I have child-care-aphobia. You know that thing first time moms normally have for sometimes up to a year or so. No one touches the baby but me. No one diapers him as well as me. In extreme cases even the grandparents and father are excluded from being acceptable care givers.
Well I have been at this mothering thing for four and a half years. I have three children. None of which are anywhere near infancy.
So, you would think I’d be over it by now! Nope.
Not even close.
Most of the human race in unfit to care for my children.
In fact, I only hired help when I found myself on bed-rest with preterm contractions at 26 weeks pregnant with the twins. And the Big Guy was almost two.
I could not keep up with him without going into labor. So we recruited an available teenager that took directions well.
Well, as well as could be expected at nineteen. And gave her a list of the things she was expected to do. Closely followed by a list of things she was not expected to do. Like leave my sight with my son.
Two years later the twins are a little over two (obviously) and the Big Guy is in Preschool.
And just a few weeks ago I left the house to go running. It was late when I left so I informed my husband HE would have to give them all baths. A task he has never tackled before on his own. But, I was trying to be strong and independent, and not the only one capable of taking care of the kids. So I said it and went for my run.
When only moments and not even ten yards down the road it occurs to me. Is he really capable of doing this? How many miles am I really going to be able to go before I get a call that he’s in the emergency room with half drowned children?
I made it through my run without a call but not without visions of my children floating face down in the tub. Fortunately, as I passed the corner of the house where the bathroom windows lie I could here the mantra repeating, “Sit down.” “Sit Down.” SIT DOWN!” So at least I knew they were all breathing.
However, now I have another demon to slay. I caught wind of the Y in my neighborhood having free child care for members. Two whole Hours!
At first glance it sounded like a Tahitian vacation. Doing yoga or spin class while the kiddies play happily in a Disney like setting? Sign me up!
Then the phobia kicked in. And I thought, oh strangers changing my twins’ diapers. Not being there if my kid has a melt down, or loses it and tells one of the teenaged babysitters she has a bad attitude.
So I went for a tour. Figuring seeing the happy place they call “Child Watch” would put all my fears at ease. Not so much. There are some really nice ladies in there. But there are also a few token I-don’t-want-to-be-here-but-since-I-am-I-know-it-all-but-don’t-ask-me-to-do-anything-teenagers. Not my favorite type.
But as I waited there in the sign in area a mom came in to fetch her brood. Who by the way all seemed rather content and happy. And when her littlest with chubby cheeks and curls to die for asked mommy to pick her up, you know what she said as she squatted down to scoop her up?
“Ooh mommy’s legs are sooo sore.”
I can not tell you how insanely jealous I was of her agony, her thighs, her perfectly colored hair, the fact that she had not referred to herself as mommy for at least the last hour. But mostly of her endorphins.
So I figure all I need is now is one of those hypnotizing wands Will Smith had in Men In Black. Then I could zap the memories of all the teenagers in there and turn them all into Mary Poppins!
How do you deal with child-care-aphobia? Or better yet have you ever had any success hypnotizing teenagers?
photo credit: PinkSherbet Photography