Sending your kid to playgroup, and other horrible stories

This past week has been a roller-coaster of emotions. But with less highs, and lots of plummeting drops that have made my heart jump out of my mouth and land, flapping helplessly on my lap like a dying fish.

Rosie started playgroup.

This was a HUGE event in our lives. And yes, that sounds, in the grand scheme of things, to be a little bit over the top but, Rosie has been with us for 13 months. Us. Just us. If I’ve been with clients or at an event, she’s been with Mr H. If Mr H has been busy, she has then predominantly been with me. There hasn’t been a time, longer than 3 hours, where she hasn’t been in sight of one of her parents. We have been very blessed to have been able to spend so much time with her and now, just writing this, I feel awful that we even started playgroup in the first place.

Why did we do it then?
You may well ask that. And the answer, sadly, is work. Life. Bills. Clients.
Mr H and I are throwing our attention and energy into our businesses but it requires more than just a few stolen moments answering emails AND we both realized that we can’t go through a whole day entertaining Rosie only to put her to bed at 6pm and then work like dogs till after midnight. We aren’t getting anywhere and we’re not getting any time together.

We originally wanted to get a nanny who would come to our house and look after Rosie for 8 hours a day, 3 times a week – this way, we would still have her with us. However, finding someone has been harder than trying to get Zuma to give a damn about this country. People let us down and a lot where bloody chancers.

A friend of mine recommended a recently opened playgroup about 20kms from us and upon visiting, we really liked it. Safety and staff were top and there was a great ratio of helpers to kids.

We started Rosie on the 5th June, dropped her off for her first full day…and I went back home feeling beyond guilty. And bereft. My arms hung awkwardly at my sides, occasionally swinging forward in the hopes of making contact with my sweet little sunshine.
Mr H felt it too. The house was eerily quiet. And guess what, instead of hunkering down and going balls-to-the-wall on client work, we went out for coffee to talk about what we had just done.

Our guilt was made worse when we picked Rosie up and were told that a) she hadn’t slept and b) she had been quite reserved with the other kids. We hugged her all the way home.

Day two, we dropped her off and went back home to work and at the end of the day, upon picking her up, we were told that she had a better day, but that she had been very weepy. She was also holding tightly to her blanket which she has never done. She’s never taken to an item for comfort. My mummy heart throbbed in anguish.

That night, she clung to me as though she might never see me again.

Wednesday was the Cape Storm and we kept her back from school. No work got done. She was all over us and looked to be teething badly.

Thursday she woke up with swollen eyes, a blocked nose and looked as though she had been knocking back tequilas all night. She wanted only to lie on my chest and sleep and I felt, still feel, terrible that I had taken her and exposed her to these nasty bugs.
We took her to the doctor and were told she has ear and throat infection. She’s on antibiotics now and a number of creams and here’s the rub, of course, I again can’t get any work done but how do I send her back again and get over how utterly dreadful I feel.

I turned to my friends, two of whom have been sending their little ones to care for months now and they empathized and soothed some of my deepest fears. I even shared on a working moms group and am just amazed by how supportive everyone was and how many “it does get better” stories there were. The general theme was that obviously there will be worse days and these bugs and germs aren’t going to go overnight but Rosie is getting social interaction that I can’t provide on my own….however, I still have this heavy cloak draped over my shoulders.

I mean, how kak is guilt?!

I feel damned if I don’t work and damned if I do. I feel as though the world is judging me for being unable to balance a kid and a few jobs.
Also, what if Rosie feels abandoned? What if she keeps getting sick?

I’m now just focusing on getting her better and boosting her little immune system up and then we’ll try again…and I’ll try and stop my shoulders from drooping so low they drag along the ground.


I’d love to hear from you if you went/are going through the same thing as I am. How have you managed the guilt?

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