Thursday, 23 February 2012

Seven – The ‘Mummy Be Fit’ Support Team

It’s taken some time but for the last six months, Nick and I have established an inconsistent Thursday night bike ride. I say ‘inconsistent’ because I have had to be, sometimes, prised from Willow.

I hate leaving my baby girl, even if I have had a day where being with her has had its own demands ... Crikey, she can demand ...!

It is amazing how I can create situations in my mind to prevent me from leaving her and spending some well-owed and deserved time with my husband. And, the irony? Willow is always with one of two women who comes the closest to replicating our love for her ... Our mums.

From Willow’s first few months, the mothers were adamant that I went out and I rode my bike. However, I didn’t ever want to leave my baby. I should have realised that they have enough experience to know what’s right. And, they are right.

This is the great fear of detachment.

They have been through this and I’ve just begun. From the day Willow and I were snipped apart, she has begun a journey of independence and it is up to me to encourage and nurture that. The mothers have been through this. But what I am forgetting is that although Willow is going to grow away from me, she is lucky to be given the chance to grow closer to the two women to whom we and she owe our existences. And, they are two women who are determined, and rightly so, to enrich her life with their own special relationships.

It’s because of these women that Nick and I get time together. It is because of them that I can still ride my bike. What would I do without them?

Since Willow, we have never needed our mothers more. In fact, in the newborn days, if my mum hadn’t had the audacity to let herself into my house with her own key, I would not have been fed. And, if my mum-in-law hadn’t have sent over home-made meals, Nick would have perished as much as me! From basic survival support to babysitting, our mums have been there from the beginning.


Therefore, I am often shoved in the direction of my bike; I am so lucky to have this grandparental support team behind me. Willow’s relationship with them is awesome. Though, I sometimes wonder if the welfare of their immediate offspring is anymore a concern? I was on the turbo trainer not long ago when my dad visited. I explained that I’d be about 20 minutes and his response, ‘It’s alright. I’ve come to see Willow.’ She’s only just one! Does she realise this? Does it matter? No.

Grandparental adoration for her is vital – Nick and I can train together and we know she is with someone who is going to go over and beyond the amount of attention I can give. That’s actually a fact because I am ashamed at how much energy and attention they apply to their visits when I have sometimes willed Willow to like the TV just so I could chill for a while.

Without them, could I get out on my bike? Probably. But could I go out with Nick, like we used to? No chance.

Tonight, we had a hard, muddy, wet ride in the woods ... (Shame on us!) ... And, this was thanks to a mother. I'm writing this feeling refreshed and clear-headed. Thanks to a mother.

If I want my fitness back, I need to make the most of my support network. There are four people itching for an hour of hugs with my baby. I am lucky. And, so is Willow.

And, this detachment fear I have – the mothers have 30 years on me dealing with this and they’re still attached. They’re still the first call I make when I’m stuck. They’re here for Willow; they’re here for me and Nick. They get us back on our bikes.

Thank you.

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