I’ve just enjoyed a rare day off. I’m working a full week in a couple of weeks so I decided to take a day off in lieu. I considered looking after Scrip today, which would have been lovely, but then I thought about her normal routine and how much more I could get done (and could rest) if it was just me.
Time apart from your baby is a contentious issue – you’re never far away from a comment about people spending too little time with their children, too much time or not quite getting the balance right in between. I often feel guilty and am sometimes made to feel more guilty by people with big opinions that they’re very willing to share.
There’s no right or wrong – truly I think it’s for everyone to decide what’s best for them and their children. Provided both sides are considered in the decision making process (as my dad would say) and you’re willing to be flexible if things aren’t working out. Happy parents help make happy children.
I know I need a break from time to time – here are 5 reasons why I think time apart can be a good thing:
They need to socialise: Scrip’s going through a clingy phase, which I know is perfectly normal for a 14 month-old. It’s worse when I’m in the room or she can hear my voice but not see me. But I also know that when I’m not around she’s generally perfectly happy, doesn’t cry out for me and enjoys playing with and learning from other people. I like the fact she sees and gets to know a lot of new faces.
It’s nice for them to feel a part of your extended family: none of Scrip’s grandparents live just down the road, and a few snatched hours here and there doesn’t help her build up a good relationship with them. I love being with them and Scrip but I also want to let her get to know them properly without me always being in the background. Even going to the park alone with them gives them all a good chance to bond.
You need a break: having children is exhausting and while you’re looking after little ones, you’re always on call. Everyone needs some time out to relax. Just as you wouldn’t say a healthy relationship meant being with a partner 24/7, so you need to have some time away from your children – be it on your own, with friends or other family – to recharge.
You can get so much done: whether it’s working at the office or cleaning the fridge, it’s amazing how productive you can be without anyone else to take care of. Time apart from Scrip makes me appreciate my time with her even more.
It’s worth it for the big grin: Scrip’s started to run into my open arms and there’s honestly no nicer way to be greeted.