Babysitting

We feel bad anytime that we ask to use a babysitter. And by babysitter, I mean one of Oscar’s grandparents. He knows them, he loves them, he trusts them. We trust them. They’re happy to watch him and have never given us reason to think it’s a chore but still, we always feel bad.

The last time we asked my Mum to babysit was a couple of months ago so that we could see a movie. We literally drove straight to the cinema, watched the film, then drove straight back home. I know she wouldn’t have minded if we stopped for coffee or dinner afterwards but that guilty feeling popped up as usual and we decided to just head straight home.

I think a lot of it comes from the fact that Oscar is in daycare 5 days a week, sometimes up to 10 hours a day depending what work shift I’m on. That’s a LOT. So when the weekends roll around, there’s some hefty guilt floating around if we think about doing anything without him. Something I am aware of is that there is only 260 weekends from the time of Oscar’s birth to when he will turn five. And we’ve already used over 90 of them! There just doesn’t seem like enough time.

The other reasons for our guilt come from the fact that my Mum already does a lot of babysitting. She has 10 grandchildren and if she had a dollar for every time she was asked to babysit one of them, she would be rolling in it! Candice and I always said we wouldn’t abuse the privilege of having such a reliable person to babysit and I think so far we have stuck to that. The other person we completely trust is Candice’s Mum but her health isn’t great at the moment so the guilt is far too great to ask, even though I’m sure she would love to.

Sometimes I entertain the idea about a night away from Oscar. A lavish hotel. Giant king size bed. Gluttonous sleep ins. Eating out at delicious restaurants. And the overwhelming guilt that Oscar wouldn’t be with us. Whoops, that shouldn’t be there. But of course, it would be.

I’m wondering if as Oscar gets older, this guilt will subside. When he is old enough to understand? When we can talk on the phone? Perhaps when he is old enough to see it as a holiday away from his boring old parents and when he actually realises the super fun time he will have getting spoilt by his grandparents.

I don’t know where all these thought are coming from. Lately, I just seem to feel a bit weird and almost sad after visiting friends that don’t have children. Seeing the freedom they have, I guess. It reminds me of all the stuff Candice and I don’t talk about and all the stuff we don’t do. I remember when that was us and we could make last-minute plans to go out or organise big holidays. But I also vividly remember the sadness and utter devastation I felt back then at the idea that I may never be able to have children.

This isn’t a case of not wanting what I have now. I think it’s painfully clear that I live and breathe for Oscar and love being his parent. I love my life almost 100% of the time. I think I’m just lacking balance in a way. When you become a parent, you gain a lot but I think you also lose a part of you, temporarily. I suppose it’s strange to then be reminded of that part of you when your out visiting friends and watching your old life before your eyes.

At the moment we are working on getting Oscar to sleep through the night.* Once that is achieved, we may actually ask to have him babysat over night for the first time. It’s an exciting thought to have a child that sleeps. This post has been a bit confusing as I’m not sure what my point is exactly. It would seem that I don’t want to ever part with Oscar but I also want freedom from him as the same time. Surely I’m not alone in these muddled thoughts.

*I’ll post more on how its going on the sleep thing another time as we’re only on day 2 and I want to see how the next week works out before saying anything. We haven’t had any professional help or anything, just a lot of reading on gentle methods. We made a plan with a start date of this coming Friday (as I am on nightshift this week and wont be home) but then Candice surprised me but starting it solo on Monday. Super Mumma, right there. So I’ll be joining in the fun on Friday night, through the weekend. I will post an update sometime next week with how we’re all travelling with it.

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