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Leaving

Updated: Feb 18, 2020

I don’t like to leave my baby. In fact, I hate it. There are so many doors that are open now that he’s one. I could join the mom’s group at church for 2 hours every Wednesday morning where I get breakfast and they provide childcare. My husband and I could enjoy service together each Sunday morning, drinking our coffee and eating bagels while our son plays with his peers. I could workout, steam, and shower and put him in daycare at the gym. My mom would watch him any day or night I asked – gladly. But I just don’t want to be away from him. I don’t feel right when we aren’t together.


It doesn’t help that he’s going through some serious separation anxiety right now and doesn’t want to be left with anyone except for myself, my husband, or my mom. Some parents say it’s important to push your kids to be comfortable around strangers, but that also doesn’t feel right to me. In the 13 months that I’ve been a mom, the longest I have been away from him is 5 hours – and he was sleeping for 3 of those.


Last year for Christmas my parents got my husband Chris and I a gift certificate to a local (less than 1.5 hours away) bed and breakfast, along with a gift card for a restaurant we can go to for dinner. I purposely booked it for 11.30.19 – about as late as I possibly could before it expired. Now that it is coming up next week, I am dreading it. It’s such a weird dichotomy because I WANT to go. It would be so good for Chris and I, and I know Gavin would be just fine with my mom. But something in me is just telling myself that I can’t do it. That I woud get there and just want to turn around and go home to my baby.


When I think practically about it, I KNOW we should go. We would leave around 4pm, and Gavin goes to bed at 6:30pm. That’s only 2.5 hours away from him in the evening. He sleeps through the night most of the time and wakes up around 7:00am. We would be home by 11:00am, in time to put him down for his nap. That’s only 6.5 hours where I wouldn’t see him. It’s NOTHING. In 13 months I’ve never gone nearly that long?! That’s insane!


I know it would be fine, but I keep worrying that he won’t sleep through the night and that my mom won’t be able to soothe him. That he will be sad when it isn’t me getting him out of his crib in the morning. It breaks my heart to think of him missing me, especially when I know I’ll be missing him equally as much. And if I’m being completely honest, it sounds great to me to have a nice (free) dinner out with my husband, have as many drinks as I want, get a good night’s sleep, and have someone else make me breakfast, but I would truly prefer to be home with my baby doing our “normal” life. Is something wrong with me? No, I don’t think so. But do I need to prove to myself that my baby can survive without me for a few hours? Yes, I really do.

At this point, I am still undecided if we’ll go on our little overnight or not. 50% of me wants to, and 50% of me wants to give it to my sister. I also don’t trust myself that I wouldn’t get there, cry, and feel the need to come back home. Is it this hard for everyone to leave their baby for the first time?! No one says that you ever HAVE to leave your baby, but I’m not naive enough to think that the day won’t ever come where I will really need to. If we have another child soon, I know I’ll have to spend at least a night or two in the hospital with him or her, and it would be nice to have a little practice in before that happens.


All this to say, I have no clue what will happen next weekend! I’ve been thinking this over for weeks and driving myself crazy. If anyone has advice on how you got through your first night away from your baby, I would love to hear it!

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