Heart. Break.

It’s 5:15 a.m. I am dreaming of swimming in turquoise waters, electric blue fish darting around my toes when a wailing siren wakes me. My eyes flash open and I’m climbing out of bed before my brain even knows what it’s doing.

Blearily I trudge down the hall and into Tori’s room. Her face is red, tears are tracking down her cheeks and one hand is stuffed all the way in her mouth.

“Oh baby. Do your teeth hurt?”

“Ye-ahh,” she says, raising her arms to be picked up.

I reach down into the crib and hoist her warm, pajama-clad body into my arms.

“My mimi,” she sighs and collapses around my neck.

A stabbing pain cracks my chest.

“No, mommy,” I say.

“Mimi,” she insists.

That’s the name of her teacher at daycare. She’s begun to confuse the two of us, and worse, ask for “Mimi” every time I’m doing something she doesn’t like. And try as I might not to let it bother me, each time she says it, my heart breaks a little more.

I know I should be grateful that there’s someone she loves so much at school. And that they’re taking such good care of her there. And I am. Most of the time.

But these repeated reminders that there’s someone she cares for almost as much as me? Especially when being dragged out of bed long before I’m ready to wake?

Are like salt in the never-healing wound that is Working Mommy Guilt. And that? Is not something my conflicted heart needs any more of.

16 Comments on Heart. Break.

  1. Shell
    February 6, 2011 at 10:16 am (5 years ago)

    Oh, mama, how heartbreaking. But, good in a way, knowing that she is being well taken care of.

    Though, the words are so close…I’d convince myself she really meant me.

    • Amber
      February 6, 2011 at 8:53 pm (5 years ago)

      I like the way you think. I think I’ll just tell myself that from now on.

  2. Brandi
    February 6, 2011 at 10:17 am (5 years ago)

    My son used to call for his “Mimi” when I would be there. Mimi is his grandmother. Sometimes it was just a confusion of words, other times I think he wanted Mimi. She took care of both my kids from the time they were 3 months old and still does today. They are now 6 and 4 years old.

    I know the conflict you feel. It will get better. She’s not choosing Mimi over you…it just sounds that way. I used to think my boys would think their grandmother was their mom, now I know that was silly.

    Coming home is the best part of my day, they are always ecstatic to see “Mama”!

    Hugs to you:)

    • Amber
      February 6, 2011 at 8:52 pm (5 years ago)

      Thanks. It’s nice to know there are others out there… I know she loves me. And that she doesn’t want her teacher over me. It’s just my heart that insists on being difficult.

  3. Amanda
    February 6, 2011 at 11:59 am (5 years ago)

    So sorry you’re feeling such hear break and conflict!

    • Amber
      February 6, 2011 at 8:51 pm (5 years ago)

      It goes with the territory. Kids are born to break our hearts, right? I just needed to whine to the world at large.

  4. Rebecca
    February 6, 2011 at 3:34 pm (5 years ago)

    That story even put the knife in MY heart. Put in a request for a new teacher?

    • Amber
      February 6, 2011 at 8:49 pm (5 years ago)

      Nah, she’s a great teacher. You can just tell she loves kids, ya know? It’ll pass, I’m sure. Every stage does, right?

  5. theprincessblogger
    February 6, 2011 at 3:54 pm (5 years ago)

    I’m so sorry. I know how painful it is to watch your baby confuse you and someone else as mommy…mimi for you. Regardless of the fact that it is so good to have others loving your child, it’s a difficult symptom of being a working mom. I’ve been there. We lived with my parents for one year, from the time that my son was 10 months old to 22 months old. He called my mom and me “mama.” Yeah, it’s just really painful. It will get better.

    • Amber
      February 6, 2011 at 8:48 pm (5 years ago)

      Thank you. It helps to know I’m not alone. It’s a good thing I actually like my job…otherwise this would be unbearable.

  6. alicia
    February 6, 2011 at 8:34 pm (5 years ago)

    Aww… so heartbreaking. I am thankful that I was never really put in this position. I can only imagine how hard it must be. Hugs…

    • Amber
      February 6, 2011 at 8:47 pm (5 years ago)

      Hard, yes. But I keep telling myself it’s better this way than having her be miserable when I leave her at daycare. Right?

  7. Lady Jennie
    February 7, 2011 at 1:59 pm (5 years ago)

    Yes, Mimi sounds a LOT like Mommy.

    Poor mama. It is always heartbreaking to drop the kids off to someone else’s care.

    • Amber
      February 7, 2011 at 8:54 pm (5 years ago)

      Yeah. Yeah it is. But what can you do?

  8. Cheryl @ Mommypants
    February 7, 2011 at 7:01 pm (5 years ago)

    Aww…I have been there.

    I would come home from work and my son, who was not yet a year old, would cling to my MIL and cry and wouldn’t want to go to me at all. And then he’d be saying “mama” to her and she totally encouraged it.

    Needless to say, my husband made sure she was gone before I got home.

    I tried to convince myself it was great to have someone love my child so much. But it stung. Still stings, 6 years later..

    • Amber
      February 7, 2011 at 8:49 pm (5 years ago)

      Sigh. The plight of a working mom. I guess it’s another one of those dang grin and bear it things. I’m sure it won’t be the last time she breaks my heart.


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