I’m sat in a coffee shop having just dropped Jenson off at nursery…and left him with tears streaming down his face, staring into my eyes as if to say “why are you doing this to me?!”
It was heartbreaking to see him so upset. And I’m left thinking what I could have done better to get him used to other people more and wondering whether it’s right for Gregg and I to be back at work – whether it’s to Jenson’s detriment.
And I’ve heard loads of other mums and dads who have gone through the same thing and now say how much their child loves their nursery, how they cry when being picked up from nursery at the end of the day because they want to stay longer.
But, even knowing that, I really don’t know if this choice is for Jenson’s benefit…because if I’m honest it feels like it’s to his detriment. And it makes me wonder about the other things in his life which might be to his detriment, namely living so far away from family (potentially why he’s so attached to just Gregg and I) and having done shared parental leave.
No, I’ll take that back. Shared parental leave was the right thing to do for us and I wouldn’t change 99% of it. But it meant that Jenson had six months of being with my mum friends and then six months of going to different things with Gregg…so Jenson didn’t get a consistent community of people around him during that time.
And that makes me sad.
Even with those he sees frequently with me at the weekends and on my days off, he’ll still be a limpet, clinging to me in their company and smiling at them from afar.
With all this, I’m wondering whether Jenson will be different – slightly less confident, slightly more anxious – when he’s older because we left him at nursery.
I know that the first 1,000 days of a child’s life has the biggest impact on them and I want to do right by Jenson so much, especially during his first years on the earth.
And most of me thinks that he’ll be fine, but part of me wonders whether I’m doing the right thing. It’s hard to not have a definite answer and to have to just go with the direction that we’re going now.
I know I’m doing my best, just don’t know if I’m doing the right thing.