Today I am one of the Other Mothers. The Lucky Mothers.
Today my son is at his fathers for the whole weekend - he's running the Sport Relief Mile today. 3 people have said at work "Oh, I'd love to have that peace for the weekend!" and throughout his growing up time I was always asked "Don't you want some time to yourself?" "Why isn't he in nursery?" "Leave him at the grandparents and have a night out."
That didn't work for the AC and I, and when Rich and I talked about it, it didn't work for us as a family either. He regretted leaving the BG as much as they had done, but I knew why she'd had a childminder and I agreed with his logic. I loved having her round at ours, (except the night when she wasn't picked up til after pub chuck out! Long story.) because she was brilliant company, just like the AC was. We had some tough times at the beginning as she learnt to live inside the house rules, but then she was ace, and loved being with us as much as we loved having her.
I think the major point, is that leaving the child somewhere else didn't work for us, for me and the AC, for Rich and I and the child, and Rich said it's not something he would repeat with our children. Of course, the obvious issue is feeding - the AC was a boobybaby until he was 2.5 years old. It's easier for bottle babies to be left with a steriliser, cartons of formula and some bottles. The AC was a cloth bummed baby as well, although his father insisted on using Pampers at night. Why, I have no idea, as he certainly didn't get out of bed to him - Rich got up to the AC more between 2.5 and 6 years old than his father did between birth and 2.5. (And Rich getting up when I was ill was bliss......)
I don't know. But I know it's worked for the AC and I, and for us as a family. Some of it came from the fact that his father was not dependable. A lot of it came from instinct and reading about different ways of parenting, taking the bits that worked for us and leaving the bits that didn't. Rich and I grew into a wonderful parenting style together, that enabled the AC to grow into the strong child he is now, even if he has spent the last 8 months without the man he adores.
The AC and I will carry on together.
Except today, when we will miss each other, even as I am proud of him for running and he is thinking of me at home. It doesn't mean I don't want him to ever leave my sight - he's older now, and much more capable, I think *because* he has a secure background. For other children though, this kind of upbringing might not have worked so well, and that's cool.
We're all different.
In other news, I have cut and ironed the big HSTs and I ironed some of the small HSTs and will be doing more tonight. I have to get a shuffle on to church now!