Monday, July 07, 2008

Help:(

Today is our 6 month anniversary of our Forever Family day. I was going to do a post about this very special and unforgettable day but I need to get my worries off my chest instead.

We finally got a spot at the daycare offered by my job. Abby and I went there this past Friday for about an hour. She charmed the place and made her self at home. Course I was there.... This week I started my new job. I can't bring her myself for anymore transition periods so my Mom will do it for me. Today Mom took her in this afternoon for another transition period while I worked. They arrived just after nap time was over. Abby did okay but Meema was there...... They stayed a couple hours. Tomorrow afternoon my Mom is taking her back again for the afternoon. This time she will tell her bye then stay out in the hall out of Abby's sight to see how she does on her own for the afternoon. I will meet them after work to pick Abby up. then on Wednesday Abby will go the full day all by herself........... GULP!!!!!!!!!!!! I have a lump in my throat just thinking about it and my eyes are tearing up as I type this. This is HARD!! I feel silly for carrying on like this. I feel sick to my stomach and have an ache in my heart that I can only liken to how you feel when you are homesick. My baby has been through so much in her short little life and I don't want to put her through anymore stress. I know there are many of you out there who have been where I am right now too. I know things turned out okay. I just wish I felt better about it. Please does anyone have any ideas on how I can make this transition easier on both of us?

14 comments:

four2five said...

You are certainly not the only Mummy to have all those emotions!!! I think you'd be weird if you didn't!!!

Abby will settle in, and all will be well!

Michelle said...

Okay, I don't have any little ones at home yet, but I can give you my perspective from the other side. I worked in preschool/childcare/daycare for 15 years.

First off, be prepared for her to cry. Because she probably will cry. That's normal. She's been with you or your Mom for 6 months. It's natural for her to be a little bit scared or sad when you leave her. It's O.K.

I suggest your Mom not stay very long tomorrow when she drops her off. Bring her in the room, get her settled, either with a toy or one of the caregivers that she has met, say goodbye, and LEAVE.

I can't tell you how much worse it makes the transition for both the (caregiver and the child)when the parent lingers in the room. That just prolongs the inevitable.

Make sure you say Goodbye to her and that she knows you are leaving. I have had parents try the "sneak out" technique once the child is engaged with something. This freaks the child out because one minute they are playing and then they turn around and Mommy's gone! They need to know when you leave. You can also reassure her at that point that you WILL be back later and that so and so is going to be here with them and she will be O.K.

I can honestly tell you that in the 15 years I worked with kids I only had to call the parent one or two times to come back and get their child, and both times it was because the child made themselves throw up(some kids have the ability to do this on command. I hope my child does not have this ability :)

The majority of the children cried for a very short time, and then discovered there was so much fun stuff to do there and they are so busy exploring their environment/other kids that they don't even realize Mom isn't there. Not to say they don't miss their Moms. It's just childcare really is a fun place for kids. So much new stuff to explore.


I really think she will be fine. And how cool that it is at your workplace, so you can go and visit her!

I know I will be in the same situation some day. Would you mind stopping by my blog and reminding me of the things I just said, because I have a feeling that when I am the Mom all that is going to be forgotten and the only thing I will be able to focus on is the fact that I am leaving my baby alone in a strange place for the first time :)

Lindsay said...

I know exactly how you feel. Hannah starts kindergarten in September and I hate the thought. I really, really worry that she will be anxious or afraid she is being abandoned again.

I think it is normal for us to feel this way - I suspect the kids will do fine.

I know at the beginning of each school year where I work that tears at starting nursery are normal and the kids settle down quickly and are happy. Our nursery teachers tell me that the parents hanging around when the child is upset actually makes things worse - that it is better for mom to leave if they are crying as they always stop quickly, get distracted and enjoy themselves. I can't imagine walking away from Hannah if she is crying, but if they think it is better for her, I will try :-(

Other suggestions: let her take a favourite toy especially if there is one she normally uses for nap time cuddles. Also her dummy/paci if she uses one for sleeping. If she has a favourite drink at home give her a bottle/sippy cup of that to take with her as well.

