I’m so not ready for this. Little J is almost 18 months old now (when did that happen?!). For one reason or another, I have not spent one single night away from him. Yes, I’ve had days away from him, and I’ve been out for the evening. But I’ve not yet spent a whole night away from him…..until now. We should have had one or two nights away by now but due to illnesses it’s just never happened.
Me, Daz and our friends Pete and Emily are seeing the band Shinedown in London. Little J will be spending the day and night with his Auntie Laura.
Before The Sleepover
Is it horrible to admit that I am looking forward to spending a little bit of time away from Little J? I feel terrible mum guilt admitting it and I think sometimes we are too scared to admit things like that in case it looks like we are bad parents. But I’ll be completely honest, I am looking forward to being Lisa and not mummy for a little while. It doesn’t make me a bad parent, it makes me real. We are all entitled to some time to ourselves and to let our hair down (what hair I have left, I keep cutting it shorter and shorter!). I adore the socks off of Little J, but being a mum is a full-on, 24/7 job.
This will be the first time that me and Daz have gone out and not had to be responsible once we get home. I’ll be able to wake up of my own accord in the morning! I’ll be able to go to the bathroom in peace!
But, I am absolutely terrified! I don’t want to leave him! I’m going to miss the snuggles after dinner when we watch In The Night Garden, Moon and Me and the big favourite, Hey Duggee. The kisses and sleepy cuddles before bed. When he wraps his arms around my neck and rests his head in the crook of my neck. We’ll miss waking up to him chatting away in his bedroom in the morning and the massive smile we get when we go into his room. The way he eats his toast then smiles at his Daddy and gets up on his lap to help him finish his. He’s going to think that we’ve abandoned him…That’s it, I’m not going!!
During the Sleepover
I admit it, I cried when my sister picked Little J up. Little J was crying as my sister drove away and it broke my heart! I can’t do this! I soon cheered up though when I realised that I was able to soak in the bath uninterrupted!
When I was getting ready for our day out I kept looking around for Little J, waiting to hear his little feet stomping along the floor. It was a relief to go out actually!
We had an amazing time at the gig. We sang our hearts out, had a little dance and had some very over-priced drinks. It was probably a good thing that I wasn’t able to get any signal whilst at the O2 so that I couldn’t constantly text my sister to make sure that Little J was okay!
It was very strange when we got home and realised that we didn’t have to be quiet and creep around! We’re lucky that he sleeps through the night but there’s always that worry that you’re going to do something to wake him!
The next day
Since I gave up my job to be a stay at home mum I very rarely have to set an alarm now. So waking up to an alarm the next morning and not my little monster shouting for me was strange. I didn’t like it actually! It’s strange what you get used too!
I just couldn’t wait to pick Little J up. I thought that I would enjoy a lazy-ish morning but I just wanted to see him! The hug I got from Little J when we finally got to my sister’s house was the best! He wouldn’t leave my side!
When I asked my sister how Little J was, she told me it was an experience! He had cried nearly the whole time. I felt awful for them both 😔😔
The build-up to spending the night away from Little J was definitely worse than actually spending the night away from him. It probably helped that we were out for most of the day though!
I do feel better for having a night away from Little J as I was able to be myself for the day which was needed. I do believe that sometimes as parents we are shamed into thinking that we shouldn’t need time to ourselves. ‘You chose to have children!’ Yes, we did choose to have children, but why does that mean that we are no longer able to be ourselves? I still adore my child and we will always be mummy and daddy but we are entitled to be Lisa and Darren as well. It’s not like I’m asking for every single weekend to myself!
So cut yourself some slack. If you need some time to yourself, don’t feel guilty about it! If you have someone that you trust to look after your little ones, ask them! Otherwise, you’ll just burn yourself out. And that’s not good for anyone.
I’m going to repeat it. You are entitled to time away from your children. It doesn’t mean that you love them any less. And honestly, when you see them the next day or however long, the hugs are just incredible.