This past week I’ve had mum guilt for having time away from Miss Belle twice.
It’s been my birthday, so for my present my husband took one for the team, and went to an actual spa with me. This is not really his thing. He’s only ever had one massage and that’s because I forced him to on our honeymoon. When he suggested it I nearly fell over – but once I knew he was serious I was so excited and so impressed. The boy is learning!
Miss Belle still goes to nursery one day a week – something else that gives me mum guilt now I’m a SAHM. We decided to keep her in one day to keep her used to having time away from me, to keep her development and socialising up, and to give me a day to do the boring non child friendly chores and possibly eventually take on some freelance work. At the moment I spend her nursery days doing blog stuff too – it’s way more time consuming than I predicted.
It turns out sending your child to nursery on your birthday leads to increased mum guilt. I felt bad for us not all spending the day together. For Matt’s birthday we spent the day together at the Norfolk Show and it was lovely. When I told Matt I felt guilty for having a day to just the two of us, he laughed. He was not at all bothered that we were leaving our daughter (who has started crying again at drop off – just for extra mum guilt), to go and relax for the day.
We went to the beautiful Congham Hall. It was a really hot sunny day, so we could even lie on sunbeds outside (IN THE UK!). In the end I managed to switch off, despite worrying because my phone was in my locker (she’d had a bit of a cold and what if nursery rang to say we needed to collect her?) Congham Hall is probably the best spa I’ve ever been to, and the sauna, steam room, hot tub and amazing ‘experience’ showers helped me relax and unwind. I had a wonderful massage to revive my aching muscles from the stresses and strains of every day life with a toddler, in addition to my various hip/back/glute ailments (seriously I am starting to feel I am getting too old for attempting to ‘keep fit’).
My guilt eased when I saw no missed calls from nursery and we enjoyed a nice lunch overlooking some gorgeous gardens. We picked her up and came home and played in the garden. She enjoyed her extra Daddy time and he came up trumps and brought me a glass of fizz and cake out which Miss Belle immediately signed for (the cake, not booze). She knows what she wants that girl.
Fast forward a few days and I’m left my girl again for the day, this time for a day out in London with my mum. For the last few years we’ve gone with one of her friends and had a nice lunch and watched a show. This year she treated me for my birthday present. As I left Miss Belle was having her breakfast mid meltdown because she didn’t want her blueberries, she wanted a banana. But then she didn’t want her banana. Is it bad that I thought “muhahah good luck Daddy!” as I left the house? Part of me was hoping he’d get an insight into how tiring it is to look after her all day. Turns out they had a lovely day seeing some friends at the swings and then at Grandma and Grandad’s. I’m told Daddy coped just fine. (I suspect Grandma and Grandad took some of the load whilst he could keep up with his football scores in the afternoon though…)
Mum, her friend and I had planned to have lunch at Boulevard Brasserie but lunch quickly became afternoon tea with fizz. Standard. We then had a short walk to the theatre where we saw Show Boat. It’s just finished playing in London but it was truly brilliant. I didn’t know the story, but sometimes I think that’s better because it was a nice surprise.
It was lovely to have a day out with my mum but as I caught the two hour train home I just wondered what Miss Belle had been up to all day. I think some people really miss non baby/adult time, and as much as it was great not to spend the day trying to decipher babble, I still really missed her. I just love being with her. Am I weird?
After my London trip I got up early so Matt could have a lie in. I said to her “did you miss me yesterday?” Her reply was simply “Daaaaaddy!”