All By Myself

I am sitting in a cafe having a toasted tea cake and a juice on my own.

Yep, you heard that correctly. On. My. Own. Nobody with me not even a child. We’ve come a long long long way in the last 14 months. I can’t quite believe that so much time had passed by and quite how quickly it has flown. I can barely remember the acute anxiety I felt for the majority of the time at the start of this journey together as a new family. The unreal dream like state I was in for months while we were both off work together with our beautiful daughter. The questioning I did every second of every hour of every day in those early days. Is she crying because she’s frightened or because she’s hungry and tired? Is she not cuddling me because she’s not attaching or because she’s two? Is she running off because she’s too independent for her age and unattached or because she’s two? Questions racing through my mind day in day out, worries coursing through me night after night as I tried to get to sleep.

I know I hid it well. I look at photos of myself at the time and I honestly feel like I’m looking at someone I don’t know. Because I know how acutely stressed I felt when those pictures were taken I can’t believe I’m looking at me. People close to us have even said they didn’t have a clue what I felt like. I hid it well. I just wanted to get it so right at the time. I wanted my daughter to feel loved, wanted, cared for, safe, secure, warm, close and nurtured. I think (hope) we achieved that by sticking rigidly (with little help from a few people who I felt refused to “get it”) to a routine which involved only the three of us together for most of the time. It’s paid off. Our beautiful daughter is confident, independent, feisty, fun, funny and definitely knows her own mind which is what I always wanted for my child, particularly a daughter.

While I enjoy a sit down in a cafe on my own she is at her grandma and grandads having a lovely time baking and watching movies. This is a huge step for me more than her. I wasn’t confident. I wasn’t relaxed. But I’m getting there. But I realised, with a clarity that hit me a few months ago, it is because I love her so much I would do anything for her and I want to treasure every single minute I can with her. I don’t need nor want to “fob” her off to anyone else. I enjoy her and we have great times.

But for now I will enjoy a quiet toasted tea cake.


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