Want to stay sane? Go out!
Find a baby sitter, improve relations with your mum or mum-in-law and go go go! You need at least a full night and a day to rediscover who you used to be before the poles of your world turned upside down and the sun was replaced in the centre of the universe by this precious little creature you simply call your Child.
After 9 months I finally dared to leave Little F with granny and went out with my husband and his newly found friends (everyone I know in Krakow is either pregnant or has a baby even younger than mine, so catching up over a beer into the night is out of question). A day and a half and two nights of freedom…. Seemed short when I though about it (or very long when I was in mummy-will-miss-Little-F mode), but turned out to be light years, with a stretchy quality, like a standard issue magicians hat – big enough to fit a ladder.
Of course it started with some guilt. As soon as the car drove off leaving us waving at the pavement I felt a huge weight drop from my shoulders (almost literally), and of course my old friend mummy-guilt followed shouting ”How can you feel relief at your precious child leaving?! Bad mummy!!”.
Going out showed me how much I have changed since I had Little F. how much more highly strung I am – always thinking what and when he will eat, sleep, need a nappy change and planning my day around it. ”No Honey, we can’t hang around and relax in this gorgeous spot because little F will get hungry soon and we need to reach point X to feed him.”.
Luckily changes were not permanent. Already the first night I started to feel like my old self again: relaxed and with no problems to stay out till 4 pm – though my usual bedtime is 9-10 pm. After five weeks of being here I finally felt I have arrived in the city of my youth!
It was also a revelation to speak with people who don’t have children and are not interested to speak about your one. It inspires me to read, write and think of non-baby things again, after all, you need subjects of conversation when you do go out.
Now that you’ve finished reading pick up that phone and call your childcare provider (and book a hotel!)!!! Or are you scared to see the changes wrecked in you by 24/7 motherhood?
Go out and find out what a wonderful individual you still are, and maybe you will also realise what a hard job you are doing as a mum. Chances are you got used to it so much you yourself no longer notice how much it takes.