I can hear the voice inside their heads, even when they think no one knows. The voice sounds like the same one that used to be in my head. It was the voice that seemed to patronize and mock so many other mothers, the ones that seemed to be overprotective and untrusting. I once promised myself that if I ever became a mother I would be NOTHING like that. A little piece of advice…Never make a promise to yourself that seems so unreasonable.
Yesterday was the first day that I let Davey stay with people who are not childcare providers. Yes, these two couples have been parents before in the past and even one set are grandparents, but that didn’t exactly help me out as I fretted and suffered small anxiety attacks about leaving my baby in their more than capable arms.
When the opportunity presented itself for my husband and I to run a 5k together, our first thought was to have my parents come out to the race and watch Davey while we ran. My husband and I would have our own little cheering section and how awesome would it be for Davey, while only 5 months old and perhaps a bit uncomprehending of all the events around him, to see his mommy and daddy run a race and promote an active lifestyle? Well, reality set in last week when my dad had a heart attack which meant that he was limited on things he could do at least for two weeks while the heart mended. The second whammy to hit was the nasty weather of severe storms to hit the South which meant that my baby boy didn’t need to and wouldn’t be out in the elements. I made a phone call to my aunt and uncle, a mere 15 minute drive from our house and less than 10 minutes from downtown (where the 5k was to be run). They eagerly agreed to keep Davey while my husband and I ran.
We dropped Davey off around 8 and immediately I went through an entire checklist of things to do. If he gets fussy, stand up and walk around with him. He had just eaten at 730 so he shouldn’t be hungry again until 1030, but if he is hungry then put some water in a microwave safe bowl and into the microwave to heat the water, THEN place the bottle into the water. I put a blanket on their couch so that Davey could sit up while protecting their fabric in case he spit up. I whipped out three toys that came along for the ride, one pacifier, showed where the change of clothes were as well as the diapers, wipes, bib, and burp cloth. I also explained there was a first aid kit and should something happen to call 911. Yes, I did all of this to two extremely adept adults who had raised a child and had a grandchild of their own. Thankfully, they didn’t give me too hard of time when I spoke to them like they were 5 year olds.
Last night, my husband and I enjoyed our first adult night out when we went to celebrate a friend’s birthday at one of the nicer restaurants in town. We dropped Davey off at my mom and dad’s house and what did I do to my mother? Yep, you got it. I gave her the same check list that I gave my aunt and uncle, word for word with the exception of when he should eat again and what time to put him to bed. My mother wasn’t quite as nice about need to control everything. She stood there looking at me like a deer caught in headlights and exclaimed, “do you really think I didn’t raise 2 children?” Ouch! She’s right.
Unfortunately, while adult night out started as fun, I couldn’t bring myself to really enjoy it at least not the way I could BEFORE having Davey. I found myself every 10 minutes checking my cell phone, almost wanting to excuse myself to make a call to my parents to check on Davey. I wondered what he was doing and I cringed as I thought that he could be screaming bloody murder and making life miserable for my parents. I checked my watch as the minutes ticked by and as soon as I was done with dinner I just wanted our check so my husband and I could go get our baby.
I have become that kind of mom now. The kind of mom who can’t seem to trust anyone else with their child. The kind of mom who can’t seem to enjoy time away from her child because she’s worried about what mischief he’s causing or what injuries he’s attaining. I have become that mom who I used to make fun of, the “uncool” (that’s what I always thought) mom that seems to micromanage (and I hate it when it’s done to me). I have become that mom that I promised myself I would never be and here’s the great thing…It’s probably the best promise I’ve broken to myself and I can honestly say I’m proud of the type of mother I am.