This time with Steve away is teaching me something.
I've been battling with myself over the last couple of years. Second guessing every judgement call, questioning every single thing I do or don't do, looking for a way to do the best by everyone.
But never myself.
The biggest cause of anxiety for me was a perception of being selfish. If I was doing something purely for my own benefit, I'd panic about it - it was time wasted while I should have been with others, it was bad judgement, I must be wrong, I was putting everyone out of their own lives for no good reason. I'd look for someone - anyone - to reassure me that I was doing the right thing, and then not believe them anyway.
I needed so much reassurance that I started to worry I was losing the things I was proudest of about myself: independence and strength. That I couldn't be alone anymore.
It's taken me this long to realise it wasn't about being by myself - it was about doing things for myself. Being selfish. How dare I? Who did I think I was?
The only thing I can think of that's changed this is practice.
Do something once. Twice. Then again. A funny thing happens: it becomes less momentous and more normal.
Doing things purely for my own good or enjoyment has become part of my new normal.
So I went for a photo shoot - just me, nothing for any of my family to gain. Cool.
So I asked for help with Abbey so I could rest for a couple of hours. The world didn't collapse.
I took her out at her bedtime just so I could chat to my writers group. She thought it was fun, not selfish of me.
I go to Pilates twice a week. No one bats an eyelid.
I feel like I've finally made myself be heard. I'm strong enough now to say, 'This is what I need' and just do it.
That brings with a lot less caring about what others think. This pregnancy is teaching me that: if I can do something, great. If not, shrug it off. I can't be everything to everyone.
But when I am good to people is when I feel good myself. (Such a cliche!) Life feels amazing when I can be the mum I want to be because I'm happy to be here, when I can encourage my husband to chase his dreams without even a hint of resentment, just pure happiness for him.
It's taken a long time to learn this. More than that, it's taken a long time to stay calm about all that.
And I'm going to say it: I'm really proud of myself.