Reconnecting with B

I am starting to see how motherhood can be a series of small goodbyes. Saying farewell to different stages, only to welcome new ones as our babies gradually move towards independence.Question mark girl

A few weeks ago J started daycare two days a week. I am not due back at work for another two months so the plan has been to gradually ease him into a full day over the next few weeks.

The first day felt like a leap into the great unknown. Even though I’d visited the centre a few times and had met his caregivers, I was still nervous and didn’t know what to expect. Would he sleep there? Would he take his bottle? Would he be happy to interact with his caregivers? but with all the questions in my mind focused on ‘will he be okay’, I really didn’t stop to ask myself if I’d be okay.

The first day was fine, I spent time playing with J at the centre and then left him for an hour while I met a friend up the road for coffee. I filled the car with petrol.

Baby steps.

“You won’t know yourself”, people said. And what shocked me, as I drove out of the carpark on the second day and towards my first few hours of unscheduled ‘B time’ was that I didn’t.

“Should I go into the city for a shop? Perhaps go see a movie?” I asked myself as I drove around, no destination in mind. It was overcast and drizzly. I couldn’t decide.

I headed towards a favourite coffee shop, hatching a plan in my head. Magazines, coffee, muffin. Three of my favourite things. It felt like a bit of a cop out at the time; shouldn’t I be putting my time to better use? But on reflection, it was the best thing I could have done. I needed some time to sit, reflect and reconnect with me.

Sure, I still looked at my mobile phone a little too many times and clock watched, thought of my boy and wondered how he was doing. But in between those moments I relaxed and thought about all the other things I could do on similar mornings to come.

I thought of boring things that had to be done – trips to dentist, a visit to the accountant, grocery shopping – I was on a sort of mothering auto-pilot, putting the needs of the household before my own.

But then I stopped. I thought of ways I could nourish myself – a walk along the river, a visit to the art gallery, a movie and lunch, a morning yoga class – and I decided I had to put these needs up there on a par with the domestics. Maybe put them first for a while. Add self-nurture to my newly found appreciation for the art of nurturing.

I headed back to the daycare centre with a new resolve, my heart full of joy at the thought of holding my boy again. I walked in the door and there he is, sitting happily playing on the floor his caregiver by his side. He’d had a sleep, a bottle and some lunch. He looked up and smiled. I gathered him up and hugged him.

It was then I realised the gradual easing in period was as much for me as for him. A gradual letting go of the period of my life when my boy needed only me, a gradual rediscovery of the person I was before I had him and a time to get to know the person I’ve become since. Reconnecting with B.

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5 thoughts on “Reconnecting with B

  1. you are gonna be great at this whole mothering thing…. and baby boy will have a wonderful, whole person he knows loves him fully.
    good for you!!!! and– YAY!! for muffins, coffee, walks and art galleries!!!!

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  2. You’ve portrayed it perfectly! I remember the feeling so well – anxious at leaving my child but excited that a chasm of “me time” suddenly appeared on the horizon. Though I could only do it for two weeks before I returned to work, it was a blessing for both of us. The bub could ease in to daycare life and I could ease in to “not only a mother” life. I hope twelve months on its still smooth sailing (my son loves daycare so much he fights when its time to go – not sure what that says about his home life??!!)

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    • After this blog post, li’l Mr went on many months of extreme dislike of daycare … I think he wised up that he was being left and he was none too happy about it. But in the last couple months he’s had a complete turnaround and can’t wait to get stuck in and play when I leave him. I’m lucky to get any sort of acknowledgement now, but it’s better than the screaming! I think he’ll probably go full circle soon and scream when he has to leave too! Ah, the swings and roundabouts!

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  3. Those first few days are hard for everyone – and I think the months that follow can be harder once the separation anxiety kicks in. But we all get there in the end!

    Thanks for Rewinding at the Fibro!

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  4. what is she urging coaoorrtipns to provide daycare for? this whore has enough money to pay for a babysitter at her house or to keep her kid with her while shooting movies are you serious with this? the only reason she’s doing this is to get people to stop talking about what a whore and bytch she is for leaving one friend to be with a man with 1 nut then getting dumped 3 months later . kate hudson, real people out in the real world with real jobs that can’t afford to take a million $$$ vacation, don’t need a person like you to speak for us you have ONE kid and you’re complaining what of the actresses that have 2 or 3 or 4 kids? what should they do? refuse to act? stop trying to put off your kid to other people stay at home, don’t date for about 7 years, and be a mother to your child it’s been noted and noticed by alot of people that you’re not a good mother and you rarely stay home with your child sorry, this seems rude and mean but it’s the truth

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