Just a few days ago while dropping Ariana off to school, a mummy was dropping of her little one (probably about 2yrs old) and he was screaming and crying his head off. I suppose his mummy was late and just kissed him and had the caretaker hang on to him as she walked off. I always knew that it was tough for a parent to leave their children while they go to work, but seeing that just made me sad and put a whole new light and have more respect to full time working parents.
Last night, I had to get ready for rehearsals. I’m currently working on a play for Joanna Bessey. It’s been a while since I’ve actually done some work besides teaching, so I’m really excited. But last night was the most difficult time I have EVER had to face.
Just as I served the girls their dinner, I told Ariana that I had to go to work later on and that her Grandad was gonna lie down with her before she goes to sleep. I usually sleep with her because I’ve weaned Ameera off night time feeds so now it’s just become a habit to sleep with Ariana. Anyways, Ariana was cool me going to work. So as I finished off making some homemade coconut oil, I unstrapped Ameera from her chair and took her to bed. Breastfed her for a while then put her in the cot. I don’t usually wait for Ameera to fall asleep as she is pretty good at self soothing.
After putting Ameera to bed, I prepped my stuff to wear for later then suddenly Ariana came upstairs crying. “What’s wrong?”, i asked. “I don’t want you to go to work all the time”, she replied. I told her that I was only going to be a couple of hours and that, as usual, when she wakes up i’ll be lying down right next to her. She refused and kept on crying. I started to get annoyed coz if she woke Ameera up, then that’ll be twice the battle and I’d be late for my rehearsals.
Bare in mind, Ariana hasn’t acted like this for a VERY long time. I think the last time she had acted this way about me going to work was when i first started teaching at the Enfiniti Academy back in July last year. She had just turned 3 at the time.
“I don’t want to you work. you will leave me all day and I will miss you all day.” I just get real sad when she starts talking like that and yes, Ariana can be a bit drama at times. So I explain to her that, “mummy needs to go to work so I can pay for your school, buy you ice-cream, take you and Ameera to the bird park… If mummy doesn’t work, we can’t do all these things.”.. She looked at me with tears streaming down her eyes and said, “OK.”
So… Ariana went down stairs and I hurried into the bathroom. As I’m having a shower, I hear a knock on the door. “Come in!”, I said but nothing came from the other side. Then there’s knocking again. I turn the shower off (maklumlah water pressure is crap.. have the bising shower pump la kan) and ask her to come in. Ariana suddenly says something. I couldn’t hear clearly because she had her mouth right at the edge off the door. Then suddenly, I see a RM1 note being slid through the side of the door. “Baby, come inside my love.. I can’t hear you.” She opens the door.
“Is that for me?”, I said referring to the RM1. “Yeah mummy. Here I give you some money so you can come sleep with me, you don’t have to go to work.” My heart melted!! I wanted to cry. “Awww.. Thank you my love.. I would take you if I could sweetheart but I can’t”, I said.
Daaaahhhh mula daahh…. “I wanna go with you, mummy!! I wanna go!!! Bring me please!! Take me to your work!!!”
I’m all dressed and ready to go. She gets her shoes on hoping that I will bring her. “Sayang, you can’t come. I’m sorry.” She screams and cries. I sit her down on my lap and remind her that I will be coming home. That there is no way in the world that I would ever leave her. I reminded her that every time I go to work or go out in general that I will always come home. That I’m always by her side when she wakes up in the morning. She continues crying but I had no more time to console her so I whipped my tudung on, grabbed my keys and went out.
Before you know it, Ariana runs right past me, opens the car door, jumps in and closes the door behind her. I say that I was gonna take Grandads car. She flips! Screaming, crying, reaching out for me from inside the car. I open her door and she jumps out. I then hurry into the drivers side, she chases me and as she tries to open my door, I lock it. I put the window down a little to remind Ariana once again that I wasn’t going to be long and that I loved her very much. She grabs onto the window. My dad then comes to intervene and holds on to Ariana, releasing her hands from the car. I drive out. I see her run to the front sliding door screaming for me and as I drive along the side, there she is hanging from the grills of the side sliding doors. All I can hear is, “MUMMMYYYYYY!!!!!”
As I drive on, that huge boulder of guilt slammed on me. I started to cry a bit. I hated the fact that I had to go through all that. I hated the fact that there were other mummies that have to go through far more worse than I had just gone through, even worse; on a daily basis. I hated it. But alas, this may not be the last time this happens as the play stages in July and there will be more bedtimes without mummy.
I don’t work a 9-5 job, I am a part-timer. Most times when I am working is when Ariana is in school. Ameera does cause a struggle at times but I’m usually gone only a couple hours a day. When I’m lucky, I usually bring the girls along when i have events and flexible jobs.. For that, I am truly blessed..
To all you full-time working mummies out there. I salute you! I admire your struggle. I admire your strength. Here’s to a better future for our children. He’s to a better future for all of us, inshaAllah.