One night to be me

As I mentioned on the end of my last post and through my Twitter feed I had a rough night a couple of days ago and I feel like we took a huge step backwards. It has left me feeling very disappointed after I thought we had made such progress when we last talked things through.

When I had mentioned to my partner how I was feeling she had suggested that I need to get out with a friend for a few drinks and let off steam. It just so happened that the works Christmas party was due and I knew that it would be an ideal time for me just to be me for one night, I always enjoy works parties and am very close to a lot of my colleagues so it was a perfect opportunity.

The party was before the weekend and all of the offices closed early to allow people time to get themselves all dolled up for the night, it was formal dress so I got my tux and black tie on and got ready for a good catch up with friends and of course, a drink or two!

I felt like me again and so much more positive as the whole company sat down to eat, I chatted with people I hadn’t seen for a while, trying very hard not to be a baby bore. Inevitably the baby came into a lot of the conversations but I think I managed to strike the right balance and no one seemed to glaze over and fall asleep and I didn’t want it to be the only thing on my mind either.

The night was going swingingly and I felt more relaxed and normal than I had for the last few months.

Then my phone vibrates. Text message.

It’s my partner enquiring what time I was likely to be home. Now this would not normally be unusual, before the baby had been here she would have collected me from the station, so checking times would just mean she was planning her night, but this wasn’t the case as I had made all my transport arrangements. I asked if everything was ok and she replied that she was but just curious when I would be back, I wasn’t convinced.

My instincts were right, half an hour later I got a text message saying that the baby was playing up and she didn’t know what to do.

That’s where my night ended.

As I was going home on my own rather than my planned companions it took me an hour and half to walk and get the train home, that’s a long time to be left alone with your thoughts, especially in the bitter cold. All of the worry, the isolation and desperation came back. I admit I was fuming at the time and that’s why I left it a couple of days before posting anything so I could calm down.

I know that she wouldn’t have said anything unless she felt it totally necessary but it was so close to our last discussion I just felt like we had failed in what we wanted to do and my optimism that I previously had was now fading again.

When I got home, she was in tears, as I expected, she had been trying to put him down for 4 hours and the longest he had slept for was two minutes at a time.

I got her away from the baby first and then went to him. It seems that he just had more trapped wind than she had been able to disperse, I moved him about, patted him, circled his legs, and eventually, after 20 minutes he went asleep and stayed there for the next few hours. She went straight to sleep as she was exhausted and I laid next to her annoyed, frustrated but more than anything confused.

What had gone so wrong so quickly after our chat?

I want to say that I did feel for my partner, she was clearly distressed and I understand why she needed to get me home but she had dealt with a lot worse in the past and on those occasions almost pushed me away for her to deal with it.

Was it just the fact that I wasn’t there? Is it easier to deal with things knowing that she can call on me when she needs to.

It has also gone through my head that she just didn’t want me to have a good time but I’m sure that’s just paranoia setting in.

But whatever the reason, less than 48 hours after I had explained how I was feeling I am still in the same situation. I am supposed to be at another work function next week and am now apprehensive and am considering cancelling but I know if I do that I will become more resentful that I am stuck indoors again.

I will just have to see how it goes, people keep telling me it gets easier and I do hope they are right as so far it’s getting more and more difficult every day.

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6 thoughts on “One night to be me

  1. Couples need a date night… Get a close family member to watch the little guy for a couple of hours. You did not want kids. But you have one. It’s hard on everyone at first. So make that time together. Regroup. If you need a night out have one of her friends come a spend time with her. I know for me during the roughest moments I have to say “self stop thinking about the negative of being a parent here and think of the blessings.” I’m not saying it will work for you or what you need to do. Everyone has their own coping ways. I said before some are good and some (like my ex) are not so good. You faced an adjustment in life that is not going to change. You are a parent so now it takes time to adjust and find a way to cope. Maybe identify why you didn’t ever want kids. The responsibility? The challenge? Those little people scare you? You only want to be you and not share with a little person? There are a ton of reasons… Something in you has made you not want this path. Find it and then work with that. Even the most disabled child and the kids fighting cancer parents never wished they didn’t become parents. So that little person will grow on you. It’s true what everyone says… hang in there. Glad you do share you thoughts it’s an outlet and points to a problem where most dad’s don’t voice the difficulties and end up making poor choices.
    I’m not being critical… just trying to give ideas…
    I’m sure you will figure it out. You will know what to do. You will find your way. Hope this helps in some small way.

    • Thank you again, I really appreciate the time that you put into your responses and I promise I don’t see it as being critical when you give your advice, sometimes I even know the answers but need to write the blog to get it out there and clear my mind. You are right about the date night and we did have on a arranged but it didn’t happen, little one was diagnosed with bronchilitis and at the same time most of the family came down with flu, bad coincidence. I should point out that my partner, her two closest lifetime friends and her sister all had babies within a four week period so out closest family members are trying to share their time and between illnesses this hasn’t been so easy. I have 6 days off work starting today so can dedicate more time to them, help out, but also get a bit of time to myself so hopefully this will be the start of things improving. Thank you again, I see you have a lot on your hands to so the fact that you offer so much advice is even more remarkable.

  2. Oh dear, that didn’t go to plan then?! I think you should try to go to your other works do but try and put a plan in place before you go. Could someone come over for the evening to sit with your parner so she isn’t on her own if your little one won’t settle? (By the way this won’t last, he will get into a routine soonish.) That way she won’t panic if he is crying. And if that isn’t possible, say what time you will be back so she knows and can try and core till then. I know its not ideal but it is a solution for these early days of parenting. And has she got a night out arranged? If not, encourage her to sort one out sharpish so she has got something to look forward too as well. If she is breastfeeding she can start expressing now. Hope these help in some way.

    • Thanks Emma, reinforcements have been added for Thursday in the way of grandma, who has even made herself available for duty on Friday in case Daddy is too hungover to do anything lol. She hasn’t had a night out but she has been expressing and getting out a lot more to see friends etc, probably why it bothered me so much that I couldn’t get just a few hours myself. Fingers crossed for Thursday!

  3. I’m a bit knackered so this won’t say what I want it to say, but I used to find the lack of control the biggest problem. After always doing what I wanted and when I wanted to do it, suddenly there was this baby dictating every move. Do you think that is what you are struggling with too? I recall sobbing with frustration at how every activity I attempted was thwarted by a baby crying/ feeding/ playing/ puking…and that lack of control made me feel resentful, stifled and panicked. I think that it would help enormously for you to each have a night off from the baby (together or apart) where a friend stands in as back up if it is needed. That way you don’t just get time to yourself, you get to enjoy it on your own terms and that can go a long way to helping you feel in control again. Hope that helps, even a tiny bit.

    • Spot on, I’ve said it in my blog that control has been the issue from the start. I had no control over the risk we took as I didn’t know we were taking one, I had no control over whether we had the baby or not, as I said in my first post I don’t think I would have not kept it but my opinion wasn’t even asked, and now my day to day life is controlled by the little one! We have reinforcements in place for Thursday for her so that I can get out and then we have the same planned for her, we will get there I’m sure. Thanks for taking your time out to read and comment

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