Escaping from Jet for the night

Before I had a baby I would talk about the kind of mum I was going to be. Not wanted to be, going to be. I would talk about how my dummy free, organic eating, baby signing child was going to be perfect and fit in to my life perfectly.

I also was excited about time away from the baby before it had even arrived! I would day dream about girls weekends away, spa nights with Henry and trips away with work. I didn’t want to be too attached to the baby. I wanted it to be happy without me and able to be passed from sister to friend without a care in the world.

What I didn’t expect and didn’t see coming was that when I gave birth a part of my heart would leave my body and take residence in my new little bundle of perfection,  Jet.

I underestimated the bond that was formed while he hid away inside me growing and fattening up ready for the outside world. That bond wasn’t just a physical connection as I fed him from myself but a deep routed, heart twisting, gut wrenching love and connection.

From the moment he arrived I have only wanted his happiness. Thoughts of time away from him not only drifted away but actually filled me with total dread and angst.

When Jet was around 4 months old some friends persuaded me to go out for the evening to the cinema to see the new Bridget Jones movie. I was leaving my baby to watch a film about another baby. Obsessed much.

We didn’t leave the house until long after Jet was happily away in the land of nod. I kept checking and re checking he was okay, convinced that he knew I was abandoning him for the evening. Tearing myself away to get in the car felt as difficult as if I was trying to take half of my body out of the house whilst leaving an arm and leg in the hallway.

The film was totally fab and it was lovely to get out with my friends but I couldn’t wait to get back and sniff and squeeze Jet. I was also still breast feeding at that point so night’s out were like a strange ticking time bomb before the next feed.

Fast forward and Jet is coming up to 14 months, Henry and I have just celebrated our 6 year wedding anniversary and we’re looking into booking a spa night away to celebrate (the long awaited spa night I’ve wanted since before I even met Jet!)

I used to roll my eyes at parents that had passed the one year mark without still having had a night away from their little ones. Who was I to judge?! It’s not really that I have vehemently avoided that scenario but more that an occasion hasn’t arisen. But, truthfully, I have been completely fine with that fact. I love that in his 429 days on this earth (yes I just googled it) I have kissed him goodnight all 429 times. I have been there to comfort him if he’s cried out and I’ve been there in the morning when he’s ready to start playing again. I know that he needs a little independence (which is why we’re also looking in to nurseries, but that’s for a whole other blog) and that he will very quickly learn and adjust to friends and family having him over night but I think, really, this connection has been for me. He’s my baby, what will I do when he doesn’t need me anymore? Being there for him in the night feels like a way of clinging on to those newborn days, a time when he needed me completely.

But, the time has come. I am SO up for 24 hours of uninterrupted chill time, with good food and wine and spa treatments and a LIE IN. Heaven. I’ve just got to work out how to tear myself away from my little cub for those few hours. Something that feels completely terrifying at the moment. I think as a mum there a lot of feelings that you think you're supposed to have.  I am supposed to want to escape for a night away at any opportunity. But in reality it doesn't feel like escaping, it feels like leaving my safe place. But I know that I will also come back refreshed and a better mum for it.

I completely trust our family that we would leave him with, but I just can’t bear to think of his little face in the night or the next morning when he realises that it isn’t me going in to scoop him up and kiss him good morning. Or maybe I’m more scared that he won’t mind? Oh, don’t get me started, I might just cry right now.

I can’t avoid it forever, I need to go away at some point in the next 18 years so we might as well start now! We’re booking our weekend away for some time in August, so I’ll let you know how it goes! I’ll be the mum lying on a sun lounger by the spa pool sobbing behind her G and T.

Go outRuth Marsden