Tonight is a practice run for tomorrow night. OH and I are going to a wedding, so we’re staying with the in-laws, and they’ll be putting his nibs to bed. I think perhaps I’m way too obsessive about my son… he’s 18 months old, and this will be the 3rd time I have ever left him with someone else to put him to bed (the other ones being my parents and his daddy) I need to get out more.

Except – isn’t that the way it should be? We have this immense bond with our children, and I can only suppose that it mellows over time, otherwise I can’t imagine how anyone ever send their kids off to school. Or the local shop. I just love being with him – don’t get me wrong, I love it when he’s asleep, too – but I don’t have any particular desire to leave him, and the idea of going away for, say, a whole weekend, horrifies me.

Friends tell me I need to get out more, that I have to let go a bit. The thing is though, when I do go out on my own, I’m not obsessing over him. I am quite OK on my own – I’d just rather be with him.

I have suddenly gone quite old-fashioned on this score. I know many people would disagree with me, or feel I am criticising them – and perhaps I am. I know enough to say that I am sure things change with time, and I also know that everyone’s situation is different, so I know I shouldn’t judge. But when I hear people going off for holidays, bundling their young kids off with the grandparents, I can’t help it. I just feel that parenthood SHOULD be hard work. It’s unbelievably rewarding – why should that come easy?

That is not to say I am staying in out of some weird sense of maternal martyrdom. I stay in because I want to, because I prefer being at home- and maybe slightly because I live in the middle of nowhere and it’s a logistical nightmare to go out in the evenings anyway. I wonder how differently I would feel if I lived in a city centre with friends just a stone’s throw away. But my friends now, for the most part, have children too, and we understand. A night out now is to be treasured, to be savoured – a few years ago, there were so many they became boring. I prefer it this way.

Twitter is full of successful mothers talking about their successful careers and social lives. I can’t help but wonder – where are the kids? I feel that children are such an important part of life, they shouldn’t just be another achievement to be ticked off the list. And, really, I doubt that’s how they think of them either. But that is how they come across. But I can’t help wondering if, in this day and age of immediacy and convenience, we are trying just a little too hard to find shortcuts in everything, and justifying an awful lot of “me-time” when perhaps our children need a little more of us. Parenting isn’t supposed to be easy – not saying it necessarily has to be constantly hard either – but maybe the image of having it all isn’t quite the right one.

I am sure that my nights out will resume in time… but for now I am content to donate my time to my son.

Looking forward to tomorrow night though…


~ by DelightingintheDetail on April 9, 2010.

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