This is a topic I’m very passionate about. Spending time away from your kiddos.
I used to feel guilty about wanting to spend time away from my son and I believe a lot of that guilt came from comparing myself to other moms. Moms who say, “I haven’t spent a night away from baby in a year. I just can’t stand to leave him/her with anyone else.” or “The longest I’ve been away from my baby is 2 hours.” My reaction…SERIOUSLY (eyes wide open) ???!!!
I understand that a HUGE factor for my being able to spend time without my son early on was that I only breastfed for 5 weeks (read about my experience here). Many breastfeeding moms don’t want to spend too long away because their babies enjoy breastfeeding, and it absolutely sucks to pump. I can’t fully understand their struggle, because I haven’t dealt with it myself. All, I can say is that spending time away from your baby is extremely healthy for the entire family. I also realize many families don’t have close family nearby that can watch their children, which can make spending time away extremely difficult.
TRUST – I’ve never been one to be extremely emotional about leaving my baby with someone else. I didn’t cry when I dropped my son off the first day of daycare. I’m a very trusting person, I guess that can be a good or bad thing. But I trust my friends, my neighbors and my family with my child. Thankfully, our families live within driving distance and they absolutely love watching their grandson. My son has gone to stay with my in-laws a few times for 4-6 days at a time. During this time, my husband and I have worked on our home getting as many projects as possible finished, and celebrating different occasions such as our anniversary. My advice would be to not worry if the person watching your children does it differently than you. It’s about letting go of control. My in-laws rock Turner to sleep every night he stays with them. Do we do that? No, but it’s not the end of the world, and I don’t think his habits will change in a week.
LET LOOSE – As much as I miss my son when he’s gone, my arms rejoice with the freedom to swing free! My mind gets a break from thinking about his schedule (eating, sleeping, changing, etc.), and my brain gets to relax. My husband and I soak up the time we have just the two of us, and we also like to plan a night out with friends. Many of our friends don’t have kids yet, so I love a good night out dancing. I finally have the time to give my friends my undivided attention, and I don’t have to worry about a baby distracting me.
A BETTER YOU – Spending time away from my son helps me to remember who I was before I was a Mom, but also makes me appreciate that I am a Mom! My son is at the stage where one moment he’s happy, and then next minute he’s having a complete melt down. Therefore, there are times I’m at my wits end and need time away or I’ll blow a gasket. That time away (a night out with girlfriends, a weekend working on home projects while the grandparents watch Turner, etc) helps me to realize how blessed I am, and reminds me to not get so worked up about the little things.
If you’ve never traveled without your baby, and are wondering if you can handle it….thank the Lord for FaceTime. Honestly, when I’m on vacation I don’t have much time to miss my son, because I am so busy. I also make it a point to not look at photos or videos very often. If you’re wondering if your baby will miss you or be mad that you left….don’t worry, they’ll get over it. The hubs and I went on a 7 day vacation to California, and when we returned, Turner smiled and then ran to his box of toys. It was a win/win situation for everyone. My husband and I got to have a relaxing vacation, and my in-laws got an entire week with their favorite (only) grandson for an entire week.
Now, I do realize some Moms would just rather take their kids with them on vacation. I totally get that as well. I’m sure when my son can use an actual toilet, doesn’t run off in the middle of the store while I’m checking out in line, or can sit for longer than 15 min in a restaurant then I might want to bring him along…now, not so much.