As we were planning the logistics of the next month, with Hubski abroad, we both realised that it would be wise to get some help. Just a few hours here and there to take the pressure off.
I was a little hesitant at first, partly because I like to think that I am in control of everything and hate to admit that I need the help. But deep down, it’s also the intense mama guilt I feel – do I really need a few hours away from my daughter who I love more than anything in the world? Why does this make me feel like a bad mum? After all, until this point we do everything together: if I need to go to the supermarket, or exercise class, or shopping or seeing a friend, Emma comes with me. I want to be able to do it all, to juggle my needs, Emma’s needs and every aspect of our family life without the need to escape and be alone with my thoughts.
Wednesday was our first day with our Nanny, who is so brilliant with Emma. She arrived and played with Emma, who started crying as soon as I left to get something from the car. But her unflappable nature, her calmness put my mind at ease, when my heart was hurting a little. So here’s my next chapter: learning to let go a little, learning to let people help me. I keep repeating to myself, it’s good for both of us and I’m just really lucky that we’re in a position to have someone help me out.
After our Nanny went home, I did feel Emma was more clingy to me – which is saying something as she is naturally a very independent baby, but I think it’s quite normal. She did also seem very excited and appreciative that I was back and we had a lovely afternoon playing…I was on my phone less because I had had some time to myself and I felt more in the moment with her, which makes me truly happy.
As a result of all these ponderings, I’ve decided to make a promise to myself…to stop being so hard on myself. I’ve noticed that if anything goes awry with Emma – like the time she had nappy rash, or when she projectile vomited after I gave her Calpol for the first time, or when I mistimed her nap and she was screaming in the car all the way to my parents’ house – I always blame myself 100%. I do this without even thinking about it, and now I’m going to make a conscious effort to slow down, rush less and not worry so much.
So the following day, our second afternoon with the Nanny – I made an effort to do something just for me. I took a walk in the park nearby; this is the park I take Emma every day but it has the most beautiful views all the way to the sea and I love it. It made me happy – I really took my time and enjoyed the time to myself. On my way back I had a coffee too, just me watching the world go by, and it struck me how long it’s been since I didn’t drink my coffee like it’s water! It felt great not to be rushing around and just take a moment to breathe.