A Little Time Apart
Every March, Roly flies to Melbourne with some friends to go to the Formula One Grand Prix. Last year I was extremely nervous about being at home alone with a 7-month-old for 3 nights but this time around I'm feeling much more at ease with the idea.
It's a good marker to see how far we've come as parents I think!
As I write this, it's Sunday morning and Max is wandering around the yard, doing his 'rounds' with Honey and chatting away - me checking on him every sentence or two. I'm conscious of remaining out of sight, though, so he's free to enjoy his solo yard adventures.
Roly left on Friday morning and since then Max and I have been to swimming class, a doctor's appointment, an afternoon playdate and dinner, the Saturday markets, a morning playdate and I went out for dinner for my girlfriends 30th, leaving Max with Brenda for a few hours. Even though I didn't have anything alcoholic to drink, I'm feeling a little groggy from the late night so I've just decided to cancel a trip to the Sunday markets. We also have breakfast visitors coming in an hour or two so it would have all been very rushed.
Needless to say, it's been a big few days. We miss Roly a lot so we've kept ourselves busy and I think that's helped. Plus it's nice to hear that he's having a great time.
The thought of spending so much time alone has had a different effect on me at different stages. In my early 20's, I would not have been able to cope and I'm sure it caused me a lot of adrenal fatigue to be running around with people when I really just needed to rest. By the time I'd reached my late 20's, the idea of a long and lazy solo weekend sounded absolutely divine. Books, walks, a massage. Bliss!
When Max was a baby, I was worried something would go wrong and I'd have to make decisions on my own. Making the wrong one terrified me. I think that all comes down to confidence and belief in your own abilities, which I'm happy to report has grown significantly since the last time Roly took this trip!
The big one though is learning to be comfortable with being alone. Those feelings of fear and anxiety that arise at the thought of spending time by yourself are big, overwhelming feelings but I don't think they should be shied away from. Sometimes it's just an initial moment of discomfort and then you realise there's a whole heap of things you've been waiting for a chance to do - like watch a certain movie, finally put a stack of photos in a folder or rearrange the furniture (just me?!).
We've been super busy this weekend but it's a nice feeling to know that it's not because I've felt the need to surround myself with people to avoid feeling lonely (which is what I've done in the past). Instead, I've taken the opportunity to catch up with friends in a way that we don't get to do that often. I think when you visit people for the pure fact you want to see them and not just to ease your own loneliness...it has a more authentic feel and you open yourself up to a true connection, which ironically eases loneliness. The people you're visiting feel it too!
And I'm really very grateful for the abundance of options we had this weekend, too many play dates and catch ups to squeeze them all in - it makes me feel incredibly loved!
And let's face it, you're never really alone if you have kids anyway. When you've got a newborn it can definitely feel a little isolating, but once that baby becomes an active and social toddler, you're pulled back out of your shell by grubby hands wanting to be pushed on the swing.
PS Here are a few fun photos from our dinner out as a family on Thursday before Roly left for the weekend.