Ever heard of Rachael Finch? No, me neither - even though the model was a runner up Miss Universe and did a stint on the Australian Dancing with the Stars. But now she is better known was the mom who outsources care of her two-year-old daughter every. single. weekend.
You could hear the sound of jaws crashing after Finch admitted that as a matter of course she and her hubby spend their weekends child-free to "focus on their relationship."
Not occasionally. Not for date night. But every single weekend of the year.
“Every weekend (Violet) goes to Mish’s mum’s house, and we get our weekend to ourselves," said Finch. "I think that’s incredibly healthy for the relationship. And on Sunday, when we pick her up, we have 100 per cent energy back.” And during the week her mother cares for her daughter when her husband works.
Many parents were left head-scratching at this one, myself included.
Are we jealous of Finch? Hell yeah, but only to a point. Who wouldn't want to luxuriate on the weekends? I remember the pre-kid weekends with absolute clarity: Hubby and I pouring over the papers with coffee and fresh baked croissants in front of us... The whole day wide open to do whatever the heck we wanted with it. The freedom! The tranquility!
But then we started a family and consciously traded those things for the pitter-patter downstairs, the cute little voice and annoyingly giddy cartoon sounds. We cashed in those freedoms for a good reason. We wanted him and chose him from the very moment we became parents. We turned the page and started a new chapter. That's how it goes.
We didn't set out to become parents so we could spend every weekend without him. We cherish weekends, since the weeks are caught up with work and school. We value regular date nights as a chance to reconnect with each other, but not at the expense of family time.
Of course it is healthy to have regular breaks from our children, but it's equally healthy to have plenty of time as a family connecting and building happy memories. That's precisely why two becomes three - and not simply a three that is constantly seeking to become two again.
Is it important to foster deep loving bonds with grandparents? Another resounding hell yeah. My son spends a week's vacation with his grandparents every summer, and he's blessed to have them as key players in his life. As are we. But there are limits and limitations. They are not his parents. We are. And there's also a thing called balance.
Some parents don't get a choice to see their kids every weekend due to custody arrangements. That's an entirely different beast. So fair play to Finch, who can do motherhood whatever freaking way she likes. Many of us simply don't have half the supports she has at her fingertips.
But I daresay that while most of us fantasize about the arrangement Finch has got going on, the reality is that most of us would actually hate it. The reality is, most of us would miss our kids desperately and long for the pitter-patter and the cute little voice. Maybe not right away - maybe not even for the first few weekends - but eventually we would. Maybe.
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