Leaving My Baby for the First Time

Wednesday, 30 October 2019 Bristol, UK

A few weeks ago, Peter and I went out on our first date night to see one of favourite artists in Bristol.
It was a bit of a last minute thing… Peter was going to go alone as I didn’t feel ready to leave Nova
yet. After a few encouraging words from my mum (AKA a desperate to babysit Grandma) and realising
that I probably would never be ready to leave her, and also, if I’m being honest, not wanting to miss
out on the chance to see Dermot Kennedy (for the third time...) we left Nova in the safe arms of my
mum and dad and, feeling like I’d left a part of me at home, we went out.

Dress: Zara | Jacket: Mango via Depop | Shoes: F&F @ Tesco

I found it so weird. Simply parking the car and not having to battle with the pram. Being able to go
down the escalator and not having to hunt out a lift. Being able to go and have a drink and not having
to worry about being ‘responsible’. But mostly, it was weird because I realised how much I missed my
husband, something I haven’t felt since we were long distance when we first started dating. I missed
the quality time I had with him and only him. Being able to have a conversation that wasn’t interrupted
by a tiny human demanding a bottle, or needing their nappy changed. That being said, it was HARD
to talk about anything other than Nova. Whether she’d finished her bottle yet and whether she was
okay without me. It was hard to ignore the mini panics when I looked around and she wasn’t there,
terrified that I’d left her in the lift or in the car.

Peter, on the other hand, leaves her every day for work. So he’s a bit more used to not constantly
having her attached to his side. He was so gentle, but firm, with me. (Except that one time he
threatened to confiscate my phone if I didn’t stop texting my mum). Almost refusing to talk about
Nova, he steered me back into spending time as ‘us’, and soon I felt like I could be myself again. 

Thing is, as any new (or old time) mama is, I found myself a bit lost in my baby. Her needs. Her
wellbeing. Her happiness. And this is not a bad thing, of course we need to give our babies the
utmost attention… but honestly, I kinda forgot about who I was before. What my marriage was.
Truthfully, I needed that night to ‘forget’ about her needs, and concentrate on mine and Peter's,
even if it was only for three hours. And we had a great time.

I couldn’t do this whole parenting thing without him. I wouldn’t want to. But he is so much more to
me than just a parenting partner. I needed that night as a reminder of why he is my best friend. My
greatest support, encourager and the person I always have the most fun with. That night I realised
how important it is that we still make time for us. It was so easy to fall into complacency, but marriage
deserves your attention; actually, it needs your attention, in order to not only work, but thrive.

If Peter and I continue to be a strong team with an even stronger bond, Nova will benefit from this in
the future. So by caring for my needs, Peter’s needs and the needs of my marriage, I am also caring
for the needs of Nova. 

It is always easy? Honestly, no. The eyes of my heart are quite firmly fixed on Nova at the moment,
and it becomes a disciplined choice to take them off when I leave her for a nap or for a play on her
playmat and fix them on Peter. But it is a disciplined choice I want to make, because I have chosen
(and vowed on our wedding day) to value connection with him.


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