It's 8:55pm, Wednesday and I am freaking out.
It's finally happened. The full gravity and realisation that in a few days I'm leaving my child in a strange place and going back to work has finally kicked in.
I feel like I'm falling into another black hole of despair.
While I sat tapping away at my holiday blog post in a coffee shop, below, my little boy was attending his first settling in session at nursery.
When I left him he was all smiles - he is happy with anyone, luckily - but when I arrived there two hours later, his little face was puffy and red, and he was crying. When he saw me, he just got even more upset.
They said it's all normal, even though he was crying 'on and off' the whole time. He only has another two sessions in which to settle before I start work on Monday, and I don't think it's going to be enough. I feel like I've made a massive error going on holiday so close to leaving him, where he has had so much attention, and now I am leaving him in a nursery a week later. What have I done? I feel awful and guilty, and I don't know what I'm going to do before Monday.
My mind is whirring around and around, and while the Brit can take on an extra settling-in session on Monday as back-up, the Internet tells me these things:
1) At 9 months the separation anxiety can be so bad, it can take anything up to a month to settle them in;
2) Other mums started settling their child a few weeks before going back to work;
3) He might not 'fit' nursery, and perhaps I should look at some back-up options;
4) I am a bad mother for not realising this sooner
We go to another settling in session tomorrow, where I am going to bring along one of his toys and a scarf of mine for familiarity, but honestly, what if he is desperately unhappy and cries all day?
How will I even be able to focus on work if I know he is not happy?
I'm sure - no, I know - other mums go through this, but I had no idea how excruciating it would be. Am I doing the right thing? Is he going to be OK?
Jesus, I need some heavy tranquilisers.
Help, I don't think I can go through with this.