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parenting: ur doing it wrong

Something I just remembered from reading Serving Victoria last month: Victoria and Albert left their six-month-old baby (I don't remember if it was their first child or one of the later ones) for a full YEAR while they went on an extensive trip to various countries (I think mostly Canada?)

I know this was very common - travel was difficult and lengthy even without a baby, and royalty especially were much less hands-on as parents. Even as late as the 1930s, similar things happened - I'm pretty sure I've read that the current Queen Elizabeth and her sister were left in the care of nannies for months at a time while their parents traveled, and actually, now that I think about it, I think she did the same thing with her children. But a YEAR! You'd leave a baby and come home to a toddler! Just as a parent, how in the world could you do this?!

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
katharhino
Aug. 10th, 2013 11:31 am (UTC)
I couldn't. :-(

But I imagine once you start turning over total responsibility of parenting to nannies, it becomes easier and easier to forget you're a parent.
eattheolives
Aug. 12th, 2013 12:53 am (UTC)
I know attitudes were very different then, especially among higher class people, but it is very hard not to judge them harshly for things like this. =\
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eattheolives
Aug. 12th, 2013 12:55 am (UTC)
She did call them frogs. =P Charming!
spotzle
Aug. 10th, 2013 05:04 pm (UTC)
I would go insane. Do you remember a movie called My Favorite Wife with Cary Grant and Irene Dunn? In it Grant plays a father whose wife was lost at sea And presumed dead. She'd just given birth and to recover she went on a long cruise. He remarries and that day his first wife shows back up.

WTF kind of scenario is that??

I mean, yeah I know it's a movie but for Pete's sake! Who does that? Goes on a cruise. I don't even leave my baby for an hour.
eattheolives
Aug. 12th, 2013 12:57 am (UTC)
Oh wow, yes, that movie! I had forgotten that she'd just had the baby - yeah, seriously messed up.

(otoh, Cary Grant, mmmm hmmm.)
belovedwarrior
Aug. 11th, 2013 03:53 am (UTC)
Totally different...because it was completely involuntary.. But my grandma got pregnant before my grandpa went to Korea. The first time he met his daughter, she was two. I actually stood in the room where she was born today. ;) so I heard the story again. I cannot imagine that transition for my grandpa!
eattheolives
Aug. 12th, 2013 12:59 am (UTC)
Awww. I just read a story recently where a soldier got to meet his 6-month old daughter for the first time - that seemed cruel enough, to have to miss your child's first six months - I can hardly imagine two years!
aftondays
Aug. 12th, 2013 12:01 am (UTC)
It is completely beyond me how any parent could do that.
chestnutcurls
Aug. 13th, 2013 09:34 pm (UTC)
I can't wrap my head around that either. :\
alysonl
Aug. 15th, 2013 01:26 am (UTC)
Yes, current Queen Elizabeth did something of the same thing with her children, I was just reading when Prince William's baby was born. Even William and Harry have more informal pictures with their nanny growing up than with their parents.

And as a parent, I CANNOT IMAGINE.

But then, they probably didn't have children because they wanted children, or wanted to be parents. They probably had them out of a sense of duty, of creating heirs to the throne. Perhaps the entire mindset is different to your usual couple that falls in love and decides they want children, when, how many they can afford and care for, etc.

Edited at 2013-08-15 01:27 am (UTC)
eattheolives
Aug. 20th, 2013 04:44 pm (UTC)
I don't doubt that most of them DO love their children very much, but I do rather wonder how much the sense of duty to provide an heir comes into play - even now, what if William and Kate had decided they didn't want children at all? How much backlash (from inside the family or out) would they have gotten?
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )