This Plus That Equals... Unable to help

This Plus That Equals…. Unable to Help

This plus that equals…. unable to help

Here’s the latest instalment in my series of posts all about what makes our lives here at home tick. This week I’ve been feeling a bit helpless. Completely unable to help in fact.

L is struggling at nursery and I’m at a complete loss how to help him.

Why he goes to nursery

I started sending L to nursery when I returned to work for the first time. He continued to go even when I was nursery It was good for both of us.

It has become essential again, now I have returned to the workplace. I feel such a sense of helplessness. Knowing that I have to send him so I can still earn.

So I’ve tried to help him though it. But nothing I do seems to work. So there I am. Right back to being helpless again.


From the moment L started nursery he struggled with his drop off’s. He would cry and cling and generally dislike it. The second I was out the door he would be having a blast though. I hated that feeling in the mornings but it was OK because really and truly he was OK.

Then more recently we seemed to nail it and he was completely loving everything and would barely give me a backwards glance in the morning.

The last few weeks though, he has not only reverted back to previous form, but doesn’t seem to enjoy it at all. He will still have fun for a while but during the day he will keep on bringing up how much he doesn’t like being there.

This makes me feel so guilty as maybe he’s not actually OK anymore and I can’t do anything about it.


It’s quite simple really. He is sad. So I am sad.

I can’t fix that either. Not until I can make him happy again.

He’s fine the majority of the time. He’s OK with us and doesn’t seem to think about nursery unless it’s bought up. But for two days a week he is sad. That’s a lot for anyone, let alone a three year old.

I am grateful it’s not spilling over to his days away from nursery but I hate seeing him so sad.

A little dose of crazy

I worry about him so much. Just in general I worry. But this nursery thing has got me really worried.

I have tried all I can to help get him back on track, but I’m unable to help him any more. There’s nothing left to try. I think he just needs to make his own way.

I’m worried that this will affect him in some way though. I don’t want him to feel abandoned and I really don’t want this to affect how he will feel about school or anything else.

Then things get a bit extreme and my mind runs away with me. I start to worry about things that are wildly unlikely. What if when they take him for a walk to the park something happens to him and the last thing he remembers of me, is him in tears as I left.

Like I didn’t have enough to worry about without an endless list of crazy what ifs. But I can’t seem to stop myself.


I think I have read every internet article, forum, self help guide, parenting manual, available.

Yet I haven’t found a solution. I’ve spoken to his key worker at nursery. She is at a loss as well.

He just seems so sad. I have tried dropping him off super quick, literally popping him in the door and going. I have tried sitting with him and reading a book until he settles. I’ve dropped him off at the same time as his friends. Plus a million other things in between.

We have made a new reward jar together, which when he fills, he will get a treat. This has worked miracles for his overall behaviour, which whilst not bad, has it’s trying moments, but he would happily give all the rewards he has earned back if it meant he could stay home.

All this added together has made me feel so completely unable to help. That I am failing at being a mother.

Has anyone else had this problem?

Finally, I’m linking up with #TwinklyTuesday, #Blogstravaganza, #StayClassyMama and #fortheloveofBLOG


Bringing up Georgia

14 thoughts on “This Plus That Equals…. Unable to Help”

  1. have you considered a childminder instead? maybe he doesnt like being around so many other children, my boy never did, still doesnt, perhaps a smaller ratio would suit him better?

    1. We’ve considered it but I’m still hoping he’ll settle back down at his nursery. He’s been there two years now and he was entirely loving it I don’t know what has changed his little mind over things. I’d be more concerned about changing his setting now with school looming, I think it would be too much.

  2. Oh no I’m sorry he’s not happy, thats so hard! Could he be going through a stage? Maybe it’s a regression? I’m sure he will snap out of it soon, best thing to do is stay positive for him and for you. I find this really hard but I realise it’s for the whole family which makes me keep going. Thanks for sharing with #StayClassyMama!

  3. oh lovely, dont be hard on yourself! So many people I know are in similar situations but eventually something clicks and their little ones settled in. Fingers crossed it wont be long for you! #fortheloveofblog

  4. Firstly you are absolutely not failing at being a mother. Children go through phases all of the time, as much as this doesn’t make it easier right now maybe in time this will pass and he will begin to enjoy nursery again. I hope that things soon settle down and that you both start to feel better. Thanks so much for sharing with #Blogstravaganza xx
    The Tale of Mummyhood recently posted…#Blogstravaganza #21My Profile

    1. Thank you, I needed to hear that. 😍
      He’s now told me that a couple of boys had hit him and we’ve had a long chat about it. Plus we’ve got a holiday to look forward to do hopefully the break will do the trick xx

  5. poor you, it must be so distressing/ upsetting for you both. I really hope there’s an improvement for you.
    I was never a fan of nursery & school as a child, I’ve held my eldest out as long as possible, he’s going to have to go this next year before starting school just to get used to the separation.
    I wonder if you could maybe set up some kind of reward system? like a sticker each time he joins in an activity and enjoys it and when he’s got X stickers he gets a treat.
    keepmum recently posted…Thyroid Disorders: Recognise the symptoms!My Profile

  6. Oh that’s so sad. I hope he starts to enjoy himself – is it worth thinking about moving nursery? Or moving into childminder? Thanks for linking up with #forhteloveofBLOG

    1. I’m hoping that as we’re off on holiday soon and he’s having a little break that will help. It took me so long to get him settled here I’m loathed to try moving him. Fingers crossed the holiday works!

  7. Does his key person reiterate what he is telling you? That he’s not seeming to enjoy himself at nursery? I only ask because not only am I an Early Years Practitioner, but also my daughter is at nursery. She regularly tells me that she doesn’t want to go and doesn’t like it, and still after nearly 2 years clings to me and has a little cry at drop off. But I know full well that within 30 seconds of me leaving she literally has the best time ever. I know this because the staff tell me so, and also because I have the luxury of working in another room within her nursery, so I can sneak a look at her playing whenever I like! It definitely takes some kids longer than others to settle. Also changes at home can often affect how settled kids are in nursery, and sometimes even the most subtle changes in a kids life can have an effect – things that we wouldn’t even think of! And I think the biggest thing that I encounter (almost daily) is kids picking up and responding to the emotions of their parent – so if you’re not feeling great about nursery, sometimes they can feed off of that emotion… Hopefully, working closely with his key person should help, and maybe you could organise a time when you could observe him (without him seeing you) during the day (preferably not right after drop off) which might help to reassure you that he isn’t hating as much as you might think? I really hope for both of you that you get to the bottom of it. Sending love xx #StayClassyMama
    Aleena Brown recently posted…Father’s Day Giveaway: Don’t Steal My Thunder!My Profile

    1. Unfortunately for the first time ever his key person is also seeing that he’s not having fun and he is going up to her and saying he doesn’t like it.
      It definitely used to be 100% as you’ve described. He’d cry, make me feel guilty, then no sooner had I left he’d be having fun.
      Not this time round though, it’s why we’re worried.
      He did mention on Wednesday he’d been hit by two of the boys there, so we had a lovely chat with his key person about what he should do next time if it happens
      I’m hoping this will help. If not a few days off for half term might do the trick.
      Thank you so much for taking the time to help out my mind a bit at ease though.

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