A bit of a different type of post this week!
Today was a good day. It has rained non-stop, all day, but that hasn’t dampened my mood. Why was today such a good day? Because today, for the first time in a very long time, I have had a day without my baby Squid. A day where I didn’t have to go to work, and I didn’t have to see anyone. Just a day in my own company.
Before having Squid nearly a year ago, I hated being on my own. However, it’s something I have been really craving recently, a bit of time to myself, without having to see or speak to another human! And luckily, my lovely Mama came to my rescue. After an indulgent lie in with Squid until 10am, she collected him and whisked him off for the day. Squid absolutely adores his Grandma, he cries for her when she leaves the room and I trust her implicitly – she’s been having Squid when I’ve been at work and will have him again every Friday when I’m back to school next month. That was the real reason for today’s break – so Squid would get used to going to Grandma’s on a Friday again after a month of purely mummy-only!
So Grandma collected Squid at 10.15 this morning and I was left with a whole day ahead of me! To wee in peace without a small person climbing my legs! To enjoy a HOT cup of tea without a baby trying to wash his hands in it. To sit, and be still, and do whatever I wanted.
What did I end up doing? Well, cleaning the house of course, but I had fun! Radio on, blitzing every room without having to stop every other minute to remove Squid from the cat food bowl/toilet/window sill! And then after several hours of cleaning, tidying and pottering, I took a walk down to a local café and enjoyed a hot latte, a slice of cake and a panini, and even indulged in reading a few chapters of my book! (Anyone else read it? Or are you lucky enough to have seen or soon to be seeing it on stage?! I am jealous!)
Despite arranging to collect Squid at 4.30pm, by 3.40pm I had recharged enough, and was missing my baby boy. Plus my boobs were throbbing – that’s the only downside of alone time, when your boy usually feeds hourly! The reaction I got when I saw him again was priceless too – pure joy!
We are very attachment type parents: I can count on one hand the amount of times I have left Squid for an extended period of time (other than for the necessary evil of work), but prior to today, for the past few weeks, I have been itching to be alone. To not have a baby pawing at my chest for milk every hour, not to worry about nappies and lunchtime and naps. In short, a bit of time to just be me. And I think that’s normal. It’s necessary. Time alone, doing things you enjoy, getting a bit of ‘the old you’ back so to speak.
The point to today’s post? Being a parent is hard bloody work. There’s no two ways about it. It is so so important to take some time out for yourself and have a bit of self-care. A few hours was enough to make me feel like I could embrace motherhood again.
It does not make you a bad parent to crave time on your own. Being a parent is a 24/7 job, with no tea breaks, no annual leave. Add in an actual job to the mix, and it’s a wonder parents ever have more than one baby! Even when Squid is asleep, it’s usually either on me or next to me, and for such a fleeting amount of time it’s not enough to recharge your batteries. So, if someone offers to take your baby for a few hours, and you’re comfortable with that, embrace the freedom, do something for yourself!
And then, when you’re reunited, you can reconnect with your baby, and feel new waves of love flooding over you all over again.
Parenthood is such an internal battle of guilt. Take a few hours to yourself. You’ll be a better parent for it!
And do you know the best bit? Grandma is having Squid again next Friday – I think I might paint my nails then!
What do you do to get some ‘me-time’?
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