Jennifer Gilby Roberts

Women's Fiction/Chick Lit Author

Sometimes, it’s Nice to See Your Child Cry

on July 27, 2014
(Not my daughter)

(Not my daughter)

When my daughter went off with Grandma the other day for her weekly play-date, she cried.  In fact, she was reaching out for Mummy.  Now, please don’t think me a horrible person, but it was kind of nice.

See, the trouble with being a work-at-home Mum is that you have no novelty value.  Unlike Daddy, who goes off to mystical places during the day, Mum is there all the time.  No reason to choose her if you’re offered someone else.  And my little one is definitely a Daddy’s girl, anyway.  She’s already showing signs of being the girly, little princess type.  [No idea what to do with one of those.  I wore tracksuits and cut my hair short as a child.]

Also, in our house (and, I suspect, many others), Mummy is usually the mean one.  I have to say ‘no’ a lot more.  I have to do the things she hates (like brushing her teeth), because Daddy can’t bear her distress.  I don’t like it either, but I know that it has to be done, so I do it.  Sometimes, being a good parent means upsetting your child.  It sucks, but it does.  I try to work with my daughter as much as possible, but she isn’t old enough to understand that some things must be done, however unpleasant, because not doing them could lead to something worse.  I don’t like having smear tests, but I always go because they’re a whole lot better than finding out I’ve got cervical cancer and it’s too late to do anything about it.

It does hurt when your child, whom you’ve spent far more hours than anyone else looking after, reaches for someone other than you.  I always remind myself that it’s a good sign, really, because it means she feels certain that I will always be there to come back to.  But it’s hard not to feel rejected sometimes.  When your baby cries and you pick her up, but she squirms away and reaches out to someone else – even her father.

So, the odd moments when I do seem to be number one choice are precious.  Not that I like seeing her upset, but it’s good to know that she values me.  Like most parents, I suppose, I frequently worry that I’m not good enough – that I’m doing too much X or not enough Y.  When she demonstrates her attachment to me, my efforts are validated.  And all of us like that.

Of course, it’s even better when you get a smile, a kiss and a cuddle when she comes back. 🙂


2 responses to “Sometimes, it’s Nice to See Your Child Cry

  1. T A Munroe says:

    And it’s awesome, when she’s an adult and you think you screwed in so very many ways that you get a note on Mothers Day telling you how much she appreciates you for having done those tough things.

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