Merry Christmas, you bad bad mum!

Vigorously, I slam the car door shut and run in the direction of the nursery. I notice the pulsating arteries on my neck. My thoughts are still in the last meeting. A man in front of me dodges my military stride and turns around abruptly. He examines me. The heels of my pumps make a loud clicking sound in the rhythm of my pulsating arteries as I am heading for the glass door of the multi-coloured house with tunnel vision.

Secretly I try to hide the cookies I just bought under the handmade ones on the plate. I feel like being in a parallel world.

Only now do I gradually slow down and force myself to participate in the slowness of my environment. I am scanning the place. Parents, kids everywhere. I didn´t even know there were so many kids in the nursery. The big dining hall is almost bursting from the amount of people. Children- and adult voices mix with Christmas songs in the background. A turmoil which is nearly overwhelming me. The cookie buffet is right in front of me. Almost secretly I try to hide the cookies I just bought under the handmade ones on the plate. I feel like being in a parallel world. I just came out of a white meeting room with video conference and business plan, a clearly structured agenda, communication rules and diplomatic discussions. And now this chaos of colours, lights, smells and voices. In the corner of my eyes I see one of the carers running towards me, frantically waving with her arms. “Mrs. Feldmann” she is calling. “Here you are at last. I already tried to call you at home, but no one was picking up, only the answering machine.” Wondering, I look at her and then at my watch. 14:15. “The flyer was saying “from 2pm”” I think, and ask myself, why she presumes that I am sitting at home, waiting for her call. “Yes, I am sorry, there was a lot of traffic on the freeway today” I try to excuse myself. At the same time, I ask myself, how all the others managed to show up here in the middle of the day. I look around. “Where is my little boy?“ I ask her. Her eyes are are drilling right into me, blaming. „He´s the only one, who still sits in the sleeping room on his mattress, waiting for his mum.” My heart is pounding, irritation turns to anger. My poor toddler. I ask myself why he was not allowed to play with the others in the decorateRabenmütter Weihnachtend room. “I get him” I say and run in the direction of the dorms.

I have barely opened the door when he´s already rushing at me. “Mummy, where were you?” he asks. The apprentice in this room throws a disgusted glance at me. “He was the last one” she whispers while passing me by. I give my son a hug, holding him very tightly. Together, we go in the direction of the Christmas songs. Just as we arrive, the official programme starts. A carer opens the party with a guitar song, to which the kids sing “Suzy Snowflake”. The mums and the few daddies start to sing along. I kneel down with my son in the crowd and and try to keep up with the role-model-mums. After the chorus I unfortunately run out of text. I realise that the song leaflets were already lying in the entrance area for weeks. It seems that I am the only one who didn´t manage to learn all the songs by heart until now. I am humming over the missing lyrics.

I feel more and more uneasy and in the wrong place here.

Between the songs, there is the chance to get some hot chocolate and hot punch. The mummies line up with their Christmas cups, which they brought from home. I take a 2 € coin from my purse and hold it in front of the nose of the dude on the counter. “Could you borrow me a nursery cup for a donation of 2 €?” “If absolutely necessary” he grumbles and grabs one of the hard plastic cups. I feel more and more uneasy and in the wrong place here. I don´t fit into this “All so wonderful, come let´s hug” world, I think. When I look up, I see a dad in pink shirt, blue tie and blue jacket. “Also just rushed in from work?” I ask him and hope to meet someone on my wavelength. “Yes” he replies, “my wife would have grilled me alive would I have been late today” he whispers to me. I smile at him and push a cookie into my mouth. “Once more I am outing myself as non-role-model-mummy” I am thinking.

“You´re the best mummy in the world“ he says with shining eyes.

Just as I am getting ready to hum the next song, my son is pulling on my business costume. I kneel down to him and pad his head. “You´re the best mummy in the world“ he says with shining eyes. I hold him very tightly and wipe away a little tear running down my cheek.

Screw bad conscience!

Yours, Lisette

Lisette Feldmann 2015Our blog Author writes under the alias Lisette Feldmann. As a PhD scientist she works as modern leader in a large multinational. Privately, she tries to strike a balance between family and career.

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