Yesterday our youngest spent her first day in child care, she now goes the same day as her big sister. We did the same for her as we did for her sisters first day the year before, some new clothes that can be trashed by mashed food and paint, a new water bottle and a cute little back pack to store it all in. This is the item that set off memories of my own child hood and also a strong feeling of “my good she is way to young to have a back pack”.
As I watched my wife get her stuff together the night before I couldn’t help but feel sad that my little girl was going to spend a whole day in someone else’s care. She would be very well looked after but in my mind I could already see her moving out and heading off to Uni or starting a career…. Irrational I know, but I bet I’m not the only dad who has had this thought.
As a Dear Dad I learnt to cope with not being around the girls all day early on, it’s a fact of life. The wife and I decided I would continue to work and she would be a stay at home mum. I had to cope, trying to work and locking myself in my office all day cause I missed my girls would lead to a very short career. But knowing that both girls were now under someone else’s care for the day drew up 2 very strong emotions.
Proud – I was very proud of myself and my wife for raising 2 girls that could spend a day in someone else’s care and not have a melt down of epic proportions. Though the youngest one did the moment she saw us in the afternoon – almost like “omg your here” ”why did you leave me” – very quickly followed by a massive hug and lots off giggles.
Fear – fear that this is all happening way to fast. Where did the last year go? What has happened to my two little baby girls? How the hell do I slow this down?
Before I know it they will be starting school, making more friends, sleepovers, boyfriends, going out, it’s like a giant bow wave coming for us and nothing can stop it. The totally irrational thoughts that my little girls are growing up way to fast has gripped me. I am sure that every single parent has had the same feeling at one time or another, but nothing prepares you for it. How are we going to be on their first day of school??????
I used to watch the mums crying at the gate on the first day of school and think these ladies had lost the plot. I hate to say it but I know one day that will be me too. As a dad I want my girls to be happy, have fun in school and learn lots, the important stuff that will eventually get them a job, my wife and I will teach them the life lessons that school doesn’t teach you, how to pay taxes, get a loan, recover from a breakup, and how to parallel park. These are the things I look forward to teaching my girls, it’s a long way away yet right? Right?
As a Dear Dad , like all Dear dads I’ll juggle my work life to provide a better future for my family whilst spending quality time with my family every day. The two fighting for my time, in my mind I know which one wins, it’s making sure I stay true to that.
Because when my girls are 18 and starting their own adventure, I don’t want to look back with fond memories on how I spent all that awesome time on my laptop at work, I want the memories to be all of us running around the house playing hide and seek.