Where separation anxiety meets mommy anxiety.

Posted 14 Jun 2011 in Abigail, baby business, motherhood

Last Wednesday was a big day in the Mrs. Jenna household. Not only was the hubs leaving for a 5 day-long fishing trip in Canada, but Abby was starting her first day of daycare.

After dropping off the hubs at his buddy’s house, Abbers and I headed a few blocks away to her new daycare. We got out of the car, headed inside, and Abby immediately bee-lined for the toys as she had on Monday during our “hang out” session.

I placed her pacifier and blanket in her cubby, handed off a package of diapers, and then stood there. I didn’t want to leave, mostly because I knew she would freak out. That, and that I couldn’t see what was happening once I was gone. I lingered a bit, and she started to get upset, so Miss Hillary distracted her with the awesome suggestion of reading a book. When Abby walked to the rug to see which book they were going to read, I slipped out of the room. I got a little teary eyed, and called the hubs to let him know how it went. I had anxiety stomach for the first time in MONTHS, but knew that it seemed not so bad.

Around lunch, I stopped by to peek in the window and see what she was doing (while not letting her see me). She was laying on a pile of pillows with a book, by herself. She’s doing great! I thought. Not long after lunch, I got a call from Miss Hillary. I was wrong.

“Well, after she realized you were gone she cried most of the morning until we went outside. Then she came back in kind of sad, but ate some lunch, and was really tired. (That’s when I peeked in, was after lunch.) Then she laid down on her cot and fell asleep.”

Okay, now I felt horrible, yet reminded myself that THIS IS A TRANSITION PERIOD AND TOTALLY NORMAL. When I went to pick her up after work she was sitting on the same pillows, and when she saw me it was immediate tears. She was so happy to see me. Of course, I teared up too. Apparently after lunch it was more tears, and more happy when she was outside, but then really sad when parents started showing up and none of them were me.


I knew Thursday would be like, eleventy billion times worse. Now she knew what was coming. Thursday I decided to take the train with her instead. She LOVES the light rail and I figured it’d distract her from what was really happening. When we got outside the daycare, I sat on a park bench to get her out of the Ergo and said “We’re going to see the kids! Your friends!” And she replied with – “Gasp! Oooo!” Again, false sense of hope.

We got inside and she was okay for about 20 seconds until she started bawling and clinging to me with a death grip. I tried reasurring her that it was okay, and that I would be back to get her soon (lie). She was crying so hard that the gag-crying had begun. I looked at Miss Hillary and mouthed, “I don’t know what to do” while fighting the tears back myself. Hillary took her from my arms and walked into the room a little more and said, “She’ll be okay, maybe stop by later after lunch?” I told her I was afraid to upset her again, but I’d think about it. I left to the sounds of Abby sobbing and screaming “MAMA! MAMA!!!”

I walked out of the daycare and broke down. I kept trying to remind myself that things would get better but at that moment they could not have been any worse. I had no one to call – the hubs was in Canada and had no cell phone reception, and everyone else I could talk to was asleep or in a different time zone.

I couldn’t stop by during lunch. I was too upset and couldn’t bring myself to make her upset again. Plus, I was picking her up at 3pm, so I knew it was soon enough. When I picked her up this time, she was eating a snack, and again cried when she saw me. I guess she again had a rough day, but just ever-so-slightly better than the day before.

Tomorrow we begin again. I know every week we’ll slip back on any progress made the week before since she has so much time between visits, but I’m hoping for the best. I know that by the end of the month it will be better than it was last week, so that keeps my chin up.

It’s just mind blowing to me that this is THIS difficult for just me to endure. It makes me wish we’d had her start sooner. Not that it would have been any better, but HOLY SHIT dudes. I’d nearly take childbirth again if it meant I didn’t have to live through that agony every week.


  1. Oh man, do I feel you on this. The first few weeks of daycare were ROUGH on us all. J only goes one day a week, so it took a good month or so for him to get used to it–our daycare director said it usually takes about 5 full days for a kid to really adjust, and so for us that meant 5 weeks.

    But one day that switch went on, and man, now he loves it there. Really, really loves it. It’s so good for him, and it’ll be good for Abby too. It’s tough in the beginning, no doubt, but then it gets better. I promise.
    Ginger recently posted..Reads From Around the Web My Profile

  2. Tracy

    I’ve had my Abby in daycare since she was about 5.5 months old…taking her out last summer, and again about to this summer b/c of being a teacher. I’m not going to go into too many daycare details here, b/c you know…the little project we’ve got brewing…BUT Only during the past two months has my Abby stopped crying when I walk in to get her. So if it’s any consolation, it’s normal. It will go away. Just wanted to share that little tid bit. It gets better. PROMISE!

  3. Not sure if this will make you feel better or worse… but I cried the entire first month of kindergarten. (Apparently I was fine in preschool?) Anyways… I turned out mostly ok, and my mom only has a few grey hairs from THAT incident 😉

    Hang in there lady! She’ll make friends in no time and will run away from u to get into the door faster.

  4. mitzi

    Oh Jen! I can only imagine how hard that must be!! I do remember hanging on to the fence in kindergarten, and watching my mom walk away WITHOUT ME!! Going home (which was literally across the street), to where she and Greg were hanging out WITHOUT ME! Mom was crying, I was hysterical, and I just kept looking at my house wondering “WHY??”. But I got over it, and look how normal I turned out. (!!)

Add Your Comment

CommentLuv badge