The other day when we were at the wedding rehearsal/wedding, I was talking with the mom of the flower girl (who was also a bridesmaid) about motherhood, etc. (Her daughter is 20 months old and reminded me of The Fuss a lot). The little flower girl had remained at the hotel w/ her daddy after the rehearsal while we went on to the dinner. She asked if I had a hard time leaving my daughter to go do things.
"Well," I replied, "I'm a stay-at-home mom, so, no, not really. I kinda like the break." I know that she works full-time out of the house, so I'm sure it's a different situation for her.
The next night, she asked a similar question after her daughter was taken to bed, being watched by her uncle.
Am I a bad mom? Should I be heart-broken every time I have to leave her? 'Cause I'm not. I left her with a babysitter last Friday night, Saturday morning, and Saturday night for wedding and wedding-related events. I had planned to leave her w/ her daddy on Wednesday night to attend a "purse party" with my mom (it didn't end up happening. I was gone for all of 5 minutes. My mom was sick and canceled.) and I've been invited to a Mary Kay facial event this Sat AM with my best friend, K, and The Fuss will remain home with her daddy then, too.
Now, in all honesty, this is the most time I've spent away from her since she was born - typically we only get a babysitter ever 2-3 weeks for a couple of hours at a time. But I'm not really sad when I leave her. She's pretty content with my leaving, too. Sure, we're happy to see each other when we do reunite, but while I'm gone? When I'm leaving? I know she's safe and probably happy with her care-taker (thus far, only family members or very close friends) and while I do think about her and get a little soft when I see other little kids, I'm not distraught by any means.
I remember my best friend always struggling with the first outing without her baby after each of her boys were born. She'd cry through the evening/dinner/movie because she left her baby behind. Yeah. I didn't. At about 5 weeks post-partum my SIL came over to visit the baby (who was napping, of course) and when she offered to watch the baby for an hour while we went up the road to grab some quick dinner, I was totally okay with it. Granted, we weren't gone that long and we were only a mile away, but seriously? Shouldn't I have been more torn up or something? When I'd been no farther away from her than the next room for 10+ months (if you count gestation) or since she'd been born (if you don't)?
I think maybe I'm just practical. I recently had a friend tell me I was the most laid-back mom of one she'd ever seen. I simply reminded her that all my friends had kids first and so I learned how to deal with the jumpiness from them. Now, most of my friends have multiple children and I am more likemy friend who is a parent-of-3 than I am that jittery new mom that she was at the beginning.
My worries for my daughter are more future-related. When is she going to talk intelligible words? Will she like girly stuff like me, or will she be completely like her daddy's family and be much more tomboyish? Will we have anything in common? How will she adjust to having a new sibiling when the time comes? Will her hair ever grow in normally or is she always going to have really thin patches? Will she ever learn to leave the hairclips in? Why does she insist on hitting the dog with her monkey toy?