Back in December, when we were child (and care) free, we managed to get tickets to see Pearl Jam in London for June this year. We thought by then we would be 6 months in to parenthood and figured we would probably be ready for a little break.
The first night away from the little man was always going to be fraught with different emotions. Having been at his beck and call for 177 days (that's right, I counted) we predicted tears and anxiety. Some of the emotions were expected, some took me by surprise.
In no particular order, here is the rollercoaster of emotions that was those 27 hours:
As much as I truly love the little guy, it was nice to know we would have some time to ourselves away from the groundhog day routine that is feeding, changing, napping, playing and bathing. It was also a relief to know I could turn off the parent radar and not have to sleep with one ear open during the night or watch over him during to the day to make sure he was ok.
For the past 6 months or so we have been wrapped up in the first time / new parents bubble. A time where survival mode kicks in and you do what you can to get through each day.
Admittedly the last few months have been a lot easier now that we have got some routines in place and reclaimed our evenings back. But man it was really good to go away, like the good old days where it was just the two of us. The recent time away from the little man highlighted there is a very, very small part of me that mourns our life before child. A time where we had a carefree attitude and could throw caution to the wind on long weekend breaks or holidays. A time where we could do what we want, when we wanted with only ourselves to answer to. A time in our lives that has now gone.
From the day little man was born his needs have come first. I've had a canceled Christmas (he was born Christmas Eve), sleepless nights, shower free days, meals gone cold, missed appointments, unwatched films and an absent social life; all for him. Yet nothing could stop me feeling so selfish for us leaving him for one night.
In the run up to us going away we arranged for his Nanny and Grandad to spend more time with him in the hope he wouldn't mind to much with them looking after him rather than us. Unfortunately for his grandparents this didn't work. As I had suspected, after spending 177 days with us, he noticed we had disappeared and he was not best pleased.
The inevitable phone call came from the grandparents in the early evening asking for advice because they were unable to settle him. I could hear him crying in the background and for the first time since his birth, I couldn't do anything about it. I was miles away and it wasn't going to be me who could soothe him. I was heartbroken. The feeling of helplessness was overwhelming and as I stood in the centre of London I burst in to tears.
We gave all the suggestions we could think of and thankfully half an hour later all was well with the little man, but it didn't stop the main overriding emotion that had plagued me the whole time I was away from him, which was;
I felt guilty for leaving him in the first place, knowing full well he wouldn't understand where we had gone and if we were coming back.
I felt guilty for putting his grandparents through it. I know they must have held off making that phone call to us but he must have got them to the point where they felt they had no choice.
I felt guilty for feeling relieved that for just 27 hours he would be someone else's responsibility and I could relax.
I felt guilty for missing our child free life.
There were then a whole heap of other emotions when as soon as we had checked into the hotel, we found out the concert was cancelled . . . . . (cue several hundred expletives)
So I then felt guilty that we had put little man (and us) through all this upset for nothing.
But do you know what? For all the guilt and other feelings that were awash for those 27 hours, I'm glad we did it, and I'd do it all again. The last 6 months have been quite intense and so it was good to just get away from it all, just Hubby and me.
And for my final emotion:
Complete, Overwhelming, Unconditional Love
As soon as I got home and saw the little man, the tears flowed. It was good to go away, but it was great to be home.