In three weeks I will be going away for the weekend with my husband for the first time since my son was born . . . a year ago! There were definitely a few times in the last year my husband has tried to get me to go away for a night, but I just couldn’t bring myself to leave our baby.
As a first time mom, the thought of leaving my baby seems daunting. Word on the mommy street is that it gets easier after the first kid. Is it that is gets easier, or you feel more confident because now your kids have a familiar constant with them, their sibling? However I look at it, tickets have been booked and hotel rooms are confirmed. WE ARE DOING THIS.
I know I am not the first mom to feel this way, and I will not be the last, but here are a few tips that are getting me through this anxiety ridden time:
1) Have a routine in place with your baby prior: My husband and I are on the same page when it comes to raising our son. We believe in schedules, they work for our son and for us. We keep the routine no matter where we are or what we are doing. Preparing for our trip, we have been making sure that everything is in place to continue with his routine. This includes writing it out and pre-confirming with the chosen sitters that they can maintain this consistency over the weekend. Being able to execute and follow our routine was the tipping point for choosing a caregiver. It gives me a sense of calm knowing that even though Mommy and Daddy aren’t there, the schedule is still the same.
2) Being confident in your caregivers: In some ways this should be number one, but for us, without a routine we aren’t as confident with our caregivers. We are lucky to have tons of family nearby that happily volunteer to take our son for the day or weekend. In fact, it made it extremely hard to narrow down who would watch him. But beside the ability to follow the routine, we had to feel confident that whoever was watching our son would know how to handle an emergency and show him the same care and love that they would their own family member.
3) FaceTime: Where was parenting before the wonder that is FaceTime? The thing keeping me going is knowing that should my son, or me, feel a little bit of anxiety we are just a simple call away. We can call him in the morning or evening before bed. The time we are apart won’t seem as long.
I know this seems like a short list, but I have found the less complicated we make things; the better it is for our kids. The other thing is, taking time for our marriages is just as important as spending time with our little ones.
So here I am, prepping myself for my first big weekend away. I hope this little list helps another mamma take a deep breath and book that weekend away. We all have to do it sometime, it might as well be now.
written by VHS contributor// Monica Saenz