It’s hard at first, to leave the tiny human that you made and grew, but I think you have to eventually. Even if, like me, you have no job to go to or no particular place to be. I’m not sure if it’s the same for every parent, but I find that I have baby Iris on me or touching me almost all of the time thanks to breastfeeding, cosleeping and babywearing. I wouldn’t change any of those things or do anything any differently, but I do sometimes just want my body back for a bit. Not for long. Just short pauses every so often.
I crave conversation too. As much as I love Trev and could chatter away with him endlessly, I have to have regular contact with other sensible grown up human beings. It’s essential. Definitely.
I really do believe that you cannot be a decent parent if you don’t look after yourself, and I’m definitely guilty of letting things go when it comes to self care. I’ll choose snuggling at nap time over using the opportunity to snatch a speedy shower, any day. I rarely get my haircut. I don’t have much time for my old hobbies, reading, crochet, running. I have to have something.
So obviously when some of the lovely mums I have met here at various groups invited me out for pub lunch and drinks I almost jumped up and down with excitement. My last night out was last February, on my birthday. Almost a year ago. I couldn’t even drink because I was pregnant. My friends and Trev had much more fun than me, and although I had a nice evening I have to admit I was jealous. I like a drink or three.
I really hate expressing milk, and how do mums find the time for that anyway? Thankfully I expressed quite a bit in the early days and we had a little bit left. So while that defrosted I nagged Trev way too much about how me and Iris do things, when she’ll eat, what she’ll eat, when she naps. He didn’t need any of my advice really. I was just nervous. Very very nervous. Silly really, as he’s an incredible dad and Iris doesn’t scream when I leave her like she used to. In fact she finds Trev incredibly amusing, and when she’s been a real grump with me all day long he’ll come home and have her laughing within seconds. I knew they’d be fine.
I’ve left her before, obviously. But only for Slimming World, to walk the dog, go for a run, or attend one exercise class. Never for anything so self indulgent as drinks in a pub. It feels a bit like leaving a limb at home. She’s part of me, and being anywhere without her feels so very strange. It didn’t take too long to settle though. One cider and half an hour in, I got into the swing of things. The company and the drinks were good, and it felt good to be me for a little while. Not Mummy. Just Rebecca. I didn’t even feel like I really needed a break, but it just felt so good to stop thinking and worrying for a while. The food was good too. Without having to worry about ordering something I could share with Iris or feeling bad about the mess she makes when we eat out, I ordered a veggie burger and chips. Extra chips actually, as I’d heard beforehand that they are so big and yummy. Chips you can play Jenga with. Trev made the whole thing easier by regularly reassuring me by text message that Iris was fine. I had four whole drinks and a lovely time.