Leaving the Littles

Pre-parenting, I swore to myself that I wouldn’t be that person who couldn’t trust others to care for her kids from time to time in order to get some adult time under her belt. I admit that I couldn’t anticipate the level of love and devotion I would feel towards these little humans, but so far I think I’ve done pretty will be being okay with a little separation and trusting in others whom I love to care for my children while I’m away. It just hasn’t been tested a whole lot yet!

When my grandmother died in June and I flew back with just Harvey for her funeral and was gone for 4 days, it was the first time I had ever spent that kind of time away from Stella. She does 1 night overnights at my MIL/FIL’s house all the time (yay for date nights and girlfriend time!), and once when I was super sick and pregnant with Harvey she spent 2 nights there (when we quit breastfeeding cold turkey), but other than that, there’s just never been a reason to leave her for longer than one night at a time. When we take vacations, the kids tend to come with, and that works for us. Her first overnight away from me was at 9 months old for 1 night, and she was 10 minutes away at her Nana’s house. At 2 1/2 years old, I’m definitely comfortable leaving her for overnights, but Harv is a whole ‘nuther story!

Harvey was born on January 12th, and when he was 1 week old, my MIL fell down the stairs and did some serious damage to her shoulder that required surgery and extensive rehab, and it was 5 months before she was finally cleared to pick Harvey up. It’s been very weird to not have her more involved in the kids’ lives the past six months, but she obviously had to take a step back from caring for them since she didn’t have use of that arm for the longest time. Beyond that, Harvey is only 6 months old and still waking to nurse at night. He was sleeping through the night three months ago, but since we are back to waking up a couple of times a night, I’m completely uninterested in having him do an overnight at my MIL/FIL’s yet and putting that burden on them. I also detest waking at night to pump, and since he’s still nursing regularly at night, I’m worried about my supply if I don’t do that while we’re apart. So ya, no overnights for Harv yet.

With that being said, I’m headed to MN next Friday for a 10 day vacation, and for 3 nights/4 days of that time, I’m leaving both kids alone with my parents while I go to a lake cabin with some blog friends for some much needed relaxation and beer drinking time. I am SO excited about this, but I am a little nervous about leaving Harvey for 3 nights when he is not quite 7 months old and still wakes up to eat throughout the night. EEK!

So here’s the deal – I know I’m going to miss my kids, but I also know that I’m going to be having a fan-freaking-tastic time with my friends while I’m away, which will quite honestly make it easier to kind of let go and just enjoy myself. I’ll still be stopping to pump throughout the day while I’m away (ugh), and I’m sure I’ll be checking in to say I love you and to see if my parents have any questions since they’ve never even kept the kids by themselves for ONE night since we live 1,100 miles apart. My kids will most definitely be missed and be on my mind. However, I think it’s supremely important to have that parent/self balance, and since opportunities like this don’t come along often, I’m going for it & fully intending to love every minute of it! My kids are going to love having some seriously awesome grandparent time without Mom & Dad running interference, and I’m going to love having some fun girlfriend time wherein I don’t have to worry about the repercussions of a hangover the next morning.

I’m calling that a win/win, even if I owe my parents big time for getting up with Harvey the 3 nights I’m gone. 🙂

Video call snapshot 207

Skyping with Grandma yesterday morning. Soon it will be ME on the other side of the camera!

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14 comments

  1. I always thought I’d be better at leaving me kids with people, too. Turns out, I’m not so great at it. Now that we have two kids, I’m wishing we had gone on more adult-only dates when we only had one child worry about!

    We left our son overnight with my parents for a week when he was just over two. We were recovering from a miscarriage and needed to regroup. It was the best thing for us. As a couple, we’d really been missing the alone time.

    Something like that will be a lot harder now that there are two kids but I’m hoping we can get away – even for one night – once my little one is done nursing. He, too, still wakes in the night to eat but won’t take a bottle so I can’t stray too far from home these days.

    Enjoy your time away. Sounds amazing!

