Dear Olivia,

Daddy was supposed to be leaving us last week, but guess what? HE’S HERE FOR ANOTHER WEEK!!!!

We’re stuck with him for another week until he goes away for four whole months… How I’m going to cope with you on my own for those four months I have absolutely no clue. You are honestly so naughty at the moment and it’s really testing both mine and daddy’s patience, and I know that you’re even worse without him around.

Sleeping is a nightmare – you just won’t do it. It takes, on average, about 4 hours to get you to go to sleep. Even when you are ridiculously tired, you fight it for so long because you want me to sing to you (and god forbid that I stop singing once I’ve started), or because you want one of us to hold your hand. When Daddy was away on exercise we managed to get into a good routine where I would put you to bed at half 6 in the evening, after your dinner and bath, and no matter what I would leave you up in your cot.

That all went out of the window when you started climbing out of your cot and hurting yourself. We then had to immediately take the side of the cot off and make it into a cotbed, but of course that means that you can freely roam around your bedroom if we put you up there to sleep. I wish I could get you to understand the pressure that I’m under, and how much I NEED that early night from you so that I can just get on with my work. I have an exam in 12 days’ time and I’ve done little to no preparation for it, for the pure fact that I just don’t have the time.

You’re spending the week with Nanny next week so that I can get on with things here, as your childminder isn’t working this first week of the Easter holidays. I’m really hoping that when it’s time for you to come back next weekend, I will have managed to get on with quite a lot of work so that we can just enjoy some time together. It will be a huge adjustment for both of us not having Daddy around, and I want to be strong for both of us. That will be so much harder to do if you carry on behaving the way you are currently. I just can’t deal with it alone, and I haven’t got anyone nearby to support me while Daddy’s away. Nanny will always help, but she’s in Kent and I’m still not driving, which throws even more spanners into the works…

Needless to say, I’m incredibly anxious about what the next four months will have in store for us, and how we will cope as a family without the piece of it that seems to hold us all together. It’s going to be just me and you for a while and at the moment, I’m absolutely dreading it. It’s a good thing I’m not a single parent having to do this 24/7 because I honestly don’t think I would manage to keep everything going like I have so far since you were born. Having you has been the most challenging experience I have ever faced, and I never expected being a parent to be so difficult or to cause so many problems, but here we are, and I wouldn’t change you for the world.

Let’s hope that over the next four months our mother/daughter bond becomes that much more powerful, and that at the end of it all, our family unit will flourish when we are all reunited back together.