Bad Case of the Guilts

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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?

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10 thoughts on “Bad Case of the Guilts

  1. My life changed because I started staying home rather than working each day. Like you though I take the kids out all the time. I have never left them long and probably for the same reasons as you: fears of what could happen when I’m not there, scared they will miss me too badly. I’m sure it gets a lot easier to leave as they get older. They will probably in fact be begging us to go for a while! 😉

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    • As it is, they seem to enjoy the attention they get when someone else has them now. Well my almost 18 month old does. Grandparents are good at spoiling them rotten! It’s still so hard. I always feel bad if I’m having fun somewhere on those rare occasions without them. And I’m sure you’re right about when they are older 😉

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  2. Hi I can relate totally. I don’t leave my twins for long and feel guilty even when I do! Even a few hours! But I’m getting better! I wished so long for them that I don’t want to spend much time away 🙂

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  3. Man, I used to feel that way with my first. I HATED it. The first overnight trip we took when she was about the age of your daughter I cried like a baby. It was awful. But, now that I have 3, I’m dying to get out of here any chance I get. But, my point is…I understand. 🙂 Thanks for linking up!

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    • It’s so hard first time around… But I’m hoping after one or two more, I will enjoy a but of kid free time too lol for now, I’m lucky she’s a social butterfly herself 🙂

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  4. When my eldest was 19-months-old my best friend (who had been a bridesmaid a couple years previously) got married in France.

    We looked into options. Going as a family (neither very affordable or enjoyable) and my going alone. Then, very good friends (who we trust – they are now Godparents to our youngest) offered to look after our child for nine days so we could go to France for then wedding and a holiday.

    Short story? We went. Sans bébé. I had some massive guilt before going (the Internet didn’t help – thank you attachment parenting sites) but long story short? She was fine. We called daily to check in and she was fine. We were prepared to come back if she wasn’t. There was a few weeks of extra snuggle on return, but she was none worse for it longer term as far as I can tell. My daughter has many people who love her in her life: us, her daycare provider, her grandparents, the friends who cared for her. Mom and Dad are always primary, but she knows others love and care for her too. I would have never have chosen to go on holidays without my child at this stage, but I didn’t want to miss my friends’ wedding – and looking back? I’m glad I went, from all perspectives.

    More broadly speaking did my life change suddenly after kids? Of course. Trips like the above are dealt with with much more thought. Life, generally, takes more planning. But, with planning, you don’t need to disappear solely into motherhood – unless you choose to.

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    • So great you still got to go to your friends wedding and that you had friends willing to care for your daughter during that time. Makes it a bit easier.

      Perhaps the fact that our daughter doesn’t attend daycare as when I work, her dad is home and vice versa, other than sometimes needing mums help. She is still holding onto her nursing a few times a day but mostly to go to sleep so I don’t want to inflict the pain of a grumpy toddler wanting boob on them hahaha not yet, but one day.

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      • Ah! We had very much weaned by the time we travelled. That is a challenge all on its own.

        This period is really so brief in the larger scale of life that while part of me wants life to get back to some sort of normal, the other part wants to relish every moment of this stage – all the bonding and cuddles and stories and wonder and little kid minutiae in all it’s glory. I think I blog in large part because I don’t want to forget that once it’s over.

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