I love spending time with my son. His company is precious to me, and I treasure the opportunity to stay home with him. But, the time comes for every parent: leaving your baby.
For us, it was an anniversary. Our first anniversary as parents. A celebration more symbolic than the years prior. Not only were we a couple, we were a team. A unity in this journey of parenthood, and the sharing of life. It was a special one, and one that we wanted to get away for.
Big A has a job, so he leaves for 12 hours multiple times a week. I, too, have left little A in the care of his Daddy while going to run some errands. But, the act of us both leaving without our son was different. It was frightening, and overwhelming.
At the same time, it was exciting. To be able to have a few hours alone without having to worry about a fussy baby, or a leaky diaper was nice. It was especially nice to have some alone time, just as adults, for the first time in over six months.
My first tip is to find someone you trust. Find someone who knows you, your family, your baby, and your parenting style. Ideally, you want to choose someone who loves you. I know this isn’t always possible, but your experience is going to be so much better if you can make it happen. Someone who loves and respects you is less likely to do something you wouldn’t do.
We chose big A’s mom. We’ll call her Lolly (that’s what little A calls her)! This wonderful woman loves my son with all of her heart, and would lay her life down for him in a second. She genuinely respects our parenting wishes, and wants nothing but the best for all of us. Honestly, I think my anxieties and worries would’ve been much higher had it been someone else I was leaving little A with.
Lolly was so accommodating to my demands for pictures, and our long list of feeding instructions. We brought a few familiar things from home, as my biggest fear was that he was going to cry and cry. We packed some diapers and a ton of outfits (little A still throws up numerous times a day), some frozen milk and we headed on our date. My tip is to pack more than enough milk. The babysitter can always keep the milk frozen, so none goes to waste!
The worst part were the first few miles. They seemed quiet, and you could feel the missing piece. After a few minutes though, our conversation picked up and we were laughing and enjoying our time together.
My final tip is to expect the unexpected. I can count on one hand how many times little A has taken a bottle. Not because he’s refused one, just because it’s been more convenient to feed him straight from the tap. Because of this, I was at a complete loss on how much milk to send him with. Not only that, but Daddy and I lost track of time and stayed much longer than we anticipated. This resulted in a screaming baby with no milk.
This is where someone who knows you and your family, AND your parenting wishes comes in handy. Lolly knew that little A was a breastfed baby, so formula was out the door. She also knew we’d been introducing solids, but that he wasn’t really eating anything yet. She also knew we were naturally minded, so she went for the best option and chose a non-GMO Gerber white grape juice. Not only that, but she watered it down 2 oz to 1 oz of juice. My baby’s tummy was not only full and happy, but didn’t suffer the following days. Ideal? Not really. But, I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome, especially considering it was my mistake.
I think the experience of leaving your baby for the first time is heavily dependent on how at-ease you feel when leaving your baby. Lolly was attentive when I was giving instructions, and reassuring when I voiced my concerns.
Big A and I really enjoyed celebrating our love. But all throughout the night, our conversations floated back to our little man. We had so much fun, but we couldn’t wait to bring our baby back home.
Until next time,
Savannah is a full-time mom of one, and can often be found outside on one of her various adventures. She enjoys carving her own path through natural and holistic living, as well as discovering ways to use food as medicine.