When I first found out I was going to become a Mum I said to myself that this baby wasn’t going to change me. I loved my job and I was going to go back to work as soon as I could. I loved my friends and had an amazing social life, I knew it would take a back seat but it would always still be there. I would be able to go on nights out still because I would have so much support from my family who would always babysit whenever I asked. I had literally no idea what was coming.
Arabella is now 20 months old, I haven’t gone back to work, I rarely see my friends and can’t remember the last time I had a night out. The thought of leaving her makes me panic, thinking she’s missing me breaks my heart. I will be the first to admit that I don’t have my shit together, I loose it on a regular basis and I always have a todo list as long as my arm. I know that having a break away from her would help me feel refreshed, I could recharge my batteries and I would probably be a better mum for it.
I seriously envy these parents that don’t let their anxiety control their lives, they let their children go to daycare, they go back to work and have their career. This is a feeling I’ve had for quiet a while, so going against everything I’ve felt over the last year and a half, last week Arabella went on holiday with my parents to the lake district without me. Ohhh the guilt! Everyone has experienced guilt in their lives, but having that ‘mum guilt’ as we call it in our house is another level.
I cried for days, I felt like I was letting her down. like needing a break made me a bad parent. But it definitely doesn’t. I felt so embarrassed to tell people that she had gone on holiday without me that I hardly done anything.
My partner and I went to London for a few days, the whole time we have been together we have never been away just the two of us. It was amazing. I had forgotten what it was like to be Jess the girlfriend rather than just Jess the Mum. We have never really had ‘problems’, we really are best friends but it was exactly what our relationship needed.
Arabella came home the day after we got back and we cuddled for what felt like hours! Since then a lot has changed, the little things don’t seem to be getting on top of me as much, we are doing more things together, we’ve been dancing and singing past bedtime instead of counting down the minutes for it. It has really opened my eyes and now I can see that sometimes we do need a break, not just me but Arabella too! I’m sure I must drive her crazy sometimes.
If you spend every single day with your child I think thats great, If you send them to day care or a childminder I think thats great too. If they spend every weekend at their grandparents house I think thats also pretty awesome. We all parent differently, we need to do whats best for us and whats best for our children, no matter what that is!
Lets not be so judgey, no one gets a medal for it.