Separation Pains-The first night away from bear
This week has been a complete mixture of bittersweet memories & emotions for me: on the one hand I’ve been put through the mill of surgery, recovery & my very first night away from bear *sob*. Yet on the other hand, I’ve experienced complete elation to find out I’ve been shortlisted for a blogging award (I feel like one of the cool kids for a change!) Two completely opposite sides of the ‘emotional’ spectrum there, I think you’d agree? In all honesty, I’m not entirely sure if any of these events from the past week have quite sunk in just yet (I’m blaming the darn anaesthetic!).
Choosing to write down & record this perfectly ordinary moment of my very first night spent away from bear, is one that I’m so pleased to have captured, but I’m painfully aware may cause a stir amongst y’all out there: For I cannot count the amount of times others have deemed it necessary to criticise me for not doing this sooner (bear is 2)- fellow parents & non parents alike. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for opinions: Opinions are great, they make the world go round & life more interesting. But, please, it is perfectly acceptable to Agree to disagree….I am not a child, please do not tell me what I should or shouldn’t do: I’ve developed a coping mechanism for reacting to these do-gooders: Smile & nod, smile & nod. Rant over, lets continue!
Please understand this: I have no problem with parents who are happy & comfortable to leave their precious kiddisquinkles in the capable hands of rellies or babysitters overnight-in fact kudos to them. I applaud you for being brave & confident enough to do this. Truth be told, I’m a bit of a control freak & my OCD kinda flips into overdrive at the thought of bear’s routine going out of sink. Oh & I find it really really difficult to trust people. Yup folks, I’ve got trust issues (quick send me to the Therapy chair!).
I’ve also had no need or desire to be apart from snotface at night. No offers have presented themselves which have been too good to refuse: a 5* spa break, a weekend away to the sun? Nope. So frankly I’ve been happy to return home to the comfort of my own bed. I’ve just not been emotional ready to face it & I guess I’ve actually been putting it off.
On Tuesday I had to have some planned surgery, all rather routine to the medical world but a teeny bit daunting to me nonetheless. Scheduled as ‘day surgery’ I expected to return home on the same day & naïvely thought that being the fit & healthy gal I am, I’d bounce back immediately & return to normality pronto! Oh Katrina….tut tut, that was so wrong. I didn’t head into theatre until late afternoon, so it was obvious early on this ‘day surgery’ case would likely overspill slightly. I had difficulty recovering & awakening from the anaesthetic. Is it wrong that I was actually kinda looking forward to a little bit of peaceful sleep? (& Even 5 days post op, I’m still feeling very spaced out) I physical couldn’t move, couldn’t drink or eat. & For a control freak like moi this is not a good place to be, thank goodness then I was far too woozy to absorb most of this.
The decision to stay in hospital overnight therefore was taken out of my hands, & despite being drugged up to my eyeballs, even I could see this was the best decision given the circumstances. A drip had to be administered & constant obs taken throughout the night (What happened to my dreamy thought of a perfectly serene sleep?!)
Given my hesitance (or perhaps that should be defiance) to leave bear overnight, I was pleasantly surprised by my reaction: I felt perfectly happy & calm for this to occur. Admittedly, there wasn’t really much leeway on the decision & I believe ultimately this assisted in calming my nerves.
Although the situation surrounding my first night of ‘child’ separation left a slightly bitter taste in my mouth, it’s given me the assurance to know that I can cope with a bit of distance between us. Bear was fine, he didn’t fall apart (or break) & he managed to stay out of too much mischief. The lesson I’ve learned, which in reality I’ve known all along is: It’s me, not him. It’s my insecurities, worries & ‘mothers guilt’ that have held me back & apprehended me thus far from longer stints of ‘me’ time. I knew it would just be a matter of time before it felt right to leave him, & even though it wasn’t out of choice or an enjoyable ‘night’ for me, secretly I’m really proud of myself.
Everyone’s circumstances & situations will vary, & of course sometimes these will dictate time spent away from your little munchkins: Work demands naming but one obstacle. & I Take my hat off to all of you whom find yourself in this predicament, who either out of choice or not, are able to part ways with your babies or toddlers for days, even weeks at a time. I pass no judgments; instead I admire your emotional strength. You most certainly won’t hear me offering ‘words of wisdom’, I don’t believe there is a right or wrong answer to this dilemma, & it’s a case of ‘different strokes, for different folks’. People should remain with an open mind & offer support, rather than a critique the choices we make.
The burning question is: am I looking forward to my next ‘night of freedom’? & Actually, my answer is yes: I’ll remain optimistic for that 5* spa break!!
How did you endure on your first night of separation, did you procrastinate as I? Or are you one of the bold I slightly envy for taking the plunge sooner?
Check out all the other ‘Ordinary moments’ with Katie at MummyDaddymeMakesThree