Today I cried for the first time in a long time. It was a lot of emotions mixed together. I’m one of those people who doesn’t like people to see me cry, I don’t know why. Well, maybe I do. I don’t want anyone to see me being vulnerable. And yet here I am, announcing it to the world.
My daughter was the trigger. Kyah will be three years old in a few weeks but she has never been alone in a group of peers without myself, her older brother or another family member. Today, I took the two of them to a school readiness program at our mosque. It’s a preschool environment where there are teachers, games, story time, music and snack time. It started at 9am and ran for two hours.
When we got there, Keyan was fine. He went into the classroom, sat on the floor with the other kids and grabbed a book to look at. Kyah on the other hand was hanging on to me with dear life. As I brought her into the class, her anxiety kicked in, she started crying and I could just barely calm her down. When I explained to her that she was going to stay here to learn and play games for a little while (I’d already been telling her for a few weeks to prepare her) and then I would be back to pick her up. She just got more and more agitated and wouldn’t stop crying.
The teacher in charge told me that I should just go and that they would take care of Kyah. As I tried to leave, she started crying more and clinging to me. The teacher had to literally peel her off of me and tears started filling my eyes as I left my little girl behind.
I went into the other room where parents were staying to learn about flower arranging. I sat in a corner as tears rolled down my face, listening to my baby cry for her mother. How could I be so cruel? How could I let her cry for me like that and not be there for her?
My heart pulled me one way and my mind another. Inside I knew that this was the right thing. I wanted her to be able to enjoy being around people her own age, I wanted her to make friends, gain a little independence and confidence in herself.
As difficult as it was for me to hear for her calling me, crying for me, I stayed put. In the end, when the time came to pick the kids up, she was fine. She had fun and she was happy. There were no more tears…for now.
Why does the right thing have to be so hard?
23 thoughts on “Today I Cried”
I’m not a mother so I cannot even begin to pretend to know what you are going through. My mom said she cried for a week after I had gotten used to being dropped off. Just the act of leaving me with someone else got to her. I have two dogs- they are my children. When I drop them off at the groomers, I call every hour to make sure they are okay. I’m sure that’s a horrible comparison but that’s all I got! LOL. Anyway, the right thing is hard sometimes.
Hi Crystal, your babies are your babies no matter what! Yes, the right thing is sometimes the hard thing.
I think that initial separation is very hard when kids start any kind of school. They are so use to being home and with their parents that separation anxiety can easily set in. Once they become comfortable with school and their new friends it will get even easier and easier. But like you said, sometimes the right things are very hard. I applaud you for sharing your story.
Thanks Nathaniel, I’m sure it will get much easier and time goes.
I feel ya Salma! My hubby dropped Ali at daycare for his first full day yesterday. I’m making him do drop offs because I can’t handle it. The last two days he’s cried hysterically when his Baba leaves. The caregivers say he’s fine within a few mins but like you, I feel like I am a horrible mother knowing that it upsets him even if just for mere moments. When I picked him up yesterday he broke down and cried and said “mama mama home home”. But as you said inside we know it’s the right thing but our hearts ache. The hardest job in the world.
It’s so heart-breaking to hear that as parents Fatima! In the end the kids will be fine and even enjoy themselves and learn but the process is so tough!
So sweet..what u just narrated is something my Mom has told me when i became a teenager. My Mom came to drop me for the board exams to school. As i proceeded towards the exam hall – my mom has tears in her eyes… she felt exactly the same way..when i first stepped into school
Be it 3 or 13…Moms feeling never change…Hats off to all you Mothers and your never ending Love.
Thank you Viyoma, in a way it’s comforting to hear that mother’s always have and will feel the same.
You dear moms, Salma and Fati! It’s part of letting go. My daughter, now a mother of four, cried every day for weeks, when I left her. Took me a while to realize that as soon as I was out of sight, the crying ceased. And, she turned out fine. Her sister, on the other hand, was only too happy to see me go. Each child is different and their crying is NO reflection on you.
Fast forward, when my eldest son left home at 20+ … for days I sat in the car and listened to a popular song, “Spread your wings, little chick and fly high!” trying to overcome my sadness, fears, guilt, joy … Today he sings it to his little ones … and yea, there are days when there are tears.
So, put on a brave face and NO GUILT!
Thank you so much for the kind words, it really does help. You’re so right in every child being different. I’m sure my daughter will find her way too.
Hey Salma, first time I am here and it’s such a cute post. Guess, it’s a different world for kids but then they get used to their new environment. As a child, I couldn’t bear tears in the eyes of others and would cry as well.
Eerie but one can see it alive and soulful:)
Thanks for your comment. You must be a very kind soul to feel for the tears of others.
It’s so difficult to see our kids upset at any stage. I still worry for mine now that they are well past the kindergarten stage and trying to pass exams, look for jobs etc. That’s the part of being a parent that never seems to get any easier I find.
I guess we will be always be parents and feel for our kids Ana, no matter how old they get 🙂
I’m so sorry you had a bad day. My daughter is still very young and I know that I have cried many times when she has fallen down and gotten hurt or going out and her crying for me to come back. Doing the right thing can be hard but she will adjust everyday and so will you. It’s ok to cry and let your emotions show, I would be balling also!!
Thanks so much Faiza, I appreciate your sympathy. As mothers, it’s so hard to see your kids hurt or crying and I guess that will never change!
It seems like parenthood is a series of these times of letting go. My kids are still under three but I already can imagine how it’ll feel to take them to daycare or preschool and leave. Sigh…
We can all be strong for each other Victoria!
Ah, I know this well. My second “baby” did this until she was 4 and yes they would literally tear her off of me some days. Sometimes when I feel sad about leaving my kids so I can go to work, I remember the days when they are having so much fun at daycare or pre-school that they literally look annoyed when I come to get them! This is good for her, and good for you. But it’s still ok to cry about it! Stay strong 🙂
Thanks Karen, that must have been so difficult for you! But you’re right, it is good for her and inside I know that. It’s just those darn heartstrings attached to the tear ducts 🙂
Just got teary eyed reading this Salma. I remember going through this with both of my children at 1 year old as I was putting them into daycare to go back to work. I remember handing over my babies and having them scream and try to clutch at me. I remember walking to my car and hearing their wails out the window as tears streamed down my face. It sucks… big time. But now they both love going to daycare and probably prefer going there to play with friends than staying home with me. It’s good for them… but it’s hard.
Oh Crystal, how tough for you! I guess all of us mother’s can definitely relate to and understand each other. It’s always nice to hear from parents who went through the same thing and now their kids love being at their preschool. Thanks for the reassurance.
Thanks for sharing! Kyah is strong and courageous just like her mom:)