I Am A Mother But I Am Also Me.

Timmy usually starts asking me what i want for Christmas and Birthday (29th December – yes i’m one of the unfortunate ones) around this time of year and like clockwork just a few days ago the question came. If he’d asked me a year or so ago i would have already started a Pinterest board but in July with an abundance of choices. It would usually be things that quite frankly id never get, namely the Chanel Boy bag or an Acne coat, but a girl can dream right?

These days my Pinterest is all weaning and 1st Birthday decorations. Instinctively my first thought was a trip to London. My mind was clearly back in the carefree days. I was imagining winter wonderland, afternoon tea, the V & A and of course a stroll down Oxford Street. Then it got me thinking? Would this be an acceptable time to go without Ernest?

As soon as the thought entered my head i automatically felt guilty. How could i want to do something without my baby? And should I feel guilty?

Before we had him, a trip to London would have been a few clicks and we were there. No fuss. No thought process. Now its figuring out the logistics of taking a baby with us. Obviously like anything these days i want to involve him where ever I can. I don’t actually like the thought of being away from him when it boils down to it. He’s a part of me and I want to spend every waking moment in his company.

But if you’re a parent you will know that babies come with a lot of baggage. We live in Cornwall so getting anywhere takes time. Could i sit on a train for 5 hours with him? Could i take him on a flight? I would be doing these things alone as i’d meet Timmy in London on the way back from the rigs. Although i am a very capable mother i’m not sure if i’m ready to embark on that journey just yet.

So it’s a case of leaving him, taking him but shitting myself the whole time or just not bothering? Now we aren’t talking a few days or a week, its just one night.

These days me and Timmy have very little time to ourselves and we don’t mind that at all. It’s a joy to have Ernest. He completes us. We’ve realised that we have someone else to think of now so sacrifices have to be made. But we also need to make sure that we don’t lose ourselves and why we fell in love with each other in the first place. I think we easily forget that whilst we are busy making sure our baby is clothed and fed, we aren’t just mum and dad.

Those once intimate moments go on the back burner, sometimes your bed is occupied by a small octopus and its important to make sure that even with a little person in your life you also need to enjoy adult interaction. We neglect that we once had a life outside of nappy changes and bed time routines.

Even when Timmy is working away i’m more conscious of letting him know how Ernest is doing that we rarely ask each other how our days been. I know that having just that little bit of one on one with him will make the world of difference, even if its just to get a decent nights sleep.

When i was pregnant i managed to get hold of some Adele tickets (stick with me i’ve not gone off tangent). I couldn’t believe my luck. I didn’t really prepare myself for how i would feel, or know how i would feel when i had a baby. I booked the tickets even though it would have only been 6 weeks after Ernest was born. I didn’t give it a second thought.

When i told people they were genuinely shocked that i wanted to leave my baby for a couple of days so quickly. Or they told me as soon as the baby came along i would change my mind. I was so adamant that i was going to the concert and i really didn’t see what the big deal was.

It turns out that leaving your baby after 6 weeks would be a little harder than id thought. I subsequently sold my tickets pretty much as soon as i gave birth. Ernest was so poorly when he was born that it all seemed very insignificant at the time. Now Ernest is that bit older and a very settled baby why should i still feel bad for leaving him?

What is classed as acceptable? The people who once told me i was mad for wanting to leave him at 6 weeks, now tell me i should just go. I know that if we did go then he would be fine. He’s so comfortable around people, especially my mum, that when I leave him to go to work he doesn’t even notice me walking out the door. And I’m pretty sure after four kids she know’s what shes doing.

Although i’ve left him whilst i’ve been at work, i have never once let anyone put him to bed. The control freak in me thinks that if someone else does it, he won’t settle. That’s the bit that gets me the most. Although I wasn’t able to breastfeed I can imagine it’s a very special and intimate time shared with your baby. For me, that time in the darkness cradling him and giving him his last bottle as he drops off to sleep or taking him into my bed every morning to have the most perfect loving cuddles, is my version of that.

I am a mother first and foremost. And the motherly instinct in me goes against leaving my baby for any given time, unless absolutely necessary. But I am also me, Beki. I like Arts, Culture and fashion. I like being silly, not just pulling faces or jumping around like a mad women silly, but silly and witty in an adult capacity. I’m still me but a more grounded me and maybe just a teeny bit more of a grown up version. My heart is most definately bigger.

I need to be less selfish in many respects now but I also need to remember that in order for Ernest to have the very best of me and the very best parents, we need to take time where we can. Be that a meal out, peace and quiet when we’re taking a shit or spending a night away. I know that if we do go, we’ll miss him like mad and no matter how hard we try, our conversation will still end up back on Ernest.

It’s the little things that make all the difference and whilst i’m on auto pilot surviving on minimal sleep, wearing the same clothes i had on yesterday and having a pot noodle for tea, i need to remember that although I’m a mother, i’m also me, Beki.

Do you have any experience of this? Or are you torn with this idea? I would really like to hear other mumma’s opinions. It’s just nice to know that I’m not alone in this.

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