I have just left Miss Rose in a creche for the first time, her first time in professional childcare rather than being left with family or close friends.
My gym, Virgin Active, has an onsite creche which is very popular with the members, and something I have been meaning to use for a long time but have never actually summed up the courage to do. Because it’s a big deal. It is trusting relative strangers with your child’s health and happiness. That is not something I take lightly.
The reason I have taken the plunge is that I would like the freedom to use the gym when I want, rather than relying on people to mind Miss Rose for me. My husbands offers of watching her don’t always come to fruition, and when they do it’s not always for the length of time he initially agreed to. Time apart from Miss Rose is both painful and essential. I don’t get much time alone. Sole parenting means that day and night, I’m the first and last port of call. If something happens, I deal with it. If she needs anything, I deal with it. Be it 2am or 2pm, I deal with it. An hour alone in the gym might be a strange luxury, but to me it is a luxury. It gives me a chance to just be me. Just Jude. Just focussing on me and what I am doing… which happens to be sweating and complaining profusely about the evils of exercise and personal trainers… but it’s still my time alone to do just that.
Also, on a less selfish note, Miss Rose needs to adjust to this sort of environment because at some point she will go into nursery, and at some point she will go into school. If being in the care of people who aren’t family, and in the company of other children, is unfamiliar to her then this will be much harder for her to adjust to. I know I am still going to face the constant battles of going to school, because I put my mother through them right until the end of sixth form when I was 18. Because I hated school and everything about it. But at least getting her adjusted to the concept of that set up will mean I know she can cope, even if she’s miserable doing it. Because sometimes being mummy means making them do things that make them unhappy, because you know it’s for the greater good, and you know that in the long run they will benefit more from the pain now, than if you avoided the pain and made them deal with it later.
I am drinking coffee, a ridiculously large coffee, and clock watching. My eyes are flicking to the time as often as they are flicking to the keyboard. I am at the table closest to the creche possible, and I am listening out constantly. If she screams do I run to her? Do I assume it’s a momentary thing which she will recover from in an instant? Do I force myself to leave her… to see what happens?
To be honest I think it’s affecting me more than it’s affecting her. I handed her over to the lovely creche worker Kerri and she didn’t even glance back to see if I was around. She just happily disappeared off to find Peppa Pig. I was practically shoved out the door with the promise that if I need to I can go and check on her any time I want. But I won’t… because I think we both need to get used to it… and because I’m a strong mummy… and because I want to drink this enormous coffee in comfortable solitude.
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Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll speak to you soon I hope!