100 ways to be a bad mother
I must be a bad mother. Every time I speak to another mum, I discover that I'm doing something that I probably shouldn't. For example, Jack's been sleeping in his own room since he was around 6 weeks old. We don't live in a huge house; it's not like he's in another wing that requires a golf cart to get there. We can hear him quite well, but we're not waking up at every little sniffle, snort, and faux-choking noise anymore. It was getting to the point where both of us couldn't get more than a few minutes of sleep at a time, and that wasn't a good thing. He's been sleeping happily in his cot ever since; however, I seem to be the only mother who's been cruel enough to stick her firstborn in another room before the age of 6 months. I am a bad mother.
Then there's the creche (daycare) dilemma. I mentioned the fact that I leave Jack in a day nursery at my gym for about an hour, three times a week. With widened, horrified eyes, the Other Mums gasped. "Oh, I couldn't leave my baby in a day nursery." I feebly replied, "But it's OFSTED inspected and registered, and it's only for a short period of time." Bad mother.
Then there's the working dilemma. I am going back in January after a year off, which some of the Other Mums are also doing, but most are not. Although I'm sure I will miss Jack and find it extremely difficult to leave him with a relative stranger for most of the week, I'm still fairly enthusiastic about returning to work. I really enjoy my job and for various reason that I won't go into here, I feel that it's better for Jack to be with other children and adults instead of hanging out with me 24/7. I am a bad mother because I should be spending his waking hours showing him flashcards and teaching him to play the viola, while speaking to him in three languages.
Finally, there's the appearance dilemma. Jack has just discovered that he really likes being upside down - while screaming very loudly. Often times when I hold him, he flings himself backwards and lets out an enormous shriek. Passersby probably think that I'm doing some sort of chiropractic torture on my child. "No, honestly, he's enjoying himself. I know that he's screaming and the back of his head is practically touching his bum. He likes it."