Confessions of a working mother: Warding off the tears from my hosital bed

Well, as I write this I am on day release — I got time off from my hospital stay for good behaviour.

I am still being extremely well looked after and cared for and put back together again by the doctors and nurses in the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast.

But once again, despite their care and the reassurance of everyone I know that I am in the right place, I have been on a real rollercoaster of emotions once again this week.

A week is a long time — and I have felt every hour that I wasn't with the boys and cried so many tears every time I mention them or am asked about them that it is a wonder they haven't sent for the men in white coats.

Ironically, as I said last week, Tom and I were meant to be having a romantic weekend away, so would I have wept my way through that and had had such withdrawal pain?

No way — the break would have been welcome and we would have relished the ‘grown-up’ timeout. A phone-call to make sure all was ok would have sufficed instead of sending me into a blubbering wreck as it has done when I have spoken to them from hospital.

I hate that I wasn't there to pick Jesse up from his first play rehearsal and to hear all the excitement about how his rabbit part is coming on.

Korey's trainers finally gave way during the week and I missed another tooth coming out.

All this news came second-hand to my hospital bed, adding to my guilt and tears.

Of course, the boys have missed me (I hope) and were glad to see me home for the day. But they have also enjoyed all the added attention of going to nanny's after school for homemade pancakes and getting to help dad out.

Meanwhile, I come home after a week of lying in hospital and am handed a badminton racket in one hand and a Wii steering wheel in the other ... like I say, for the boys, life just goes on.

Then Tom and I realise after a week when he has been travelling up and down to visit me, the house is upside down (well not meeting my standards anyway), so tidying up begins with me as chief supervisor.

Then I end up spending precious time at home ordering the troops to sort out their toys, which in my absence have taken up residence all over the house.

For all the jibes I give my other half in this column about his mountain walking escapism and laid-back approach to life, I have to heap praise on him for the amazing job he has done over the past week. Somehow, he has managed to deal with an hysterical wife on the phone and made sure everyone got to and from school (even if it was in split training shoes).

Every day I reminded him about small matters like baths and signing homeworks, and his usual retort was everything was, and is, in hand.

But as I have said before in this column — I like it to be in my hand.

And regardless of what anyone has said to me this week, I know there really is no place like home.

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