Does everyone love hanging about with their kid every day, all day?
I love Jess to bits,I really do. I love her enough that if I hear a noise I will loudly thump my way down the stairs (the thumping obviously scares the bad man away) to scope out the place, checking the doors, kinnnda checking the bathroom – you know, like the bad man will be hiding in there waiting for his opportune moment when I’m doing a whiz and he’ll cut me into tiny pieces. If I hear a noise and Jess isn’t in, then I’ll pull the covers over my head and hope for the best.
So you see I do like her, alot.
But do I want to spend every waking moment being asked for ‘biscuit, biscuit, biscuit!!’ – No. No I do not.
I love coming to work. I may not like it everyday, there’s days when I would rather be at home alone or spending time with David that doesn’t involve being held hostage to the demands of Jess or sometimes I just wanna hang with Jess and go to the soft play. But usually I’m up for hiding at my desk all day.
Since I turned 16 I have always had a job, I first worked in a clothing store then at 18 in a bowling alley and now I’m a research scientist. It’s not that I am hugely career driven, I’d say its my independence. I like being at work and I don’t feel guilty for it either.
I especially don’t feel guilty on mornings like today. After having a banana, milk and cereal, Jess wanted a biscuit. At 19 months old she is diving head first into the terrible twos, something my parents are more than smug about. Apparently I was a little headstrong terror that would scream and stamp until I got what I wanted. Jess is following suit. We told her ‘no, it’s too early for a biscuit’, cue tears and repeating of ‘biscuit’ more times in one minute than you can blink your eyes. Her mood isn’t any better when I drop her off at my parents, she sees her fruit snacks for the day and wants the apple *sigh – I know exactly what is going to happen. I try to explain that she’s just being a greedy wee shite and that the fruit is for lunch, she cries and cries, goes full throttle toddler and engages sweaty snottery scream mode. For an little extra flare Jess throws her arms around my neck telling me ‘no’ after I ask for a kiss goodbye as I need to leave (late as per) for work.
Jess is not a snuggler. Never has been. I try sneak my arm round for a cuddle but she will push it away. Dave and I desperately try to encourage snuggling, we have this fantasy of having a family movie night on the sofa, 3 little monkeys all lined up snuggling under a blanket. It’s never happened, not even close to it. The only time Jess has cuddled in is when she is ill, so this morning when she was crying for me not to leave while borderline choking me I knew she was at it. Emotionally manipulating me. She’s so wise.
I did have a fleeting thought of staying with her. Then my senses kicked in. I did not want to be with Jess when she is in one of her high maintenance moods. Oh no, am I a terrible mother?! Doubt it. It’s better for both of us to be apart when she is in one of those moods. I bet 5 minutes after I was gone she was either asleep or chilling with her granda. However, if it was just Jess and I alone, we would be moaning at each other, she would get upset I would get upset and we would both need to nap it out.
I will gladly put my hands up and say that I get majorly stressed out when Jess is having one of those days, we are too similar and very stubborn. I say no I mean no. Jess says biscuit she means biscuit. Something’s got to give and it’s usually my sanity.
So no, I don’t enjoy being with my child all day every day.
I need work to escape from being mum and return to being Kirsty. Plus, I enjoy being able to have a cup of tea with a biscuit in complete PEACE. I don’t feel guilty for it, the odd worry will pop in my head about how being at work affects Jess and if she is OK, but that’s about it.
I was once asked if I felt guilty for being at work, I replied ‘no, I love it’, the woman gave me a strange look and informed me she felt terribly guilty. Poor thing. I wondered if I am a terrible mother for enjoying being at work, it was a short lived worry. I was too busy enjoying an early morning snoop around the internet while sipping tea.
Every family is different. Ours works, at the moment, by giving mum time away from the miniature beast version of herself for most of the day. If that works for you too, don’t feel guilty. Never feel guilty for doing what works for your family, whatever that may be!
And I really don’t feel guilty about leaving a little demon child with my parents all day!