When I worked as a daycare supervisor several years ago, I remember dreading the kids that came once or twice a week. Not because they were terrible children, but because 99% of the time they were kids of a stay at home mom.
I wasn’t a big fan of stay at home moms as a nanny or in a daycare. I found them pesty, hovering, anal, and usually convinced that their child would burst into flames and die the moment they walked out the door. I knew what I was doing, I knew their kid would be fine as long as they would stop “peeking” around the corner, and I wanted them gone. I referred to them as, “That Mom.”
When the moms came back that evening, the kids usually burst into tears, which prompted mothers to ask in horror, “Oh no! Was little Jonny like this all day? You should have called me!” This was given with an evil eye and a look of shock that little Jonny was left to cry in a corner alone, friendless, and terrified.
When in fact, little Jonny had been playing outside making mud pies and doing crafts.
I was pretty convinced when I became a mom my kid would be in daycare full time. My child would be normal and I would be one of the awesome moms with complete confidence in my daycare providers.
And then I became a mom.
I became THAT MOM.
Yesterday my friend Tanya and I visited a gym right down the road that offered daycare. She has a little girl 7 weeks younger than Bella, and a 4 month old. We were excited to do an hour of kid and tantrum free yoga.
Until we got to the daycare. People, I have worked at a daycare. And this place wasn’t up to par in the cleanliness department. (Now, before anyone says, “Would anything be for you?” you just need to trust me – this is not be being a clean freak.) But the ladies in charge, while rather distant, seemed sweet and I tried to convince myself the worries I had were simply because I was a mess over leaving Bella anywhere and she’d be ok.
Then she fell apart. I could hear her. Then I couldn’t and I wondered what happened.
So I peeked in the window.
She saw me and screamed.
Still hearing her, I leaned over again and looked.
The daycare lady threw up her hands and shooed me away.
So I had Tanya go peek.
And she got shooed.
By this point I could hear her screams and I was such a mess thinking about how upset she was. I went to yoga wondering if she was going to be left all alone to cry.
When we went to pick them up, her little tear stained face with the paci hanging out of it greeted me at the door with a sobbing, hiccuping, “Mommy, Mommy.”
I couldn’t help it. I gave them the evil eye and asked if she’d cried the entire time.
::hangs head in shame::
They assured me she’d played and loved the toys.
When did this happen? When did I become that mom?
Stranger still, how come I’m fine with being that mom? I’m ok with being over protective and an annoyance to someone who doesn’t know Bella like I do.
Yet I wonder if anyone else has found they’ve turned into a different parent than they thought they would be?