Thursday, 24 October 2013

The Life of A Parent is Certainly Not The Same As it Was Before.....


This is my best friend and I on a night out. This me had no worries and few responsibilities, I'd just graduated from uni. In fact I was single too and life was good. 
Obviously since then I met my husband, had a baby and have gotten married. My life is full of responsibility now and very very differant from the one I led when that picture was taken. I wouldn't change it for the world, my daughter and husband are wonderful. I love my family dearly - but I don't just consider the 'traditional' idea of family, and my best friend is like family too.
I first met her in 2005 and she's been there for me and we share some amazingly funny memories. I'm only sad that I don't get to see her more these days. It's not always easy to claw back some time for myself and friends as the mother of a toddler and with a husband who has a rather demanding job. 
Certain parenting books and even parents I've met would have you believe you are being selfish if you ever want any time away from your children. I know many many parents who get through the first two years at least of their child's life and haven't been away from them for a single minute. Seriously though, I just couldn't be the parent I am without taking a little time for myself now and again to reflect and recharge. The baby and toddler stages are full on, 24/7 times of your child's life where you need to provide them with all your attention, all of the time. I refuse to feel guilty if I occasionally need time to take care of myself too. 
Lately this can take the form of going swimming for an hour, or seeing my best friend for a coffee and a much needed chat and catch up. This is self care at a very much needed basic level, what use would I be to my daughter if I was exhausted mentally all the time? I am very lucky that I sometimes get to do this, I know many mothers just don't have the option. I really believe in a lot of the attachment parenting principles and I'm lucky in the fact that my daughter has a really strong bond with her grandparents, perhaps if she was upset by my absence for a few hours then I may feel differently. I'm not sure how I'd feel if it was somebody I didn't really know (baby sitter, nursery teacher etc) but I guess I will have to cross that hurdle at least when she goes to nursery in 18 months time. I guess it depends how you interpret it, but to me leaving my daughter with other people who she also has a very strong attachment to (my parents) does not make my attitude any less 'attachment parenting' - besides, who needs labels anyway? I think so many people get into the trap of striving for an unrealistic perfection portrayed in a book instead of doing what feels right and natural for them.
So I'm not going to feel guilty about 'looking after myself' as well as my daughter. It helps me be the parent I want to be.

3 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing this. You are so right, so much guilt can be felt these days even with the choice of mothers who stay at home or go back to work. Perhaps we should all judge each other a little less!

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  2. Aw this post is so sweet ♥ love you wifey and well said xxx

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