I identified yet another reason for my sadness and melancholy yesterday afternoon. Spending a good part of the day with Guy, relaxed and without responsibilities, hearkened back to the days before T, before B. It was so pleasant to walk and talk and be carefree with a "boyfriend", and it felt so familiar, like slipping into an old favorite jacket. Coming home to the commitments and single-handed responsibilities of raising a child alone was hard. Back before B, I wasn't even ever sure I wanted children, and it was only after T and I were married and he was pretty pro-child that I got on that bandwagon. It was certainly never in the plan for me to do it all by myself. Being reminded of my pre-B, carefree days, and finding myself thinking of creative ways to get time away from B, in turn made me angry -- I never want to wish her, or my time with her, away.
But the good news is I felt much better this morning. After all, I had a lovely day with a very nice guy who brought champagne and roses, who I anticipate seeing again. What's not to be happy about? Lighten up! As for wishing B away, it's easy to reframe that thought into a recognition of the challenges and complexity of my life with her. Yes, it is hard. And I need some adult time away from her, for my own happiness and fulfillment. The best thing I can do for her is to take care of myself, both because she gets a happy parent, and because it models the importance of self-care. I will be sensitive to her schedule, planning the bulk of my time away for the evenings after bedtime and on the weekends to overlap with naptime. (Though she won't be napping forever. She's three and half already, and still napping 2 1/2 hours. Keep your fingers crossed for me that it lasts a while yet!) And it's not like I haven't already left her with a sitter several nights a week on occasion -- I guess it's the weekend time that would be new. And just because I feel a high degree of urgency to spend lots and lots of time with Guy, he may not be in the same place, and taking it slow is probably the best thing we can do for the budding relationship anyway. Lighten up! It will all be fine.