I Am The Mum Whose Kid Won't Settle At Nursery

I Am The Mum Whose Kid Won't Settle

I am the mum of *that* kid who screams at the nursery door every morning when I drop her off. The mum no-one wants to be. The mum the other mums shoot pitying looks at. The mum who the nursery staff must surely think is somehow making this harder on her kid.

I am the mum who puts a brave face on as she sets foot through the nursery gates each morning. Who smiles through gritted teeth at the sidelong glances that the other mums – whose kids don't scream the place down – throw my way.

I am the mum who spends the entire 90 minute 'settling in' nursery session sobbing in the Co-op car park because she just abandoned her three year old in the care of total strangers. The mum who ignored her child's high-pitched pleas of 'Don't leave me here with them, Mummy.' Who wonders if this might be doing some sort of real damage beyond just fraying her nerves to shreds.

I am the mum who jokes on Facebook about the harrowing nursery drop-off to hide her angst. The mum who cracks easy jokes at her own expense rather than endure another awkward conversation where someone tries to dispense unsolicited advice about how to toughen up that precious baby girl.

I am the mum who tries to ignore the thinly-veiled hint that she has somehow failed her daughter because she cries when she's left at the nursery door. The mum who inwardly believes it's no bad thing that her child would rather be with her mother than in the company of strangers and other rowdy kids. Who lies awake at night dreading tomorrow's re-run and wondering if perhaps she *has* done something wrong to make this rite of passage so much harder than it seems to be for all the other mums.

I am the mum who secretly contemplates giving up work in order to avoid another week of leaving her daughter screaming till she's purple in the face. The mum who's never heard her daughter make that sound before, nor ever seen her descend into such distress. Who wonders if it's really worth it for a few extra hours of work.

I am the mum who hides in the coffee shop where the other mums talk loudly about how *their* children dance into nursery without a backwards glance. The mum who refuses to feel the guilt that others seem to want her to, just because her daughter is quite happy to just go on hanging out at home with her.

I am the mum who feels wrung out by bedtime but who summons the energy to talk up the excitement of going to nursery yet again tomorrow. The mum who wonders if wine on a school night is sometimes justified. Who makes a pot of tea instead and dreads to think about how long this phase could last.

I am the mum who fleetingly contemplates home-schooling but who knows this too shall pass. The mum who knows that doesn't really help right now. Who would like to pull a nursery sickie and spend just one more day hanging out at home together – doing jigsaws, singing silly songs, making banana cake and bouncing on the trampoline – without anyone prising us apart or trying to tell us that if I'd only been a more accomplished / assertive / less fun mum, I wouldn't be the mum going through this awful stage of mum-hood.

I am the mum who knows tomorrow is another day.

TOPICS:   Parenting Tips


  • Bianca F.

    Or school lol xx

  • Suzanne G.

    Love it xx

  • Amy R.

    Love this:ok_hand_tone2: very true xx

  • Abby C.

    this is me :joy::joy:

    • Kerry T.

      Awww! This got to me lol!

  • Christine H.

    ur not on ur own:wink::open_mouth:xxx

  • Lisa W.

    this is me each morning :joy::joy::joy: x

    • Elaine M.

      Lol. It's not a bad thing that he would rather be at home with you! X

    • Lisa W.

      that's very true xx

  • Bianca F.

    Half of them is so true. She as been up my arse all night since getting home, then when I put her to bed screamed and screamed till I went up and laid with her, once she knew I was there she turned over and went to sleep. She must thing I'm going to leave her. Xxx

  • Dawn H.

    Me too :grinning:

  • Claire R.

    Totally relate to this xx

  • Shama T.

    I can totally relate :)

  • Helen A.

    I'm this mummy only with a boy :cry::cry::sweat::pensive::pensive:

  • Chelsea B.

    This is me the past 3 days :pensive:

    • Tanya P.

      Same here hate leaving him upset

  • Kim S.

    I can relate to this so bad. It is however my husband that has to go through the pain and it is so hard xx

  • LesleyAnn R.

    This is me

  • Chloe D.

    He is getting better xxx ♡♡♡ xxx

  • Teresa G.

