I wobbled today. Darren sent me a picture of Ella, sitting on her change table ready to go out for her daily walk with the dog. Her cheeky smile, little hoodie on, a bug bite from the day before blossoming on her forehead. I was sat at my desk at work trying to hold back the tears that suddenly pricked my eyes.

I’m two weeks into my “break” from paternity leave, while my husband takes the reigns. This is what I wanted. A chance to get back to a job I love, drink coffee that’s actually hot, and get my brain going on more than how much Ella is eating and um, well, the action at the other end.

But what I wanted in that moment was to bury my face into the top of her head and feel that little fuzz that’s currently passing as hair against my cheek. What I would have given to feel her little fingers pinching at my chest or finding their way into my mouth to tug on my teeth. I wanted to breathe in that sweet, milky smell that is currently mixed with the cucumber sticks that cool her teething gums. I wanted her eyes to connect with mine and see her smile in recognition.

When I came home Darren chatted away about how much food she’s eaten, and, well, the action at the other end – you know the typical married with babies chatter. His eyes lit up as he talked about her crawling backward, how hilarious it was to watch her eat watermelon and store it like a chipmunk in her cheeks, how she’d fussed about her middle nap. He then asked me about my day.

We’re in this together – truly, together.