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. 🙂