During the course of Erin’s life, I can count on one hand the amount of full days I have spent completely alone with her. I talked about the reasons for this and my utter admiration for stay at home mums in my earlier post My Wife the Supermum. I now realise that it takes a certain set of skills to do what my wife, and plenty of other parents do.
When I wrote that post I had been feeling fears that I hardly dared speak about. I was scared about the damage being done to my relationship with my daughter due to my almost complete absence from her life during the working week. I no longer have this fear. Erin and I have a great relationship now. She seems to know the routine about when I should be home and what happens next (playtime, bath time, bedtime all with me) better than I do. She certainly gets mad if I am late home!
I wanted to write this post to talk about another aspect of parenting which I wasn’t really aware of until recently. The social side of parenting is scary as hell!
Lyndsey recently returned to work and her first day was an induction day 9.00 to 6.00.
I booked the day off work to be with Erin. We had a baby sensory class on that day and it would mark the first time I had taken her to a class without Lyndsey. I was quite looking forward to the class because Erin loves it. There is lots of singing and games and I love playing with her. There are also a couple of our friends who go.
As the class went on though I couldn’t help but feel that Erin would have got a lot more out of the class if Lyndsey had been there instead. When it came to taking part in the activities I found I was nervous about Erin getting too close to older kids in case she got hurt. I stayed back with her and didn’t really engage. Even when it came time to interacting with the other parents I found I was nervous. I was self conscious about how I must seem as a parent – scared that I would look a novice or have people judging me. This feeling is ridiculous because the people in that baby sensory class are all lovely. It is just a feeling within me.
It just adds to the admiration I feel for Lyndsey for everything she does. She takes Erin to 4 classes a week, every week.
I am sure that the more classes I took her to, the more comfortable I would feel. For Erin’s sake, I am glad that Lyndsey takes her and not me. I much prefer playtime at home.