    Lol Catherine and Christine .. I think it's just being a mummy .. I feel ur pain xx

  • Kate H.

    This is me for the past 3 days only with my boy!! He's struggling to settle.

    • Charlie B.

      Same, it's so hard x

    • Kate H.

      It's awful isn't it. I had to go get him yesterday coz he got so worked up. Cried today when we got there i left in pieces . It's heartbreaking

  • Shirley M.

    Hate leaving my sunshine when he's upset even thou they say he's off playing after a few minutes , I'm the mum who rings to check he's ok and settled :kissing_heart:xx

  • Louise H.

    she will get there, and it will all be a distant memory :kissing_heart::kissing_heart: xx

  • Emma K.

    This is me an I hate it :cry:

  • Julie T.

    Your not the only one xxx

  • Craig H.

    Our big boy will be fine:kissing_heart:

  • Hazel G.

    hope this helps :sparkling_heart::sparkling_heart:

  • Anneica A.

    I know Hun I have to try and focus on how happy she comes out of school and not how sad she is going into school :grinning:

  • Gemma H.

    As a mum I can relate to this but in defence I too am a nursery nurse! It s a shame that there is a stigma parents carry of guilt that they have to work and so leaving their children with strangers, but there has to be a mutual trust! If parents aren't happy neither will the children be! Children will pick up on your anxiety! Ask to spend time at the nursery to show u enjoy the place, get to know the staff so if u feel happier u pass on the vibes to your child. I also know that children do cry until they get used to the fact mum and or dad will come back! I also have mums who cry when their children don't cry!!!! Stay strong, it does get better! X

    • Amy C.

      I used to be a nursery manager and would spend my days reassuring other mums, my first daughter came to work with me until she was 2 and I changed careers, this time round my heart breaks, deep down I know she's fine and I love the nursery she is in, she does however cry every time I drop her off, I never let her see my stress but today was her first day in after being off poorly she was so upset and even though I know she would settle quickly I still sat in the car and cried :cry: xx

    • Gemma L.

      Totally agree i am also a parent and a nursery nurse

  • Katie H.

    Me every morning pass 2 weeks I get a phone call or a text from a mummy that normal a late drop off saying he fine no crying or he still upset but slowly calms down X he does it every morning without fail I'm pass the guilt trip now lol

  • Mollie H.

    Oh wow this is me word by word!! Wow! Xxx

  • Sarah M.

    So true xx

  • Rachel C.

    I feel more judged that my two girls can't wait to get to nursery...Luckily they also get excited when I pick them up, so I think that balances the judgement.

    • Amy C.

      My eldest daughter loved nursery she used to get excited to go too that's a good thing you can go to work knowing you have placed them somewhere they feel safe and happy xx

  • Maureen B.

    Just have still thinking about it now x

  • Sammie C.

    I saw it earlier and thought of myself too haha :joy: he is getting there though and seems to be loving it. Separation anxiety is just the worst xx

  • Victoria K.

    I literally could have written this :slight_frown::cry:

  • Leanne C.

    Me too :disappointed:

  • kb1992

    my little girl cried today and clung to me, she also clung to me yesterday. I am this mum, I'd love to wrap my little girls up in cotton wool and keep them with me forever. It totally breaks my heart to leave her! 

    • kb1992

      she does tell me how lovely her time was when I pick her back up though! It still doesn't make leaving her there any easier!

  • Abi M.

    My little one is struggling to settle and I feel awful, don't no what to do for the best. He begs not to be took and then cries something or just gives you this really sad look it breaks my heart. If anyone has any advice it would be much appreciated X

    • Hayley R.

      No advice really but just stick with it. I'm a mum and a nursery nurse. Luckily my little one never cried going to nursery probably mainly to do with the fact I was in the next room. But I have seen children cry no more than cry almost clinging to their parents left and sometimes the parent had barely left the building and they were happily playing. Maybe give the nursery a call 15-20 mins after you've left to ask how they are getting on. 9 times out of 10 they will be happily playing and it'll just be you left crying. It will get better though promise.

    • Abi M.

      thank you for the comment x I will stick with it its just so hard seeing him like that. He's in nursery school, going to speak to the teacher and see how he is getting on X

  • Charlotte B.

