Wednesday, July 3, 2013

First Night Away

Parents' first night away together from their baby can be an emotional one. I am not talking about a date night out to go to dinner, but a complete and total over-night away from baby. I know many parents who left their kids with family when the baby was only 3 or 4 months old, and I also know parents who still have never left their 3 year old over night with anyone. I think the right time to finally leave your baby/child with someone else is when you feel comfortable. I think it also depends on the baby. If the baby is breastfed, sleeping through the night and other factors can make the decision difficult. Also having someone you trust that is willing/available to watch your child is a major issue. Well, for Jeff and I, the right time to have an over-night get away came a few days ago.

Max is 10 1/2 months old, finally sleeping through the night consistently,and able to put himself to sleep so I thought it was time Jeff and I got our night away. We might have done it sooner if we lived near family, but I couldn't just leave him with any sitter so I needed to make sure it was with someone I trusted. Well, Jeff's family came to England to visit us so I knew that leaving him with the in-laws would be something I would feel comfortable with (plus I know they wanted to spend as much time with Max as possible:)
In the weeks leading up to this night, I was so excited! I literally dreamt of having an entire day and night for just my husband and myself. I couldn't wait to simply go out to a movie with him (we hadn't seen a movie in the theater together since before Max was born). I booked us a quaint British bed and breakfast room for the night and looked forward to the wonderful alone time I would get to have with my husband.

The hours before Jeff and I were marked to leave for our big getaway were very anxious for me. I couldn't understand why I felt so nervous. I found myself writing down every single possible detail of Max's schedule, bed time routine, eating habits and so much more for my in-laws. I didn't expect to be so apprehensive about the whole thing. I started to really think about it and could count on one hand the number of times I hadn't put Max to sleep at night ( he's still breastfeeding). And those few times, I was always there to see his smiling face in the morning. As I got him down for a nap right before we were about to leave I had him fall asleep in my arms and just held him for a while. My eyes got watery as I thought about leaving him. I felt like I was abandoning him. I didn't imagine getting this emotional.

My logical self tried to reason with the emotional self by reminding me that Max would be fine. I completely trusted my in-laws to take care of Max. It was me that was going to miss him, probably not the other way around. It was just strange to be away from him when I the longest I have ever been away from Max was maybe 3 or 4 hours at a time. It was different for Jeff, he has been away for months at a time due to his job. I have been left alone to take care of Max for quite a while and I just figured out that I need Max as much as he needs me. 

After I laid Max down to sleep, I went to get my stuff to go. I needed a hug from Jeff to re-assure me that it would be okay. He loaded up the car and I sat in our room and cried for a few minutes. For the record, I NEVER wanted to be this woman/mother.  

I thought it was so pathetic...and even as I cried in my room I felt a little embarrassed for myself haha. Well, I mustered up the courage to take a deep breath and go down stairs. Before we left I was searching my brain for anything and everything I was forgetting to tell my In-laws...I was trying to think of anything that would get me to stay a few more minutes. Jeff, on the other hand, was ready to go and had packed up the car...

As we got in the car, I again had to hold back tears. I wanted so bad to enjoy this time away with Jeff, but it was so much harder than I ever could have imagined! After about half an hour and while getting our movie tickets (omg we hadn't seen a movie together in the theater in over a year!) I came to the realization that this was so nice! I was determined right then and there to enjoy our time!

After that it was surprisingly easy. I did get Max updates from the in-laws (THANK-YOU!) which made things very nice. The rest of the day and night and next day went just fine and I have to say that it wasn't as terrible being away from Max as I had thought it might be.

All in all it was a wonderful day and night and I am so glad we did it! I don't think Max was traumatized in any way, and I know it was good for me. So a big thank you to Carol, Jeff and Allison for taking such good care of Max for 24 hours!