This week, hubby and I did the unthinkable. Nearly four months since little lady was born, and nearly four months since they originally volunteered, we finally took my parents up on their offer to babysit while we had a much-needed night off. Tickets for an evening SPECTRE screening were booked (a mere night before it closed in local cinemas) and I pulled out all the stops to make a special effort for the date in between firing up the steriliser and mopping up drool, even managing to brush my hair and squeeze into a pre-pregnant frock.
Try as I might, though, as I completed the all-important handover to my parents, valiantly failing to avoid patronising a couple who have successfully reared three children as I burbled about gro-bags, muslins and nappy sacks, any excitement at the two of us finally having a break was overridden by more unwanted emotions. Nerves that, after a particularly fractious bedtime, little miss might wake up in 'one of those' moods and put my parents off ever wanting to babysit again. Guilt, even after four months, that we might be leaving her to see less familiar faces if she woke up before we returned.
I still couldn't relax in the lifts up to Wycombe Cineworld, and found myself frowning at my make-up free reflection, which had the odd appearance of a haggard twelve-year-old. During the film, I had to stop myself from constantly checking my phone, convinced that during three hours of sleep time while we were out little miss would somehow manage to run rings round my parents, despite being many months off walking yet.
As we travelled back, I texted my dad, worried that we would be coming back to puke-covered parents, clutching a screaming banshee baby and a noise abatement notice from the council. His reply, that beyond a few wriggles in her cotbed, 'all is peaceful here', made me realise how much I need to lighten up. How wanting some respite and a chance to recharge and reconnect with your partner doesn't actually make you a bad parent, but one that wants to be relaxed and ready for anything when you get home. Hopefully we'll get to have another date night or two before the next Bond film comes out!