Just over a week ago I was walking my little girl to school, excited about the new chapter in her life but also happy for my new found freedom.
I took some time off work just to make sure she will adjust nicely and for me to relax a bit on my own. I imagined myself dropping off the child and going for a run after. Get home, shower and make a well deserved cup of coffee, catch up on my reading and smiling at the beautiful weather. I thought I would have all the time in the world to see my friends and actually be able to sit down and enjoy a grown up conversation with them without having to also answer other millions of questions from my daughter in the same time.
Well, do you want to know what reality looks like? I will tell you. There is no freedom. There is no time off. There is no friends over for coffee and laughter. There is no new life. It’s only an adjustment. In the past two weeks I deep cleaned my house bit by bit, I did laundry every day, I ran about three times and moped around thinking just how quiet my house is and how much I miss the time spent with the little one.
Last Saturday we went out to see some friends. They moved into a new place and invited us for some drinks. They are so lovely and I was so happy to see them and spend some time between adults. I left Ruby at her friend’s place to play. I knew she would have a wonderful time and I also knew she was in safe hands but I so often found myself anxious, wanting to go pick her up. I wanted to leave so I can just cuddle my baby and watch Disney movies together. That’s when I clocked on it. I do have separation anxiety and it definitely sucks.
The things is, I think she has it as well. We miss our daily chats and coloring time, our movies and walks in the park having adventures looking for conkers and fish in the river. My house is way too empty and no amount of books could fill that void. I find myself wondering what is she doing, if she is OK, if she had enough water, if she is doing well, if she is not over or under dressed for the weather and all other thousands of thoughts. My mind is spiraling and I just miss her so much. I try to keep myself busy so I won’t think about it but the truth is, two weeks into this and I am so damn exhausted. It feels like I ran a marathon and a half.
Just the other night she cried that her tummy hurts and I felt useless not knowing what to give her. She asked me to hold her and rock back and forth like when she was a baby. Eventually she fell asleep but my anxiety only awoke. I took her in my bed just to keep and eye on her and make sure she is good. We held each other and feeling her tiny hands in mine made me just acknowledge how much I need her.
By morning she forgot about her tummy pain and told me she just tricked us because she was scared of the dark in her room and she missed me so much. What can you say to that? I couldn’t be upset. I held her tight and felt like crying. Do I baby her too much? Maybe. But you see, she is turning into a little grown up and needs me less and less each day and I am not ready for that yet. I still want the kisses and the cuddles, the laughter and the excitement, I still want to be needed and called mummy and not mum.
Does that make me selfish or needy? Or, does it just make me an overprotective mother? I am still in love with my daughter the same way I was when she was born and apart from the two days per week when I had to be at work, she has always been with me. She never had a sleepover, she came with me even to my doctor’s appointments and now, all of a sudden I am walking down the street alone, I don’t have to stop by any toy store trying to convince her she doesn’t need new toys, I don’t have to be slow so she can keep up with me and I definitely don’t need to stress if she decides on going too fast with her scooter. And instead of taking all these as positives, I just sulk and feel lonely, I sometimes count the hours left to when I have to pick her up and get to kiss her again.