Guilt is something every parent feels more often than not and as a working mother, I've had that feeling on a daily basis from the moment my maternity leave ended. I knew at some point, my daughter would contribute to my guilt in some way. As a baby, it was every time she cried because I left for work. Now that she can talk, guilt has reached a new level.
You know how you hate when during an argument with your spouse, he or she throws something from the past in your face. Well I didn't know that a four year old could master that technique. We've had two very hectic and rough weeks. I've had stressful situations professionally and personally that have altered our daughter's daily routine a bit. I let her teachers know just in case Amelia acted up at school. They assured us she was fine.
By Sunday we were all back to normal or so we thought. Amelia ended up in time out for not doing as she was told and answering back at her Dad. She threw a fit; one of those tantrums that last for a half hour. When she finally calmed down, the truth came pouring out.
"I wanted YOU to pick me up at school. I don't want Mima! (her baby sitter)"--my little girl said while sobbing.
"I always pick you up at school Amelia," I replied.
"No last week you had a work emergency and then a doctor's emergency and Mima tried to pick me up with a muffin and juice."
Almost a week after the fact, my daughter throws her resentment in my face. I admit it, I felt guilty when I agreed to take care of a situation at work right when Amelia was getting out of school. I called Mima around 11AM to help me with pick up at 3PM. I knew that would throw my daughter off so I rushed home at 4PM so I could take her to swimming class. I thought an hour without me wouldn't be that bad for her. But apparently it was the fact that I wasn't there to pick her up that ruined her day.
Last Monday, my husband and I explained to her that I needed to go a doctor's appointment so I could feel better. We told her that her Mima would pick her up but that we would be home when she arrived from school. Well, we had an issue with a prescription and got home after Amelia. She didn't seem upset but yesterday I learned how she really felt.
I didn't know what to tell my girl as she cried in my arms. So I told her the truth: "I always pick you up at school but emergencies happen. Next time I will tell you what's going on. I will call you and Mima to let you both know."
Amelia calmed down but for the next 2o minutes she kept asking me "Will you pick me up at school every day this week?" Ay Mama!
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