My First Night Away From Eric

Written on Thursday 10th April

Last night was the first night I've ever spent apart from Eric, and it was a bit of a daunting milestone for me.  Alex's mum has spent the last few months doing up the spare bedroom so Eric would be able to come over for sleepovers, and finally it was ready, and everybody was super-keen...except me.  Eric was really excited to go for a sleepover at Grandma's house, they were so eager to have him, but I just didn't feel ready. 

I knew he'd be absolutely fine and happy there, especially as Alex would be staying there with him.  He is comfortable at their house, has visited in the day many times, and it would be new and exciting for him.   But I was dreading how much I'd miss him. 

The night before they were due to go I was in floods of tears, unable to imagine how empty the house would feel without him here, beyond sad to envisage him not coming into bed for a cuddle at night.  This happened at the same time as the devastating passing of Peaches Geldof, another attachment mama, and my heart had been hurting thinking of her two boys without their beloved mother.  It probably didn't help my emotions.  I made myself remember that it was just one night, it would be over quickly, and that he is so excited to go and all I ever want is the best for him. 

I talked to a friend with similar parenting beliefs and she reassured me it's normal to feel like this, I've been with him every night for nearly 4 years so it's bound to feel weird at first! She encouraged me to use the time to do something nice for myself and made me feel so much more positive about it.  Alex's mum and her partner live 80 minutes drive from us, but I made Alex promise to drive Eric home if he changed his mind or if I changed my mind, and to phone me at bedtime so I could say goodnight!

I apprehensively went to work and had a good day with lovely colleagues, then I went home on the bus.  Getting home and making dinner for just myself and getting to eat it, hot and uninterrupted, on the sofa, was actually a bit of a treat! I felt like a young professional again, and I kinda liked it! Tidying up took a fraction of the time it usually does, and I cleaned out the rabbit and put the recycling out without having to fit around Eric's bedtime routine.  Then I just slumped on the sofa the whole evening, watching property programmes and Made In Chelsea whilst eating chocolate.  Although the house was quiet, it was actual bliss.  I copied my contacts from my old phone to my new phone and had the time to get in touch with some friends.  Then I had a really good bath, face mask and all (Lush's Full of Grace Serum Bar followed by Oatifix Fresh Face Mask, Immaculate Eggception Ballistic and King of Skin Body Butter), read my book and had a chamomile and spiced apple tea.

I went to bed which I anticipated being the hardest bit as I'm so used to bedsharing, but I felt so relaxed after my bath and just read my book till I was really sleepy and nodding off into the pages.  It was nice to be able to stretch out in the whole bed! Funnily enough though I still slept squished on my side and woke up at 6:50am, like normal, as if Alex and Eric were still there.  But it was lovely to be undisturbed and get to go back to sleep in the morning.  I've just been reading and had breakfast in bed, and now I have the time to catch up with my writing, with the windows thrown open, the sun shining in and the birds singing.

I had a few wobbles but I'm so glad to have had the time on my own, to feel like me again.  And knowing how much I was worrying about it helps me see that I do have a really good attachment with Eric.  Now I feel more refreshed and able to deal with the challenges and stresses parenting sometimes brings, and I'm really looking forward to seeing him later and having a big cuddle!

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