This week we celebrated our first anniversary in Toronto. It was the longest I’ve been away from my son.
As excited as I was to spend some one on one time with my husband sans baby, I felt this ugly sense of guilt in leaving him behind.
Going a day without wearing any baby fluids was an exciting prospect, but once we were out having fun, there were moments where it felt like some internalized rhythm was being disrupted. As if not changing a bum in over 3 hours completely shocked my system. This feeling was made all the more real when we’d hear a squalling baby.
Eventually I was able to overcome my emotional side and let reason rule. I enjoyed my temporary release, knowing my son was in good hands. When I realized I could enjoy just the two of us gliding through the city crowds without having to navigate a stroller around it felt like I revisited my pre-baby self. By the end of the day, I understood how badly we needed this and felt refreshed by the break in routine.
“Mommy me” was secondary that day and that was OK.
I’m sure all mothers go through this at one point or another. After all, leaving your offspring is meant to be unnerving; the guilt caused by the secret excitement of being kid-free and the unsettling feeling of being intermittently independent instead of depended upon.
Separation gets easier the more you do it. It always leaves us longing in some way, but its end brings a fondness in reunion with our little ones. It forces you to acknowledge the harmony in your roles as woman and mother; that you can be as dynamic as you are static.