I expect it will be a lot harder on you than Abby! It sounds like the transitions have gone well and Abby is not frightened or overwhelmed by the new environment. She'll have so much going on all day that she will be too busy to be unhappy or fret. Mom on the other hand ..... :-)

Good luck with it - Abby will be fine, just give yourself some time as well.

Chinazhoumom said...

Just a few more notes to add to the other good ones...

Tell your mom - and you - Always use the same words - at home and at school - for example - mama is going to work - grandma will pick up up after you eat your snack when you wake up from your nap (or when ever it is_ It gives the child a time reference. Also at home Abby - mama is going to the garage/bedroom/upstairs etc and will be back in 2 mins - again she has no idea what you mean - but always using the same words creates repitition for her - she knows - my mom says XYZ but she always comes and gets me. Also I took K when it was either snack time/outside time at first - that way there was something right away for her to focus on...and yes it was harder on me than her when she was 14 mths old...also she will be very tired for the first week or so when you pick her up.

(I can tell you it was MUCH harder on her at 3 when she changed schools - MUCH MUCH harder - than when she was little) and she may cry - but give her a hug/kiss/magic words and wave bye and leave...after 3-7 days (or sooner) she will be fine - I always called the school - and she cryed maybe 3-5 mins - if you have a nice teacher - have them give hugs/smiles hold hand - also I found she did ALOT better if she walked in - vs - carried her in - and had to "handoff" to teacher..
Good Luck take pics!
Carol & Kimberly in FL

PIPO said...

I wish I had the 'perfect' advice for you...but, I will be taking lessons from you! I'm not even home with my girl yet but am already anxious about that time myself. Even so, I know it will work out well in the end for all of us.

Debbie said...

Dear Jenny ~
I know this is hard, but you and Abby will be fine.

Remember what her nanny in China said - "She always helps others". It is a part of her that makes Abby, Abby. She is a social girl. This is not a punishment for Abby, it's a growing, learning experience.

I agree with Michelle - DON'T LINGER. Miss Abby is very quick on the messages/vibes of you and MeeMa. If she senses you are scared, upset then she will be as well. I also agree with the goodbye advice.

As long as Abby is safe, the daycare keeps her busy and she is happy at the end of the day, Life Is Good. There will be "moments". Make sure you have a plan in your head before a meltdown occurs. Don't jump to "rescue" her at the first sign of a lip quiver.

The whole idea of having a child is to make sure they can be a contributing member of society and the skills she will develop and playing with other children provided at daycare is a good start.

When Ali was in daycare we were both so glad to see each other at the end of the day it was like getting a present every night at 5:00.

Good luck to you all.

Love,
Aunt Debbie

~ Alison & Mali ~ said...

It IS hard - but Abbey will be fine. She'll love 'school.'

It's hard not to be sad about it, I did drop-offs myself - and then cried all the way home (or to work). Mali cried for a bout 2 months when I dropped her off, but she was OK. She stopped crying soon after I left & had a great time all day.

Make sure Meema doesn't linger too long. The quicker the drop-off, the better. It's less stressful that way for Abbey. Plus, Abbey will pick up (the adult's) vibes. If (adult) makes a big deal out of it, she'll learn to think it's a big deal. You're leaving her in a good place, she's safe, and you want to show that with all confidence in leaving her there.

Good luck!! I promise it'll get better once she adjusts.

~ Alison & Mali ~ said...

Ooops, sorry - I meant 'Abby' =)

Anne said...

Ugg, I know exactly what you are going through. It is hard, but Abby and you will adjust and do great. Elizabeth cries when I drop her off, and even though I know she stops the second I leave, it still makes me feel terrible. Hang in there, it will be ok!

Lisa said...

