I started doing this the conventional way, making a list of all the things I do on a day, and cribbing about how so much of a day is taken up by my child, when I checked myself. I think this topic prompted me to explore a deeper issue.
For the last one month or so, I have been trying to get my daughter adjusted to day care, at least for a couple of hours. She is a social child, and while she enjoyed going there, she would want me to sit in the centre. Since I work in remote location and had good internet connectivity at the centre, I did not really mind it, but sometimes, I wondered how much longer this would last, when she will let go of me. I felt that after going to day care, she was becoming more clingy to me. A part of me felt happy at this reaffirmation of her affection to me, but a part of me was also worried.
Then today, as I took her to the centre, she turned back and said bye to me. She did not expect me to come in, she was happy to be there on her own. Yesterday, she refused to come back home with me. THis is not a sudden process, the last week or so, she has become very adjusted there. But still, when she said bye today, I suddenly felt bereft. Like she no longer needs me. Like I have been replaced in her life. At one level I was scared that she will now simply ignore or forget me, or no longer regard me as someone who is fun to be with.
This is a strange phenomenon. At one level, I crave for personal time and space, when I dont need to constantly care for her. When she grants it to me, I am not really as happy as I ought to be. I feel sorry for parents whose children are very clingy and wont stay one minute without them. At the same time, I envy them, because their child seems to constantly reaffirm his or her need for them.
I was having this talk sometime ago with my friend, who pointed out that it was in my power to make my daughter such a child, to foster such a high degree of dependence on me that she would not let me go. I know mothers have that power over their children, yet I rejected the thought outright. I could not compromise on the emotional resilience which was her strength, just to stoke my ego.
I sometimes wonder if this insecurity and fear is common to all mothers, or is it something, which because I am an adoptive parent, is unique to me. Can biological mothers rely on some kind of innate biological affection. Such a thought is contrary to all that I believe about life and relationships, that nothing is biologically determined. But sometimes, I wonder…. I really do