Alex has just returned from a few days away on a work trip to Barcelona, during which time Eliza and I were all by ourselves. It was the longest the three of us have been apart and it’s fair to say I really wasn’t looking forward to it.
In a lot of respects it was much easier than I’d dared to expect, as we just made our way around our normal routine of park, shops, hanging around the house, meeting NCT mums, cake and so on. However, he was away for three bath and bedtimes and the day he was due back was the eve of tooth number four; it was also really hard.
As well as the big things – at the end of an exhausting day I can’t be the only person who looks forward to my husband coming home to help out, right? – it really made me grateful for the little things. You know, like having someone to make you dinner after a lengthly bedtime, bring you a restorative glass of wine, or give you a hug after a 3am wake-up, when there’s finally the golden sound of silence through the baby monitor. And of course, the magic of the bin emptying fairy.
Having a baby is at times both relentless and exhausting, and you can see the potential for it to have a massive impact on your relationship (especially during times when one of you is full of post-birth hormones and general resentment, hasn’t slept properly in days and is awake for the fifth time at 4am and the other person, even though they can’t do anything as they’re not the one breastfeeding, dares to be asleep). Yet the overall amazing enormity of the shared experience – plus you both made another human being! And she’s just brilliant! – can also bring you much, much closer together, and the emotional support this bond gives you is completely vital too.
Eliza is obviously far too young to understand the concept of time, but her whole face lit up when Alex got back and she was pretty pleased to see him. Needless to say, we missed him, and we’re so happy to have him back.