Nova and I are inseparable. I carried him for nine long months and now he’s just over eight months old. Apart from the odd day I haven’t really been away from him. He’s been on all five overseas trips with us and I haven’t travelled without him…yet.
Jay and I are quite independent, so we’ve pretty much done this parenthood thing on our own, without a huge support network. Don’t get me wrong, we have amazing family and friends, but we just tend to get on with things as our own little family. We’ve been loving every single second (well maybe not the seconds at 2/3am so much!), so we’ve been a bit greedy with him.
He hasn’t had weekends at grandparents or overnight stays with aunties. Jay has been away a couple of times to play gigs in Germany, so we’ve been alone as the two of us and I guess that’s the thing – until recently ‘alone’ has meant Nova and I, rather than me on my own. I guess a recharge has been due for a little while now.
A week ago I left Nova for not just one night, but three nights. Yup, I went all out!
Nova stayed at home with daddy for a boy’s weekend, whilst I went to Cheltenham for a girly Hen Shower. One of my besties has no intention of getting married, despite being with her guy for a really long time. It seems unfair that she’ll never get a hen do and as she’s pregnant we decided to throw her a Hen Shower. Hen Do meets Baby Shower. Makes sense right?
We hired a cute little cottage of the outskirts of the city and spent our weekend drinking (obvs not my pregnant bestie!), gossiping and generally having girly fun. We drank Prosecco in the park, listening to jazz at a free concert. We mooched around the cute little boutiques and indulged in afternoon tea at a fancy estate. We had a movie marathon and explored the city with all of our senses, but mostly taste if I’m honest. So much good food and drinks!
Cheltenham is a really lovely city and definitely worth a visit if you get the chance (check out The Daffodil, Ellenborough Park, and Crazy Eights). And it goes without saying that weekending with your favourite girlies (or guys) is the best.
So how did I fair without my mini-explorer?
When the day came I felt excited to be spending it with some of my besties and I’m not going to lie, the prospect of an uninterrupted night of sleep (and possibly even three!) filled me with happiness.
I knew that Jay and Nova would have the best time playing, being silly and being loud boys. Jay only has to look in Nova’s direction to get a huge, toothy grin and the belly laughs he gets are completely infectious. As well as being a laugh, Jay is a real hands-on dad so I had no doubt that they’d have the best weekend together. Perhaps that’s why I didn’t really feel sad when I was leaving. I knew we’d both have a great time. I gave my boys a huge hug and kiss, and went on my way.
Nova is on the move in a big way, climbing every surface and crawling at lightning speed so it can be exhausting watching him all day. On our drive up to Cheltenham I instantly felt relaxed as my mind could switch off. It’s a huge privilege to be his mama, but I’m also Char, so it was great to have some ‘me’ time.
Of course I missed him and it felt a little strange to explore a new city without my little traveller. Jay sent me video clips and photos of the two of them throughout the weekend, so I guess thanks to technology it’s easier than it might have been in the past.
That said, on our last night they Skyped me around Nova’s bedtime and I think that ability made it harder. Nova had a huge smile when he saw me on the screen, but then burst into tears and wailed ‘mama, mama’ because he was tired and I spose, couldn’t work out why I wasn’t there. My former heart of stone did have a wobble at that moment and we vowed not to Skype at bedtimes in the future.
And yes, there will be future trips without the little man. As a travel-lover it’s inevitable, but I’m not going to lie when I say that as much as they’ll be great, I’m still looking forward to future trips together as a travel-loving mama and baba . X