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Is this CM not working out or am I being a PFB mother from hell?

(11 Posts)
FairMidden Thu 30-Jul-09 20:34:42

DS is just 2, and has been going to our CM 2 days a week since April. I liked her when we met, as she seemed laid back and unflappable. I posted here about him being a bit reluctant to go after she came back from her holidays.

The thing is, he's still saying "no like X's house" and he's now also really negative about her daughter (who he loved initially) and her pets. This morning he put the brakes on as we turned into her house and by the door he was crying and clinging onto me. And when I left a few minutes later he wasn't even crying, he just looked plain frightened and was reaching out for me really desperately.

Having said that, last week both days he went no problem - he was a bit teary for a few moments but then she distracted him and he waved me off and went to play. DP collects him and he's always fine, not overly bothered about DP's arrival or even going home. He's without fail completely hyperactive, exhausted and manic though.

Maybe some of it is that I feel guilty that I can't stay home with him and feel doubly rotten that I'm not leaving him somewhere he's happy. And it's my guilt that's skewing my view of the situation.

Or maybe he's actually unhappy and could be somewhere he'll be more settled. The CM says "he's fine", but she always says that. In a kind of not-that-bothered way.

I'm going to meet with her next week to talk it over but I'm thinking her laid-back-ness will mean she doesn't really see a problem. He just doesn't seem, to me, to have clicked with her though. But maybe it's too soon to expect it of a two year old? Except he doesn't seem so tense with family members who he sees less regularly.

Bit of turmoil going on here, can you tell?

nannyL Thu 30-Jul-09 21:34:04

in all honestly lots of 2 year olds can go through phases of not wanting to be left and making mummy feel guilty...

that said you should also follow your gut instict.

maybe you could call 5 mins after you leave and here if he is still crying or if theres a peaceful background and he has got over it wink

sundew Thu 30-Jul-09 21:38:51

I think the telling thing is that he is not bothered about going home - that would tell me he is happy at your CMs.

All children (and especially around 2) go through a clingy, making you feel like the worst mum in the world phase. I remember it well with both my dds.

I would do what nannyL suggests and ring after 10 minutes or so if he has been really upset - and see how he is.

hercules1 Thu 30-Jul-09 21:39:50

COuld it be partly because he only goes for 2 days? I'm not suggesting you increase his days but wonder if this is part of the problem.

preggersplayspop Thu 30-Jul-09 21:42:32

My DS is in a nursery rather than a CM but he went through a similar phase a few months back (he is now 2.2) when he would say 'nursery no like it!' and cry and cling at drop off. It was really horrible and it went on for weeks. Nursery always said he was fine a couple of minutes after I left and indeed when I went to pick him up he would often run off and say he wasn't coming home!

They were quite laid back about it, but I think it was that it wasn't a big issue at all because he got over it so quickly and I'm guessing they probably see it quite a lot at that age.

It does make you feel really really guilty though and I went through a phase of thinking I should pack my job in and stay at home.

I would also suggest phoning shortly after drop off and see how he is then. I'm sure it will pass over time though.

tattycoram Thu 30-Jul-09 21:42:59

My DS had a very similair hting with his childminder at around the same age, and it was worse after a three week break over the summer. One thing that really helped was letting him take a doll with him that he was really attached to - have you tried that? I think it's quite a normal phase, but I'm no expert. It sounds very upsetting. Could you give yourself a time limit to see if it gets better and look into some other childcare options?

bouncyball Thu 30-Jul-09 21:51:56

Sounds quite normal to me. Agree he could take things to show her like drawings or photos from home. Give him something to focus on. Could someone else drop him off. Is it about leaving mummy or her? You could actually go back 5 mins later with toy he left in the car then you could see/ hear what is going on. Leave toy on door step with little note so as not to upset him again! Could she greet him with favourite toy/activity to take his mind off you? Above all else remember you chose her because you need to trust her!

FairMidden Thu 30-Jul-09 21:58:16

Thanks for all your thoughts.

DP doesn't believe me when I say I'd rather he was crying because he didn't want to come home - it might make me feel crap but at least I'd know he was happy there!

I think I'll see how it goes tomorrow and see if there's anything he wants to take. He isn't that attached to anything here though. And I'll talk to her about it sometime quiet next week.

It's a horrible, pit-of-the-stomach misery when I think about it, at the moment.

HSMM Thu 30-Jul-09 22:14:09

I am a CM. Children are often unsettled when they come back to me after their holidays, but are fine playing with their CM friends. How about trying this ... take something which is 'special' to you (an old scarf, or something he could cuddle or wear). When you get to the door, take it off and ask him to look after it for you until you come back? Might work? You know your DS best. Do the phoning thing as well, because you will soon hear if he is screaming in the background (although you may be unlucky and phone just as he has tripped over). Go with your gut instinct at the end of the day though. Also arrange a hassle free time (not drop off, or pick up) to chat with the minder.

danthe4th Thu 30-Jul-09 22:15:44

He will pick up on your vibes,and mind you don't talk too much about it to your dh when he could be listening they soon pick up on these things. Tell her you're concerned that he isn't happy, I would much prefer a mum to tell me so we could work together so everyone is happy. I f this was a child that came to me I would try to take photos during the course of the day so we could show mummy at pick up, he would be encouraged to tell me what he may like to do again the next time he comes, what he didn't like doing, he needs to feel he belongs and giving him a bit of control, however young, makes them feel valued in the setting.
She may well be laid back and confident but you need to speak to her, it's her job to make you happy as well.

Ripeberry Thu 30-Jul-09 22:41:41

I've helped out at a pre-school a few times over the years and lots of the younger ones will cling to their parents (always seems to be the mums) and scream blue murder as soon as the mum manages to get away they happily get on with playing.
It's a guilt trip! wink
My DD2 is 4yrs old and sometimes she won't let her dad, dress her or do anything with her but it's all about having control over mum grin

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