I pulled you in with that title, didn’t I? No, I don’t mean that you need to flee the country because the weight of being a parent is too much for your pretty shoulders to bear, although let’s be real, we’ve all had that thought… What I’m talking about today is taking a moment for you and your partner to flip that parent switch off for a moment and get out, getting yourselves back to those blissfully irresponsible, do whatever you want whenever you want, days of yesteryear.
In the past 7 months of Nez’s existence, it took me a long time to get comfortable stepping away from her, even to just go to the bathroom (remember this post on Mom Guilt?) but I’ve come a long way since then. While I used to go nuts texting the babysitter every six minutes with “How’s everything going” aka “Is she still alive?”, now I feel comfortable with a cute photo update once or twice a day, at our sitter’s time of choosing.
There are a few reasons this shift has taken place. First of all, I found a few sitters that I genuinely trust and know care about Nez. Second, enough time has gone by that if I continued to live in my isolationist bubble, I would probably be pulling my hair out and opting for the ‘flee the country’ method. These babies are okay being with someone else. I swear. Whether it’s a parent, sibling, friend, or sitter, find someone that you genuinely trust, write up a list of how to keep your baby alive, and get out. It will save you and ultimately your relationship, plus your baby might learn new things and have new experiences themselves.
Tommy and I have now gone on two weekend long trips without Nez, during which time we’ve had a sitter stay at our house with her. I understand that this is a privilege in more ways than one, but again, have your baby stay with your in-laws, parents, or friends- it’s free and you know they’re in good hands. We’ve gone to New York and Park City for weddings, and I’ve had a blast without any hesitation (hang overs included). Ironically, the first question I get is ‘Do you miss your baby so much?!’ or ‘How are you holding up without her?!’ and my response is half jokingly, ‘How am I holding up without who?’. In my eyes, there’s no benefit in stressing from afar- not only does it serve no purpose for Nez, but it also keeps me/us from enjoying a once in a lifetime experience.
So in summary, here are my ‘pro tips’ for getting out without your baby:
- Even if it’s just for a dinner/brunch/trip to the grocery store GET OUT
- Write up a complete list of how to keep your baby alive and well.
- Find someone you trust to watch your baby.
- Pass said list off to the caregiver.
- Have a damn good time and just let go.
Maybe they won’t feed your baby with the same bottle technique that you do or sing the same song during bath time, but that’s okay- your baby is getting fed & bathed. You have a literal lifetime ahead of you with your child. Yes, the baby stage is precious and incredible, but it’s also hard as hell and exhausting. Give yourself a break!