My daughter Lily is almost 18 months old. She is an only child (although we are working on that). She doesn’t go to day care. Instead, since I only work part time, she stays home with daddy when mummy is at work. It’s one of the perks of one partner doing night shift and the other finishing before they start.
Lily is pretty lucky. She has one or other of us, if not both, almost 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, whether we are home or out and about, seeing new things or visiting people.
Of course there have been a couple of exceptions. A wedding. A gig for Mummy’s favourite band. A few trips to the cinema. Mummy working an hour or two late a handful of times.
On these rare occasions either of the grandmother’s steps in. They love it. In fact, sometimes they seem to push for it. Even though I just want to hold on tight and not hand her over.
Although these times are rare, it doesn’t stop me feeling guilty every occasion we choose to go somewhere without our daughter. Some part of me breaks a little bit inside, thinking about the fact that she maybe feels abandoned or that we may miss some important milestone. And of course there’s that little bit of fear that something bad will happen. She may get sick… hurt. Who knows. Accidents happen.
I never expected to be ‘that’ parent. You know the one. The one that doesn’t want to leave their child. The one that never goes anywhere they can’t take their child. Okay, so it’s not that extreme. I grin and bare it sometimes. But not without feeling like a bad mother and wanting to rush back to hug her.
It’s a little crazy fearing those worst case scenarios. She is safe. She is happy. Generally she barely notices us coming and going. She ends up having far too much fun exploring new things or playing new games, being spoilt by her grandparents. “Do you want some chocolate Lily?”
What is amusing though is the fact that I will look at other people with babies and toddlers who suddenly stop living when they become parents… because they feel having a young child means they have to stay home and do nothing. We know people like that. That isn’t us. Lily loves going out and about. Our life hasn’t changed too drastically. I just prefer doing things she can do too.
Kids adapt! Hopefully parents do too…
Love just makes us all a little bit crazy … clingy… antisocial…etc
Do you ever feel guilty when you are away from your child? Did your life suddenly change after kids?