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LEIGH CAMPBELL: The joy and the heartbreak of having one child.

I see you.

The mum at the park. 

Hovering maybe a little too close to her child, a hand gingerly ready to reach out and break a fall, should her little one topple from the second rung of the ladder.

She borders on a helicopter parent. She knows she’s not supposed to - she follows enough of those parenting accounts on Instagram to know better. 

She’s supposed to let her child trip, stumble, learn. She’s supposed to let them grow. 

And she does. She tries to. She’s just a little more cautious than some of the other parents at the park - they have their eyes on multiple kids, their concentration fragmented.

She only needs to keep watch on one. One tiny body of legs and arms and adventurous energy. Her everything in one.

I see you.

The working mum.

She’s got a to-do list longer than her grocery receipt. 

Her work is due. And overdue. 

Her phone buzzes, and immediately she knows the number. 

Daycare. 

She uses the drive to make calls to reschedule the rest of her day. And tomorrow, too.  

She mentally takes a tally of the Panadol and Nurofen in the medicine cabinet back home while she wonders how parents with two or three children ever get anything done.

She’s stressed, but also thankful she can manage one sick little person and her urgent tasks for the next few days. 

She’s not a brand new mum anymore and yet the juggle still takes her by surprise at times. 

She’s thankful for her lot.

I see you. 

Image: Supplied.

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