Mummy Confession: I like to get out of the house alone. Or with someone who knows how to wipe their own butt as a minimum requirement…
….but when I do, I’m stressing about something BECA– USE I am alone.
I’m sorry to whoever celebrates potty training like it is an absolutely astronomical milestone, because I disagree. It is a big milestone, yes, but the truly humongous one comes when your child can use the toilet completely unassisted, and remembers to wash their hands (this last part is very important…especially when they insist “but they didn’t touch the toilet, so they don’t need to”).
We still haven’t gotten there yet. But I digress.
Usually my leaving the house alone is done in order to pay a bill, do grocery shopping, or otherwise maintain the household. (Don’t worry, I leave the kids in the watchful care of people I know and trust.) I think any parent would agree that it is essential to have some time where you are not on edge about who needs to get changed, use the bathroom, or which child has wandered off to practise their hand-eye coordination skills with the shiny new ceramics.
But it seems whenever I do venture without the little munchkins, I need to make sure I haven’t just left them somewhere. Because, you know, I would do that. This paranoid mum moment causes me to send a message to whomever is watching the children asking how they are doing (masked assurance that I haven’t just left them in the car and actually DID drop them at Grandma’s). After the return message of how great they are with an attached photo of a sleeping child is seen, a part of me calms down. Somewhere in the background though, I have a timer running for how much longer I can actually stay out, because, I mean, they are MY kids and I shouldn’t force someone else to watch them for an extended period.
As long as I have been a mother, I can’t seem to leave them for too long without feeling guilty that I am shucking my responsibilities. I yearn for that time alone, yet when I finally get it, I miss my babies. As crazy and hyperactive as they have been, and as frustrating as they were beforehand is forgotten, and is replaced with a longing to cuddle and smother them in kisses. This internal struggle continues on repeat from the first moment I held my baby in my arms.
As for the paranoia, I’m certain this is the prelude to the mothers’ over-reaction of “they must be dead if they don’t respond within 5 minutes” in every communicative situation. I’m turning into that mother.