Since becoming a parent many things have changed for me. For example, I barely ever drink. I'll have a glass or two of wine on the odd weekend, but as for going out partying in town etc, I have done it twice.
Once it was an occassion I had been planning for weeks, one which I think I rightly deserved after six/seven months of never really going anywhere. The second was a spur of the moment idea during a house party - which also was the first night Princess had ever stayed over at her Grandparents.
Now some people might think I'm crazy, who would give up all of that fun when there's always someone available to babysit? However, I am very much aware that I am an overbearing Mum. I can't bare to be away from Princess for more than a few hours. Everytime she goes somewhere without me, or me without her, I feel like I've lost a limb. It's almost so bad that I find it near impossible to walk without pushing a pushchair.
Sometimes I think I am the only Mum like this. Especially considering that I am in fact only 22. But to me, it seems like such an easy sacrifice to make. If I wanted to go out and drink my cares away in bars, I probably could, but I choose not to because I am always a Mummy first. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy my time when Princess has gone to bed, but I'd just much rather be at home.
This can't be said for all parents though. I have absolutely nothing against those parents who do go out on the weekends with their friends, it is completely down to personal choice, but where do we draw the line? I know a girl who most weekends is out drinking with her friends and fair play to her, she's a single parent, why shouldn't she let her hair down? The thing I have a problem with however, is she drinks whilst her son is in her care. Now if she were at the pub and had a drink or two, then that's fine, far be it from me to judge. But to get absolutely slaughtered whilst your son is upstairs sleeping, just seems unacceptable to me. Not only does she get drunk most nights whilst she's home alone with her son, she also smokes a lot of weed whilst they're both home.
Personally, if I were a weed smoker, if I didn't want to give up that habit, I would simply compromise. I'd smoke it whilst out with friends etc. NEVER would I smoke it whilst I was the main carer for my child. Every time I see her updates on Facebook I am overcome with an overwhelming desire to phone social services. The one thing that stops me is that it's none of my business. There is nothing that suggests to me she is a bad Mum or incapable of looking after her child, I'm just uncomfortable with the risk she is putting him in. I have often wondered what on earth she would do during one of these nights when she's off her head from alcohol and high as a kite from weed, if something was to happen to her son. It's a horrible thought and one that shouldn't even concern me, but I always wonder what her first thought would be. Would she be capable enough to know that her son needed to be taken to the hospital? Or would she panic, knowing that if she were to take him to the hospital, the Doctors and nurses would notice the state she was in? And before any of that even happened, would she even be in the right frame of mind to know that there was anything wrong with her son in the first place?
Now this girl has been reported before and bragged that she got away with it. I realise that I am being massively judgemental about this girl, I barely even know her, but whether I am an overbearing Mum or not, I can't see how this is acceptable. But when do we decide, as a parent, what is acceptable or not? My own parenting habits are based on instinct and the overwhelming love I have for my Princess, and even though I know this girl probably loves her child just as much as I love mine, I find it hard to comprehend that she has decided that this is an appropriate way to live and a good enough atmosphere to raise him in. When did she stop and decide that getting drunk whilst she was alone with her child was a good idea? When did she decide that getting stoned first thing in the morning before taking her son to the park was absolutely fine? (And that isn't a judgement from me, that's a fact)