First weekend away from Baby Girl

I wrote on Friday explaining I was en route to a Hen weekend; my first weekend away from Baby Girl since she was born.

Back in January, when I spent my first night away from Baby Girl, I cried three times… But not this weekend! After a tough month or so with Leap 9, the MMR, job hunting, teething & more, I was so raring to go on Friday morning.

A whole weekend not thinking about what time it is – snack time, nap time, lunch time, did I get something out of the freezer in time for dinner? – or worrying that Baby Girl is getting enough stimulation & education; not having someone hang off my leg when I made a cup of tea; not being woken up in the morning by the sound of ‘Dadadadadadadada!!!!!’ or slapped in the face every 30 minutes… No one pulled my hair this weekend; no one threw their food on the floor; someone was sick, but there was absolutely no expectation of me to clean it up & I just walked away.

What liberation!

Although the weekend was entirely about my dear friend & bride-to-be Rosie, it was also, in it’s own way, entirely about me. And I relished in Every. Single. Moment.

A friend of mine with a nearly-six month-old recently said the very baffling words, “I miss hangovers”. At the time, not going to lie, I thought the sleep deprivation had finally got to her & she’d lost her marbles. But this weekend, I actually understood what she meant.

On Saturday, I woke at 7:30am, the light streaming through the curtains (who doesn’t have black out curtains these days!?). I simply pulled the sheet over my head & dosed back off to sleep in a grumpy, delirious haze. Because I could.

At 9:30, I woke again, gently, quietly, tentatively. I lay in bed for about ten minutes; the house was strangely quiet and still, even with eleven other girls staying in it. Even with a hangover, how peaceful the world seemed first thing in the morning for the first time in fifteen months. I plodded downstairs for water, tea & toast, which I made in the quiet of the empty kitchen, at my own pace, in my own time. I then actually enjoyed my tea & toast. No one else trying to grab it off my plate or spill my hot tea down themselves.

What bliss.

On Sunday, I woke to a message from the OH; 9:57am, “Off to the farm [photo of the two of them ready to go]”. Between 10 and 11:15am, came an onslaught of photos of Baby Girl at the farm. They say a picture speaks a thousand words. I’ll let you fill in the blanks of my reply:

Do I miss hangovers? Good God no. But man have I missed the ability to shut out the world, to wallow in my own self-pity & to be utterly selfish for a day. When was the last time any mother (or father for that matter) can say they had a day like that? I certainly don’t remember the last one I had.

When I got home on Sunday, the OH said it was probably one of the best weekends he’s ever had. He thoroughly enjoyed spending the time with Baby Girl. YES! Don’t worry, I’ll happily go away more often so you can have more Daddy-daughter time.

And, indeed, as predicted, he not only manage this weekend, but his exact words were, “I was surprised by how easy it was!” [Insert murderous thought…]

I’d be lying if I said this didn’t grate slightly… I’d like to see him do it for fifteen months, day in, day out, then let’s see how easy he finds it.

The truth is, in the car on the way back on Sunday, I was dreading coming home. I feel terrible for saying this, but I hadn’t missed it. And the idea of coming back to the same monotonous routine – now jaded from a Hen weekend suffering from what would turn out to be a three day hangover (such a shadow of my 21 year old self!) – the same brightly coloured singing plastic, the same battles with Baby Girl day in, day out… it just wasn’t very appealing.

And this is where I find myself now, coming down off the massive high that was the weekend, back to reality.

Seeing the energy the OH had with Baby Girl, his enthusiasm, his joy at spending so much time with her has made me feel as though I’m not doing a great job at the moment. I feel exhausted all the time (even before the weekend away); even when Baby Girl sleeps, fifteen months of sleep deprivation, worry & confusion have taken their toll.

I thought the weekend away would rejuvenate me, bring me home with a new lease of life & a new passion for Row Row Row Your Boat.

I was wrong.

It’s just made me realise how much I hate Row Row Row Your Boat. On the Saturday we ‘Paddled to the Pub,’ canoeing down Beaulieu River and the girls all started singing Row Row Row Your Boat; I nearly threw myself overboard.

  Umm, so… this wasn’t where I saw this blog post going when I started writing. It was originally a really happy post, filled with glitter & joy from the weekend! (It was a sparkle themed weekend; we all looked like a fairy played fast & loose with her pixie dust!) They say blogging is therapy – now I know why.


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