    Just wanted to say - I was "that Mum". During all the years at nursery and then for the first few weeks of reception and year one, even afew tears at the beginning of year 2. But my daughter skipped into school at the beginning of year 5 earlier this month, having grown up into a confident and self assured not-very-little-any-more girl. Good luck to all of you going through it now.

    • Amanda D.

      This made me chuckle, as coincindentally I was just saying to my daughters reception teacher this morning that by year 5 im sure she'll skip in with a smile :-) my little girl has cried nearly every morning since nursery class and now I get foot stomping and sulky faces. I so cant wait until she goes in with a smile. Glad to hear your little girl settled in eventually :-) x

  • Helen B.

    I mean it's not nursery but still...

  • Claire J.

    My little boy goes to pre-school without a problem but it still doesn't stop me from having some of these feelings and thoughts....the guilt of a working mummy unfortunately! :disappointed:

  • Rhiannon R.

    This is so me :point_up::persevere::cry:

  • Stacey C.

    I had to pull my little boy out of nursery as he got separation anxiety from me leaving . He was clingy and sobbing he would just mostly sit on his own , walk around the playground on his own and it broke my freaking heart ! So brought him home after a week of it getting worse . It was harder for me as nobody but my mum has ever babysat him from newborn so he wasn't used to me leaving him at all . He's in yr 1 now and doing real well and got over his anxiety

  • Laura C.

    I hate it :-( although today was a better day xxx

  • Lindsay J.

    i remember it well. Hopefully she'll settle soon xxx

  • Rachel H.

    This was me! My twins are nearly 3 years old and have been going to nursery since they were 11 months. Every single drop off, without fail, ended badly. I tried everything, but no matter what, they would scream, tantrum, cling to my legs 'mommy don't leave me'. I hated going, even though I knew the nursery staff loved them and looked after them well. 2 days into being in the Pre School room (at the same nursery!), that all changed, they love going to nursery, talk non stop about the staff and what they do when there. I'm so happy, no more feeling like a rubbish mum, crying on the way to work! you're a star, boys love TT :kissing_heart: xx

    • Louise H.

      Awe thanks :grinning: This is a lovely start to the day while I'm sat in the staff room having a quick cuppa before the kiddiwinkles come in. Your boys have done amazingly well & come on in leaps & bounds. My girls here are all fantastic so high five to them too :grinning: xx

  • Laura C.

    I hope so xxx

  • MaidenDevon

    I am that mum too.  Separation anxiety in little ones is really distressing and much more than a child being (quite naturally) a little upset at the nursey drop off. I had this every day at nursery for 3 years, then the next 2 years at school. Fingers crossed we seem to be coming out the other side, but it is truly emotionally exhausting trying to be so positive and upbeat every morning.  I must be such so much fun to be with my daughter never wants to be away from me

  • Nichola M.

    This is me and my son xx

  • Charlotte M.

    Aww he will get there :thumbsdown::thumbsdown::thumbsdown: loved it when he got out bless him xxx

  • Rebecca S.

    This is me. Everyday for the past 2 years :cry:

  • Gemma G.

    My daughter was like this when she first started at nursery (she had just turned 1). It was totally heart breaking leaving her when I could hear her scream for me and I was that mum sat outside nursery crying in the car, contemplating quiting my job so that I didn't have to put either of us through the daily trauma. BUT, 3 years on, she recently left the same nursery to start school. She loved being at nursery and the staff there so much that she asks almost daily if she can visit them. I'm now currently back to square one with settling her into reception as well as dreading going through it all again at the nursery when my son starts in January. BUT as much as I dread it, I do feel soooooooo much better about it all because I know it will pass and I know they will end up loving their new environments and that they will be well cared for.

  • Sian B.

    Can so relate to this with my son every time we went to nursery for about a year he would create so much and for the first few weeks of primary school I felt horrible and would sit in the car crying.. 2 years on when I look at him eager to get to school I wouldn't think it's the same child. So to anyone who is experiencing this right now.. it doesn't last forever. Xx

  • Debbie H.

