We’re damned if we go back to work and put the kid in childcare, and we’re damned if we stay at home and contribute nothing to society (except -hopefully- a well rounded citizen!).
Since I’ve made the choice to make Inigo my full time job, I’ve been worried that Inigo will miss out on all sorts of things because he’s not getting professional childcare. He misses out on finger painting, on craft projects, on organised play, on group sing-a-longs, and he misses out on play with large numbers of other kids.
Every second Tuesday, he spends the whole day with his cousin Ella at Bev Ted’s, and as often as we can arrange it, he gets to play with Alex, and Oscar, and Owen. But he very rarely spends time with groups of kids, barring playgroup, which we often miss because he is sleeping.
I’ve found out that traumatic birth can often have a deleterious effect on long term emotional well being. Apparently many children that have early maternal deprivation can tend to be fearful and clingy as children. I’ve wondered if maybe sending him to childcare might be a good thing, to draw him out and help him develop socially. I’ve worried about everything. And since he spends 24 hours a day with me, 6 days a week, I worry that our closeness means that he is missing out on other social opportunities.
The other part of my brain wouldn’t have it any other way, and I firmly believe that close attachment is important, especially while he is little, and especially because of his rough start.
And yesterday, I met up with the sling mammas at Broadway shopping centre, and Inigo got to spend an extended time in the centre’s play area. He is happy to toddle off and play with others, he loves being independent, he assumes every other kid adores him (and most of them do), and he is thrilled to discover a new skill, always looking to me to share the joy with a little “Yay!”.
Apparently, despite my fears, he’s secure.