So it’s late afternoon, we’ve had a little play with various toys that baby has played with a million times before and he starts rubbing his eyes, so that’s my cue to grab a bottle. He chugs down 8 ounces like a trooper and I pop “In the Night Garden” on the tv and we cuddle until he looks a little drowsy, the same way we do several times every day and then it hits me….like a meteor out of the blue….
In a few weeks I’ll be back at work and someone else will be doing all of this for him – every day.
I won’t be there to smell his hair as we cuddle up. I won’t be there to tell him it’s sleepy time and cover his bare little toes with a blanky so he sleeps soundly. I won’t be there to kiss his chubby cheeks as I lay him down into his cot for a nap. Someone else will do all of this, someone who is, at this moment in time, a stranger to both of us.
I suddenly realise that all this separation anxiety I have been worrying about IS going to be a massive problem. I have been passing the baby round to friends and relatives, taking him to play dates, soft play, music groups and baby play groups to ensure that he’s confident, well socialised and not at all clingy. I’ve been planning ahead, trying to make the transition easy on him like all good responsible mothers do and holy fuck – I forgot about myself!
It’s me who is going to fall apart, it’s me who is going to miss him so much it hurts – it’s me for gods sake! How the hell did I miss this? No one tells you that!! In truth, I am what most people would refer to as slightly emotionally stunted and so I thought I would never be as attached to him as I am. But the truth is, I have forgotten to prepare myself. I don’t spend any time away from him, I never leave him with anyone but his dad and even then not for longer than a few hours, so I am more attached and in love with him than I ever thought possible. How dare reality come along and burst this beautiful little bubble I live in, just me and him all day long – it’s bloody unfair.
Ok, breathe. I’m going to have to woman up here!
I am going to remind myself why I am going back to work. 1) Great role model for working, ambitious women and I want my son to respect women’s equality to choose a career and be treated equally. 2) Oh god, I’m going to miss him! No, stay focused, ok 2) I enjoyed my job before the baby and need to have adult conversations and be challenged again. 3) Who am I kidding!
Pass the wine!
I’m going to enjoy the next 5 weeks with my baby, really enjoy them. In fact i’m going to make the most of them, make some memories and when I have to go back to work and reality, i’ll face it head on with strength and confidence.
But for now, I might just watch him sleep while I still can.