10 weeks in and I finally bit the bullet and did it! I ventured out on my own without Baby P, don’t worry she wasn’t left unattended, I asked her to stay home and babysit her father!
Partly due to breastfeeding I’d not yet left her but also mainly because it put the fear of God in me! Would she be ok? Would Daddy be ok? Would she settle? Would she cry? Would Daddy cry!?!? Truth is they were fine, I was fine and in actual fact it did us all the world of good! I expressed plenty of milk and gave my boobs a rest, I reminded myself of what it was like to carry a clutch purse and not a changing bag, I worse a dress and not a nursing top and felt like my body was my own again for a few hours instead of having a child either in the womb or attached to me. It was great!
Don’t get me wrong, I love being a mum and I worship my daughter, she’s amazing, but it’s hard work, the hardest I’ve ever known. It’s very true when they say it’s harder than you can ever imagine and that nothing prepares you. Nothing can and you really don’t understand it until you are a parent yourself. You don’t get a break and I always thought I knew and understood that and a naive part of me thought I wouldn’t want one. However, after 9 months (nearly 10 due P taking that long to fully cook) of sharing my body with little Miss P and then spending the last 10 weeks with her by my side 24/7, I totally appreciate that mums need some time out every once in awhile. It’s hard and as much as it was awful prizing myself away from her, I’m glad I did it. Even though I spent the entire evening worrying about her, talking about her and eagerly checking my phone and texting my husband to check on her.
I went to see one of my favourite contemporary dance companies perform my all time favourite dance piece. I’ve studied it as well as gone on to teach it and watching this as well as 2 newer choreographies by them was the perfect distraction from fretting about my newborn. It was nice to use my brain again and engage in something more thought provoking that a game of peek-a-boo. It brought back that bit of me. It reminded me of the me pre-baby, the me that had a brain beyond baby. It reignited my passion for the theatre, not that I’d ever lost it but I’d pushed it to one side, it’s priority had moved to make way for little P. Going to the theatre and doing something for me reminded me that in order to be s good mum I have to look after myself and on occasion give myself a bit of me time. If I’m happy, baby’s happy.
It also did me good to miss her, because getting home to see her laid sleeping in her basket, waking up to her little whingey moan that she does as she stirs and seeing her early morning smiles and giddy kicks were all the more special, like I’d not seen them for years. Also I loved hearing about how she’d bonded even more with my husband and how he’d loved his father daughter time.
I’d worried like mad that he’d struggle, even though I knew he’d look after her well, he hasn’t had the time I’ve had with her, I know all the little things, the minor details that he’s not always there for. I know that she needs a bum tap that slows down as you rock her off to sleep, I know that she likes to feel your right cheek pressed up against hers as you let her nosey around the room. I know that somethings are just a sense I have about her and I can’t put finger on how it is that I know what she needs, I just know sometimes. Plus how could I teach him everything I’d learnt about her over the last 10weeks, how could he know all my trues and tested methods. Truth is, he didn’t need them, he needed solo time with her to form him own tried and tested methods and the control freak in me needed to not be there ensuring he does everything my way because his way still achieved the same result, a happy, content little lady who I loved coming home to.
I’m so grateful for the gift of me time and I’ll have some more soon…….well maybe not for a good while, I’m not quite ready to miss her again just yet!