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  2. Julie V · · Reply

    Pretty sure it’s not going to be your parents getting up with Harvey…pretty sure it’s going to be your mother. lol. Elmo, like a lot of men, doesn’t seem to actually hear crying children in the middle of the night. 🙂 I am also 100% sure we are going to be just fine with the little darlings. They may miss you and your routines, and there may be a meltdown or two, but mostly they will be surrounded by people who love them, so how bad could it be?! I do remember the agony of leaving you – when you had just turned two – with your grandparents for two weeks while we went on a vacation to Jamaica. That was a big old mistake – why we didn’t take you with us, I’ll never know. Elmo calls it “the vacation from hell”. hehe. I was miserable without you. Three nights is a much more sensible amount of time! We are grateful for the opportunity to spend this time with our deeply loved grandchildren.

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    1. Haha, I was trying to give Dad the benefit of the doubt. I know he isn’t going to be getting up with him at all, though lately Harvey has been doing this 5am nursing & up for the day shit, so maybe Dad can take that shift and you get the midnight one… 😉

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      1. mcmissis · · Reply

        Last night, Poppy woke like 48 times bc she’s sick. I brought her into bed with us, and she was so loud and I said on a few occasions, at full daytime volume to McMister, “You should probably go sleep in one of the other girls’ beds bc this isn’t going to get any better.” And he seriously did not hear any of it.

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  3. mcmissis · · Reply

    I am the. absolute. worst. about leaving the girls with anyone. So don’t feel too bad 🙂 And yeah, Poppy doesn’t sleep through the night anymore either.

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  4. I can relate to all of this.

    I have no problem leaving the kids with my mom or MIL during the day. I’ve recently learned I’m a better person when I can have a day to myself. But as long as I’m nursing, overnights are out for said child unless it’s an emergency (G only did one overnight and that was when I had to go hospital for dehydration from being sick.) if I don’t have a baby crying for me then I’m not going to pump and that can be a problem 🙂

    The house always seems TOO empty and makes me sad when G has done overnights. I miss him more then than during the day. I’m sure the same will go for L when he (I’m) ready for overnights.

    I hope you have fun on your vacation and that you enjoy girl time!!

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  5. I didn’t realize how hard it would be for me to leave my kids with someone. I always come up with excuses (D’s nursing, he’s learning how to walk, C is hyper) excuse after excuse. That being said, I don’t think my dad could handle watching my two kids for days at a time so I think it’s awesome that your parents are willing and able to do that. And JJ’s parents are even less likely candidates for the job. That leaves friends who I’m not about to instill that job on who most of them don’t even have kids of their own. Your kids will be in great hands and you will have a FANTASTIC time on your blog getaway!! I can’t wait to hear all about it!

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    1. Ya, I’m a little afraid of overwhelming my Mom & Dad, but I figured they raised 5 of us kids, so they can do it. 🙂 We are also blessed to have a very close friend here as well who is our age who doesn’t yet have kids, and she and her husband LOVE helping us out if we need a couple hours of coverage for some reason. They miss having their nieces and nephews close, so it works out. 🙂 (they’re actually Harvey’s Godparents too)

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  6. Love your attitude on this one. Still pondering what I’m going to do. You will have such a great time, as will the kids!

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  7. elizabeth · · Reply

    I think it is absolutely wonderful that your in-laws and parents are so involved! You’re going to have an amazing trip! My in-laws are a dream come true but they both work full time so we feel bad asking them to take the kids too often. Regardless of how much they adore our children. And unfortunately my parents are out of the question.

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    1. Ya, my MIL/FIL both work FT too, but they ask to take Stella all the time anyway, so we let them. 🙂

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  8. Hope it’s wonderful! Relax and recharge.

    Blessings,
    Dani

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  9. The first time I left Aiden for an overnight was when he was 14 months old and I went with a friend to the Color Me Rad 5K a few hours away. The next time I left Aiden was when I gave birth to Callen for two nights. I don’t know, but something about not being under the same roof with my boys just seems impossible to me. I’m glad you are comfortable being able to trust and have family so invested in your kids. That makes all the difference! I like to think that if we had family close, I’d be more willing to leave my kids with them too. I’m sure your parents will LOVE LOVE their grandparent time and you are going to have a blast! Hope you have a terrific trip! 🙂

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    1. It was very odd the first couple of times, and then honestly, it got way easier. 🙂 Once you’re ready, you’ll see! (and it doesn’t hurt that she was always SUPER excited to see me when she got home too)

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