I agree with everyone here. I also worked in daycare for several years and all these ladies are bang on. Don't sneak out, stay to long etc. One trick that seemed to really work and comfort the kids I worked with was I had the parent put a little picture of themselves with their child in the child's backpack. Sometimes just seeing their Mom's face does the trick. I also had the parent leave something that the child knows belong to the parent that they quite often use (a silk scarf with their sent on it for example)and leave it in the backpack too. A lot of the time the kids will associate scent. Kids don't always think or believe that their parent is coming back to get them but they do reason that they will come back for the "forgotten" item.

I'll be thinking of you all as you go through this. It will get better. I promise.

(((hugs)))

Lisa

Eliza2006 said...

It's hard. Really, really hard. I knew it would be hard, but I wasn't prepared for how rip-my-heart-out-of-my-chest I would feel. The complete hysteria stopped after the first couple of weeks and I would say after 2 months or so Eliza was used to the routine. I still stress a little when she isn't with me, but not like those first weeks. I've said before that you couldn't pay me a million bucks to relive that. You'll get through it. Eliza started back daycare in August 2007. Go back in my archives and read if you want. I was so stressed I think I blogged about it every day. Hang in there and keep us updated!

Tiffany

Sandra said...

It's hard; no doubt about it. The first time will be hard for Abbey and maybe even harder for you. We have all been there. It will get better; I promise. It's only natural to not feel good about leaving your baby. You're her mom!

All will be well. I second all the advice about not lingering any longer than is necesarry. Just remember to always tell her that you WILL be back and that you love her.

Kelley said...

You've gotten some great advice...nothing else I can think of to add except for my support! I've been there, too. Chloe never did have big hysterics, though. I've been lucky that she really likes her "school." We had a few days of her looking very lost and sad, but no big bouts of crying. (The lost and sad look can still rip your heart out, though!) Hang in there!

Anonymous said...

Hey Jen--

Been there -- maybe not to that extent -- but I have definitely been there with Jainy.

Not sure if I ever told you this, but when Jainy started preschool I expected it to be heart-breaking. The first day Kev and I walked in wih her and she left our side and never looked back...to be honest, Kev and I were a little stunned and a little bit sad that she was so willing to walk away from us, but we did what the professionals say to do -- we said goodbye, gave her a kiss and told her we'd be back in a few hours....

that was it..it was simple, right?

....wrong...

For the first week she literally skipped into school with a smile on her face, and I thought 'Hey,this isn't as hard as I thought it would be.'

After the second week she realized this was a permanent thing and she had a break-down in the car. I walked her into school and when I hugged her and went to say goodbye she panicked and wouldn't let go, literally begging me not to leave.

I broke down myself, but I wouldn't let Jainy see me cry. One of the assistants came over and tried to distract her while I left.

Talk about rippng your heart out...she was calling to me, begging me...but I kept walking ... it crushed my heart.

When I stepped out of the classroom I just bent down and cried,unable to get in my car....

I swore to myself that I wouldn't do this again to her and I figured that would be her last day of preschool.

The school director saw what happened and told me that she would call me to come get her if she continued...she reassured me that it happens all the time, adopted or not,and that they knew what to do.

As I drove away I realized that, to me, it felt like she was in an orphanage again, this time dropped off by me...and it really tore me up. I honestly felt that I would withdraw her from school and not look back until she was 5.

Turns out that once I left she stopped and laughed and played the rest of the day...it took about 2 minutes after I was out of site.

I think she absolutely fed off of my behavior and once she knew I was upset it made it about 100 times worse for her...

After that I realized that most things she goes through are not because she is adopted, it's because she is a toodler, and I needed to quit looking at it as an isolated thing that only my child, because of her abandonment, only goes through...

These children of ours are resilient...all they know now is that they are dearly loved...once I gave into that it was a lot easier to drop her off the following day -- without feeling that I was somehow abandoning her or making her relive the trauma she experienced as an infant.

The guilt you feel is, I would assume -- normal, but daycare is her reality. She will find her groove and you will too...

...i promise...

Love-
-jen