Yesterday I had Kirsty from My Two Mums post for me and today I'm lucky enough to have the other half of My Two Mums, Clara.
As with Kirsty I really hit it off with Clara at Britmums and she too has become a good friend.
Britmums was my first night away from the boys and I was interested to know how Clara felt and coped with leaving their gorgeous son Monkey for the first time.
When Monkey came into my life I felt an overwhelming connection with him, as I'm sure almost all new mothers feel for their newborn babies. I didn't like him to be out of my sight for a second.
When we first took Monkey over to my mums, she ordered me to eat some dinner whilst she looked after the baby. I was very run down and I probably looked in need of a decent meal. I remember my mum picking him up and walking out the door and into the living room. I panicked! What did I think was going to happen? It was an immediate reaction to get out of my chair and head in the direction my child was taken in. Of course I was told to returned to my seat but that was the first time I'd experienced attachment anxiety.
As the months passed and my baby grew and became more independent, I found it easier and easier to leave him with family members for a couple of hours. However I'd never spent more than 4 hours apart from him.
When Kirsty and I decided to purchase tickets to the blogging conference Britmums Live we were so excited. It meant staying over night in London, which we hadn't done with M yet. We planned our trip well in advance, as you do with young children. Then with only 2 months to go until the event, we were delighted to be invited to attend Cybher, another fantastic conference. Of course we jumped at the chance, babes in arms were welcome so it never entered our minds go alone.
To say we found the day a challenge is an understatement. Monkey started walking at 8 months and wanted his usual freedom to wander around and explore the new surroundings, but with approximately 300 other bloggers at the event, that just wasn't possible. This of course didn't sit right with M who spent the day shouting and squirming his way to freedom.
The next day we decided to leave Monkey at home whilst we were at Britmums Live. Over night!
We agreed it was best to leave Monkey with my mum. They have a great relationship and we had just moved back home with them so this meant we would not be leaving him in unfamiliar surroundings. As the event got closer, I started to feel quite anxious. There was a knot in my stomach. The night before we were due to leave I honestly thought I was going to be sick and burst into tears. Kirsty was fantastic and eased my fears, even though she was experiencing her own worries and anxieties about leaving our son for the first time.
The morning came around very quickly. We tried to keep his routine as normal as possible. The car had been packed the night before so we had more time with him. Then my mum strapped him into her car to take my little brother to work. I kissed him goodbye and the lump from my chest burst out. I was sobbing on Kirsty's shoulder as my baby was driven away.
I kept telling myself "It's only 1 night and you'll see him tomorrow" I wiped the tears from my eyes and we began the journey to London.
As the day passed my anxieties seemed to fade, I was having a fantastic time and I was actually having in depth, uninterrupted conversations with another adult. We facetime'd M at the hotel on the Friday afternoon and then again on the Saturday morning, he didn't seem to realise anything was different. If I'm honest I felt a bit unwanted but I was spending quality time with my wife, which was amazing. All was well.
What was I worried about? All those nights spent awake worrying, all those tears cried and I ended up having one of the best weekends in a long time. Saying that, when it was all over, we couldn't wait to get home
We stopped for some dinner to spend a little bit of quality time as a couple but we made it home before 12am. I know this is kind of a step backwards but I was happy in the knowledge that I had seen my baby every day for his entire life.
We've already booked our tickets for both Cybher and Britmums 2014. We've also signed my mum up for babysitting duty.
This time, we're treating ourselves to an extra night away.