When your kids are crying you want nothing more than to comfort them. There are times when my children are in the care of daycare, dad, or grandma that they get consoled by others and when I hear about it afterwards I am thankful that they have a team of people who can care for them. However, hearing about their sadness in the moment and being unable to wrap my arms around them is torture.
In talking with other working moms, we seem to agree: if you are taking care of my children and they are crying because they miss me, don’t tell me until it is over and they are happy. There is nothing we can do when we are at work and our children are crying that they want to see us. A friend’s nanny used to text her things like, “she keeps saying she misses you” or “she cried for a while after you left.” My husband recently sent me a video of my son crying saying “I want mommy.” These reminders of our absence at moments when our children need us is heartbreaking. It doesn’t serve either side well to know that we are sad when we can’t be together and a better alternative would be to hear of how they coped and recovered from these feelings.
I know that my children will learn solace from many people and that they can not only lean on me but the many people who love them. They will learn how I show compassion, but also the varying styles of others, and I think this will help shape the person that they become. I have learned that I am never going to be their one and only source of comfort and while that is hard for me to share, I think it has its own merits.
When I am with my kids though, there are plentiful hugs and they know that they can count on mom to pick them up when they are down. N showed me that he already understands this when we recently responded to G awakening from a nap with cries and while I grabbed a diaper I overheard N whispering to her, “It’s OK baby G, if you are sad, you just give mommy a hug.”