All over the world, new mothers are wringing their hands anxiously over what is apparently the hardest part of being a parent: leaving one's baby for the first time.
I don't care about leaving my baby.
...Okay, uh, let me clarify: when I leave her with a trusted family member for a few hours, I am perfectly comfortable. I don't worry. I don't think about her constantly. I don't call the babysitter every half hour and then start calling hospitals if she doesn't pick up on the first ring.
But every other mother keeps telling me how hard it is to leave the baby for the first time. Apparently, there is weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth involved. "Isn't it just so tough to leave her? You just can't stop thinking about her, right?" they probe me when I mention that I left her with her dad for two hours.
"Nope, I don't love my baby enough for that," I say.
Instead, I nod and smile with all my pearly whites like I'm Miss America.
But it's a lie.
If I'm being perfectly honest, a few baby-free hours are kind of the best gift a person could give me.
I mean, I love hanging out with my best little pal all day, but I spend a lot of time with her. A. Lot. Of. Time.
Am I such a criminal to want to spend, like, two percent of my time away from her? Two little measly percents?
(Yeah, I know, "percents" is not a real word. Whatever.)
But apparently, that is unacceptable. All moms have to be worry warts, or we're bad mothers. Gone are the days when mothers could chuck their kids outside on a sunny afternoon so they could have an hour or two to themselves. Now even leaving the baby in the watchful care of her grandmother is supposed to have me biting my nails. I mean, really?
(For the record, I don't think fathers get asked very often if they freak out about leaving their babies. Apparently people assume that men don't get as emotional and weepy as we women. But that's a whole different discussion...)
Now, don't get me wrong. I do worry about my daughter, in general. I probably worry about her a lot more than I should. She's adorable and perfect and I love her to death, of course--but having an evening away from her feels like my opportunity to not worry and think about something else for once.
What about you--if you're a parent, do you worry about leaving your child(ren) with a babysitter? If you don't, do you admit it?