And I’m devastated.
I tried to play it cool and pretend like I wasn’t shocked/horrified/appalled/devastated, but I couldn’t really hide it. I also saw my nanny’s face light up like I did the first time he called me “mama”, which he’s only said to me a handful of times if I’m going to be honest. (He says “Alexa” or some version of it without the X all day every day in honor of our Amazon Alexa device, but uses Mama and Dada and what I think is Dakota sparingly, go figure.) I immediately heard myself responding “I’m mama” while trying to play it off and not cry.
He didn’t repeat it again but didn’t acknowledge me as mama either.
Driving the knife into my heart further was that it was my first day back at work after nearly two blissful weeks with my little one over the holidays, during which I felt like we really got to bond. But then Monday morning, which I had been dreading, rolled around, and not only did he go running for our nanny as soon as she arrived and embraced her in a big hug, but he didn’t really acknowledge me when I got home from work that night. He was in the middle of eating his dinner, and both James and Dakota were much more interested in that than mommy. Which also broke my heart.
The thing is, deep down, I’m happy that James love his nanny so much and she is so amazing with him, and I honestly don’t know what we’d do without her. I want him to love her and for them to have a special bond and for him to be in the care of someone who is just as warm and loving and cares just as much about him, so I feel lucky that we have this for James. In some ways it makes leaving him to go to work each day easier. But, I still hate leaving him and it’s so much harder when sometimes I feel like I miss out on so much or that my nanny knows more about my son than I do. He’s changing and growing so fast, and he learns so much, and I inevitably miss some of that when I’m gone during the day.
It’s hard. I don’t know. To be honest, it still hurts when I think about it, but I’m so busy trying to get everything done , I haven’t had that much time to overanalyze it… until now. I take comfort in knowing that I’m not alone in this working mom struggle, and that it’s hard and heartbreaking and also rewarding and fulfilling, and for many of us, it’s what we have to do. I want my kids to have a strong, independent, hard working mama to look up to and to teach them the importance of finding what you love, pursuing your passion, and working hard, and I hope that I am able to offer that even if on some days, it rips at my heart.