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Deep breath.

That’s what I kept saying to myself.

Just take a deep breath and you won’t get upset.

It didn’t work. At all. The deep breath just simply helped me build up more tension so that the tears, when they came, spilled hot and fast down my face and caused me to feel like the biggest fool ever. My head felt like it was going to explode with the effort of trying to keep the emotions in check and drive the car in a straight line down the road and not crash it into a wall.

What had me in such a state, I hear you ask?

I had left Amelia with the childminder for the first time.

Yes, I had 3 long (not) hours of freedom stretching ahead of me and I didn’t want them at all. Not one bit.

Don’t get me wrong, the lady we have chosen to be Amelia’s childminder is wonderful, has an excellent track record, great references, and is just lovely. I have absolutely no qualms about leaving Amelia with her.

I just don’t want to leave her. I want to bring her to work with me in a papoose and have her with me all day. I want my boss to set up a creche on site so she is right next door all day. Yeah, right. I can dream, can’t I?

I know other Mums and Dads out there will get that. And they will understand that I felt almost physically sick at the thought of leaving her, and I felt strange and off-kilter all day (well, for the three hours).

It was such a short space of time, but if felt like an eternity. I made myself go out and do some bits and pieces, I met up with some old colleagues, I cleaned the car out, I painted my nails and went to the bank. I forced myself not to text or call to find out how she was getting on (was very proud that I didn’t crack to be honest) and thankfully, before I knew it, it was 2pm and time to collect the Munchkin.

All my worrying, fretting, preoccupation and concern were totally wasted.

She hadn’t missed me. Hadn’t made strange. She hadn’t cried. Part of me was almost a little disappointed that she coped so well without me! But then I realised; the hardest part was over – and we both got through it.

I don’t mean to over-dramatize, I know there are much harder, tougher rites of passage and events in life that really test you and are hard to cope with, but leaving your baby with someone outside the family for the first time is really scary. So knowing that she had coped so well, had been entertained, enjoyed the baby and toddler group, eaten her lunch and had all her bottles, allowed me to realise that there are lots of moments like this to come, and I should get used to them.

She is a tough cookie and a capable little madam.

As some good ‘Aussie’ pals told me recently, it’s time for me to ‘man up’.

After all, if I don’t, at this rate when she walks down the aisle on her wedding day, I will have to be medicated.

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