    I literally couldve written this. My daughter has never settled and she's now in year 4 and been going to preschool since she was 2. 6 years down the line and still no better. There is only a very few people she will stay with and I think she has separation anxiety. I do truly beieve school isn't for every child. If I could home school her then I think I would as it breaks my heart :broken_heart:

  • Claire G.

    Me too!!! Little one has been going since she was 1 - she's just turned 3! Hated the baby unit and cried continuously, moved up to the next class and hated that and wanted to go back to baby unit, now moved to pre school, hates that too and wants to go back to Tweenies :see_no_evil: every morning is a battle, used to beat myself up constantly but now I just put it down to being an awesome/fun mum and she'd rather hang out with me than school, praying she starts enjoying it soon though xx

  • Jennie B.

    Love this. I could have written this all myself!!! Brought tears to my eyes reading and remembering that horrible feeling of dread the night before and the heartbreaking torture of the drop off for 2 years!! I don't know how we managed for that long, but we did. Just feel so much guilt that she suffered so much heartache even to the point of making herself sick each morning, but I had to work, there was no choice! :cry: I am a nursery nurse and was going to a different setting to look after other people's pride and joys. I did a very good job at hiding my guilt and emotions from my daughter and know it's difficult on both nursery and families. Thank god pre school is a different experience and she's so happy! No dread or stress, just pure excitement! :grinning: x

  • Lucie S.

    This is me now with my 3 year ild. It breaks my heart and I feel like a bad mummy. He's been like this for a year and will probably be like this for the next year. I'm reassured that within 5 minutes of me practically running out of nursery he's back to been a happy boy. Just wish he didn't make me feel so guilty. His 2 year old sister walks in no probs. :broken_heart::broken_heart::broken_heart:

  • Annie B.

    I read the first few sentences then felt like crying ha ha! I'll read it when I haven't just applied my work makeup :flushed::flushed:

  • smalley82

    this is me with both my girls 

  • Kelly C.

    My baby cries every time I leave her. Just got to leave, get in the car and drive, no looking back. She actually loves nursery but also loves to mess with my head and stops crying about 30 seconds after I've gone!

  • Jen L.

    I am a mum of a boy who is the type of child to go skipping into school (he has just started) he never cried being dropped off at nursery, I actually had to make him wait for me to go in he was that eager. Im telling you this because im proud of how confident he is, it isnt to shun other parents or to make them feel like failures. Its because he has a big sister who started nursery at 18 months, was in full time (to work round my flexible hours job). She cried every single day till the day she started school, she isnt shy, she is very confident and bright (she is now 9). I got told she would stop crying within 5 mins of me leaving her, so it got easier to just leave her as quick as possible so she could get over it quicker. They also have a cousin who didnt settle into preschool very well, she didnt stop crying, and each day got worse, so was advised to put it off for a little bit. She is now older and settled into school really well. Im telling you my story to say dont beat yourself up, each child is different, can cope differently in different situations. Its a big world out there for them. Tey not to show your emotions of how nervous it is as a parent to leave them with total strangers. keep your chin up parents, they will all grow up and these moments will become memories. Xx

  • Kylie R.

    lots of people on here going through same thing

  • Izzy P.

    Yes this Mum is Me... My little boys been going to nursery for a year now and we still have difficult days. x :cry:

  • Alison S.

    I didn't send mine to Nursery on account of his breath-holding when he cried. The Health Visitor said he would grow out of it by 2 years of age,but he still had occasions when he did it at school aged 6. I wouldn't have settled knowing he could pass out at any time. I didn't work then anyway so it was only fair I let someone who needed a place take one.

  • Lindsay D.

    It's not easy leaving kids at nursery but I know in my experience (I work in a nursery) even children who cry coming in for 99% of the cases they stop the minute their mum / dad walk out and close the door.

  • Vikki B.

    This is totally me :see_no_evil::joy::joy: although today was tonnes better .. Yes she was sobbing walking to school but she asked for her teacher for a cuddle when she got there and finally today didn't ask for "mummy" she just went straight to her teacher!! :raised_hands_tone1::raised_hands_tone1: so it's nice she is getting comfort from them! But it does feel like it's only my child screaming in the morning :joy::joy: xx

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