Paranoid mama
Who do you trust with your kids? Not many, says Masanda Peter.
My 4-year-old son went away for two weeks to visit family back home in the Eastern Cape. I am glad as he will get to bond with my other family members and get to know them since we mostly go home in December for holidays.

I have a confession to make here, I have tried to postpone the trip quite a few times. Firstly, I am going to miss him to bits and secondly, I just cannot trust anyone else with my child. It might sound crazy or I must be watching too much television but I feel that I am the only person who can protect him they way he should be best protected and take care of him the best way.

I salute women who leave their kids behind for longer periods, how they do it really beats me. I work full time and am a single parent. When I drop him off at crèche I can’t help but closely monitor how he responds to the teachers, just in case I spot odd behaviour.

It’s even worse when I introduce a new nanny to him (don’t worry I will tell you all about my nanny woes, that is a journey on its own), I always worry about the treatment he is getting and how they relate to each other. I make regular calls (say four to five a day) to hear how they are getting along, which I think is important.

There are scary stories of nannies hitting kids or ill-treating them in other forms. Sometimes kids get molested at crèches and always worry having him as a statistic. If there is a way of reducing the risk I would rather implement it than be sorry. People might find this as an over protective behaviour but the world is not so safe out there.

I try and discourage him from playing over at a friend’s house – there is plenty of play space where we live. I do not know what might happen behind those closed doors at his friend’s house. I guess those who’ve had bad things happen to them had an element of trust and it landed them in an unfortunate position. It’s really hard because I cannot always be present wherever he is but can only try.

Either I am too protective or an over paranoid mommy but I am okay with those labels up until an age where he can protect himself. I am trying to avoid regrets. I would definitely feel like I have failed if something were to happen to him. I guess currently am his source of comfort, security and protection and to fail him in those areas would badly hurt me. I often wonder if other parents are feeling the same way?

How much do you worry when your kids aren’t with you?

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