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Just me and the little man

Just me and the little man

Ben is now more than 3 months old! Three months! Where has the time gone? and this week I have had the first full day without my other half around. It was just me and the little man. Since he arrived in December, we have developed a routine of a Saturday morning walk where I load...

Ben is now more than 3 months old! Three months! Where has the time gone? and this week I have had the first full day without my other half around. It was just me and the little man.
Since he arrived in December, we have developed a routine of a Saturday morning walk where I load up a change bag, grab some expressed milk and us boys go out—leaving mummy a few hours to have a bath or just relax. It’s something I very much look forward to after a long and tough work week.
A full day however is an entirely different story.
So, on Sunday we woke up at our usual time, and Ben had his breakfast, then his morning nap, and then after he woke (and ate again) my partner kissed him goodbye. The time was 10 a.m.
We would not be seeing her again until 12 hours later!
It was just me and the little man.
walk with benI know that my other half struggled with this as she had never been more than a few miles away from him, but she handled it well as she parted from us. I didn’t want to say anything, just in case it changed her mind about going, but as I watched her car drive away, a smile on my face as I helped Ben wave mummy goodbye, I was feeling nervous.
Stepping back into the house, I was in a mild state of panic. What if he got upset? Usually when he gets upset he wants the breast, and unfortunately mine weren’t up to the challenge. We had about 18 gallons (mild exaggeration) of expressed milk, so I wasn’t concerned about him going hungry, but I was worried about her familiar smell and sounds being missed and how he might react to that. Twelve hours seemed like a very long time.
But really, is 12 hours a long time for a dad to be with his child? Or had I fallen into the mind set of all babies need their mummies. Surely there are plenty of dads out there doing it alone or staying at home whilst their partners go out and earns the family income?
All of these things were going through my mind as Ben and I set out to enjoy our day, and still I couldn’t work out why I was so nervous.
It was about lunchtime when we went out for our weekend walk as we always did. (This is when I took the picture with this post and sent it to my partner—just to show her he was happy.) That finally calmed my trepidation and figure out the source of my anxiety. I was nervous, because I still—even after being a dad for three months—do not fully trust my instincts as a father.
I watch my partner with our boy, and she knows exactly what to do and when to do it. I, from time to time have struggled (probably due to working long hours and that magical bond mummies have with their babies), and subconsciously that worry has always been there. But it’s not reared its ugly head because my partner has always been around, and this was the first time she wasn’t. So I had no choice but to trust that paternal pull that I have with my boy and go with it.
So we continued with our day, we had a lovely walk, and then we visited my mum and dad (as a hot meal might not have happened otherwise). Before I knew it we were heading home for a bath, story, feed and bedtime, and by 6:45 p.m. he was sound asleep.
The best bit was I was calm throughout, never once letting my faith in myself falter, and we had a wonderful day. When my partner came home, I was so proud of myself to have made it through the day without panic.
Instincts are a funny thing, they are usually right but are usually ignored. I learned this week not to ignore my daddy ones, and I hope that this helps someone who might need a hand in trusting theirs!

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