her before bedtime; and snuggle with her as she falls asleep. These are intimate moments that I share with her, and things she wants to do with mummy alone.
For me, it is a constant struggle tuning out from work when we’re so connected to our devices these days. Who’s with me?
I will always remember my older sister, a working mum herself who has two kids of her own, telling me that our children will always know who Mummy is. I’ve found that to be true, yet hearing “Mummy go away,” also reminds me that we cannot take things for granted. But that doesn’t mean we should let mummy guilt take over, when we have to rely on the help of others in order to fulfil our other responsibilities.
It’s a delicate balancing act, one that I’m far from mastering. I can only try and make the few hours I have every day with my little one count.
Now, back to making sure my daughter remembers me.
About the Author:
Melissa is a communications professional and first-time mum to a young toddler girl. As a freshy to motherhood (and now, toddlerhood), she is still learning the ropes as she juggles both the demands of her day job and the responsibilities of motherhood. She likes to express herself in words and spends most of her free time with her husband and daughter, as well as volunteering in church.
Want to write too? Get in touch with us at hello [at] socialweaver.com [dot] co
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