What’s in a name?

So. Father’s day is here, and of course that makes me think of mothers day. Mothering Sunday. A day for mothers. And this, a day for fathers.

The link? Parenthood. Children.

Not, you will note, lead a single life again day.

I like these days purely because I’m a sentimental fool, and like having a card written by my husband from my son; I like having an excuse to watch a film when J goes to sleep rather than doing the ironing. I like giving my husband Lego as a father’s day present, and watching him wear a badge that says “Best Daddy Ever” on it. I like spending time with my son. Because he is what makes it a parent’s day. Not me, going off and pampering myself and forgetting about my family – it’s ABOUT my family.

Just a short post, this one, but it’s a thought that keeps recurring. I just never feel entirely comfortable with the idea that treating myself, pampering myself or in any other way having a “special day” means I have to ditch my son and go off on my own. He is my life these days, I miss him when I’m away from him, which really isn’t often. Perhaps these days to celebrate parenthood should, in the early years at least, be spent celebrating family, by spending time with family. Not by disappearing off to a spa somewhere.

Similarly, I can’t help but object to holidays and resorts who claim to offer “baby and toddler friendly holidays” offering tantalising glimpses of a pre-children life, stating “you can have that experience again, let us take care of the kids while you relax and remember your freedom.” Well perhaps I’m just a freak, but I don’t really want to go on holiday to desert my son in a creche while I mince about pretending I don’t have kids. I chose him, I chose this life, and I love it. I want a holiday to be toddler friendly because it comes equipped with ways to really let him participate, not just ways to sideline him while I enjoy myself. I want him to have experiences too. There’s just no getting away from it – it’s not just about me anymore. I wouldn’t have it any other way, and sure now and again I need some time to myself. But the times I’ve left him overnight and gone out, I have spent more time missing him than enjoying myself. Sad, maybe – or just accepting that my life has changed along with my priorities.

So come on holiday companies, experience day providers and gift generators. How about some ideas that include the kids, not just occupy them while I enjoy my day. I wouldn’t be a mother without him – so why not let him share the fun.


~ by DelightingintheDetail on June 20, 2010.

2 Responses to “What’s in a name?”

  1. You’re not a freak! That’s why I’ve just spent two weeks in a static caravan in Cornwall! We did the beach most of the days, or stuff for the boys (Lappa Valley is a big favourite with them!). I feel like this about work too – dare I say it!? Why stick them in a nursery and go off to work. They really are only this young once, make the most of it! (I do appreciate that some have to work, but there are those that go back to work because they feel they can’t ‘stick it’ at home – maybe I’m lucky and found writing so I am far from being a bored housewife! :D).

    I remember hearing someone say ‘this baby won’t change our lives’… I was like, how? It should do! And you should want it to! Otherwise what is the point of having a child if you’re not prepared to sacrifice things for it? I don’t miss my nights out on the town… I couldn’t cope with the hangovers anyway 😀

    However, you shouldn’t feel guilty about having the odd day of freedom. Sometimes those are needed to recharge the batteries. (Well I need them, as I’m sure I’m not as patient as I should be as a parent!). And my kids just love staying over at Nanny’s – so I wouldn’t want to deprive them!

  2. As someone whose children are grown, I find myself wishing I had appreciated the time when they were small even more than I did! It is a wonderful time. You mean so much to someone or several someone’s. Never again will you be able to make anyone as happy as you can make your kids by just simple stuff, drawing and painting with them, reading stories, taking them to the beach, even a dinky little local beach on a large pond which we had locally. I did these things. I just wish I did more of them and really appreciated what a wonderful time it was and how lucky I was to be able to be doing it.

    So, I agree with your sentiments completely!

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