With having to stop breastfeeding Naomi, I knew I would feel sad about it – the transition to the next stage is always emotional. However, I decided I’d focus on the positives, one of which being able to leave her so that I could have a break. Six months with a baby 24/7, not to mention the nine months of pregnancy and three other children to look after is tough. And as much as I adore my children, having some time for me is essential to my mental well-being.
So I’d asked my in-laws (who absolutely love spending time with their grandchildren) if they’d have Naomi for a few hours. They jumped at the chance and made it very easy for me to leave her. I knew she would get their undivided attention.
I was unsure what to do with my day off. I had about five hours of freedom and I know all too well that this isn’t that long! I wanted to use the time wisely but also not overload myself.
I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to sort out our study which is piled high with toys and clothes and random junk. We never get chance to go in there when the children are around and only seem to add to the piles of things to ‘sort out later’. I find sorting things quite therapeutic and calming so I wouldn’t have minded doing this as the mess is starting to get to me.
Then I thought I could catch up on a bit of work and do some blogging. Again, another thing I find therapeutic. But I know how easily I could lose those hours to getting distracted browsing online.
Then I thought I could read a book and just stay in bed, totally unproductive but very therapeutic!
However, I settled on going to town. I was ready to buy myself a few new items of clothing post-pregnancy, and wanted to do this without children and pushchairs in tow!
With my milk drying up I could finally buy a new bra, with wires! I’d been living in my comfy Emma Jayne maternity bras for months. (Buying a bra may seem an odd thing to write about but if you’ve been living in a crop top for a year, you’d be excited too!) M&S was my first stop. I was a bit overwhelmed by the choice and with my random size at the moment my choices were limited. So I opted for a simple T-shirt bra.
I picked up some new vest tops too. I was excited (yes genuinely!) to see a fab buy one get one half price offer on. I live in vests most of the year to keep me cosy so this was a great bargain.
I went to New Look to have a look at the tops. This store is a bit young for me but I’m on a very tight budget and needed some basic tops to see me through winter. I’m aiming to lose two stone by spring so I didn’t want to spend too much. I also wanted to make myself buy something that wasn’t black!
Due to the weight I’ve been carrying, I’ve lived in black for about a year and it’s getting me down. I rarely wore it before, I prefer navy or dark greys, but with a new baby it’s just easier to have a load of black clothes to mix and match quickly in the day when I’ve been puked or pooed on (the joys!). I don’t have time to look fashionable!
I found myself drawn to the black clothes and picked up a few baggy black tops – my subconscious going into my comfort zone. I realised what I was doing and put them back. Thankfully I found a couple of navy T-shirts and also bought about three in a maroon red. With a few items bought. I popped to Next and picked up a new leather belt as I’d been wearing my husband’s!
The last thing on my ‘love to do’ list was to go to a bookshop and have a cuppa! Something I could never do with children in tow! So I went to our local Waterstones, which really is a fabulous store – if you’re ever in Cheltenham do make time to visit it. I brought my book with me as I didn’t have much time to browse for a new one. This shop has a Costa coffee so I grabbed a cuppa and sat down.
It was weird sitting there alone. I felt quite upset for some reason. I saw other people and realized how much life had changed for me. They talked slowly, they moved slowly, they read books or stared out of the window, they were just taking their time. The only baggage they seemed to be carrying was their House of Fraser shopping bags.
Even in my moment of relaxation I felt hurried as I knew I didn’t have too long left before the car park ran out. I wanted to cry – for missing this way of life, and also out of guilt for missing this way of life. I have such a blessed family, more than I could ever have imagined, yet finding the balance between joy and simply run ragged feels impossible sometimes.
Anyway, I managed to read a chapter of my book and felt much better after a snack and the tea. I had a few minutes to browse before I made my last stop to Boots for some baby food (boring but essential!). With my jobs done, I walked back to my car and was home within half an hour of school finishing.
I was pretty shattered but happy. I had text my in-laws and Naomi was fine so I could relax – she had done well at being left for the first time. When I went to pick her up she gave me an amazing smile – she was happy, I was happy.
The only negative from my day out was that I picked up a stomach bug in town so was ill that night, but I won’t dwell on that! I had a grand day out, and that’s all that matters!