Escape

By the time we started our family I knew I was ready. I had done my partying and exotic holidays and didn’t think there would be much about a childless life I would miss. I was right, there isn’t, but the change I have noticed most in the last 22 months is the total loss of freedom. 


Obviously I knew I wouldn’t have so much of it, but tended to focus on the obvious. The loss of weekends away, far flung holidays and the freedom that money gives, to have and do what you want.


I didn’t think about the small things, those nuggets of freedom that we take for granted. Being able to stay up late watching films, knowing you can sleep in tomorrow, being able to pop to the shop in the evening, even though Mckdaddy is out, just to buy chocolate, escaping to the cinema to watch a chick flick on you own, on a  rainy afternoon. Or being able to chat to a friend for hours or watch two films in a row with them, separated only by a meal in a restaurant.


It is the time with friends that I miss most and one in particular. She lives too far away to be able to see regularly and we are used to spending our time together in chunks, gorging ourselves on our long, strong friendship, knowing that our splurge will have to last a while. It’s not easy to do this when there is a baby to care for.


Even though she has been to visit us a few times, I’ve been thinking of getting away for a child-free weekend for a while and yet despite knowing I want it, I have been putting it off, not wanting to spend that length of time away from Mini Mck.


The impending events of May mean that any small freedom I have at the moment will be gone again and possibly for another year. Back to breastfeeding every few hours and lots of broken sleep. This has focussed my mind somewhat and I have taken the plunge and arranged my weekend escape.


So, tomorrow I will be on a train for four and a half hours, indulging myself in a lovely book, coffee, knitting, writing and chocolate, travelling toward my oldest friend for much talking, sleeping, cackling, cinema going, take-away eating and DVD watching. I am so excited and yet today I feel very emotional. 


Tonight all I can think of is how much I will miss my son, how I won’t be putting him to bed until Monday, won’t be comforting when he’s upset, won’t be there for him for the first time in his short life. 


As conflicted as I may feel I know that I need this and I know that it is time to take that step and break away if only for a short while, but it will not be easy. 


It turns out that the biggest change when you become a parent is within yourself. You are never the same again.

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