The penny has dropped.
I’ve been in denial about what a separation means.
I’ve been locking up all my feelings about not seeing TJ every day whilst focussing on sorting mortgages and money rather than my own mind.
I don’t know how I am going to cope without seeing my little boy every day.
What if I miss something? A milestone, a moment or simply just some time when he will need his mum?
I’m going to be an hour away. Although I will move hell and high water to get to him if something ever does happen, it won’t always be possible. Like at 3am when he has a nightmare while I live in one of my own creation.
I am doing this for the right reasons – for a better life for all three of us in the long-term. I don’t want TJ exposed to any of the negativity between me and TJ’s Dad that I fear he would experience (and in some ways already is) if I did stay.
I don’t want to be selfish but I am doing this for me too. I want more. After getting my head straight and enjoying some singledom, I want real love with someone who is on my wavelength and who will make me happy, positive and fulfilled. Not sad, negative and soulless. That will make me a better parent in the end anyway and set a positive role model for TJ, I hope.
But I’m trading that for precious, precious time with my baby. Time I will never get back. Time which is going far too fast anyway and that’s before I only get 50% of it.
I keep telling myself that it’s not that much less time really. I will still have at least two whole days a week with him – and on alternate weeks I’ll have my little man all to myself for four days. That hasn’t and doesn’t always happen now as I go out, see friends and do the other stuff in my life that keeps me sane. Time without TJ will, of course, stop on our week days and weekends together. Even on the worst weeks, when he will be with his dad on weekends, we will still have Thursdays and Fridays together – so that’s two full days a week which is all I would get if I worked full-time anyway.
But what about the other stuff?
What about the snatched and sleepy cuddles in a morning before nursery? What about the sofa snuggles and tickling fights at the end of the day before bath time? I won’t have those around my working day anymore and that breaks me in two.
His dad can do that stuff now. That’s a good thing as I hope it will develop and nourish their relationship in ways which it’s hard to do when I am there as he’s a clingy little mamas boy (and I wouldn’t change that for the world).
My family can also be more involved in his life. My parents and sister adore TJ and we will be just around the corner from each other. I’m lucky they want to play such a big part in his life and I intend to make the most of this. TJ will also go to school in my home town, so my family can help with the school runs around my working hours. It also means the current plan for how to split the time is only temporary for the next couple of years.
Only time will help me to get past this. When I am in the swing of a new routine, balance in my life can be restored and I’ll hope it won’t all be a mistake. Until then, I’m fearing every minute until TJ is taken away from me.
That’s real love.