When Is It Okay To Leave The Baby?
December 22, 2011
I know I'm supposed to be all HOLIDAYSANTALIGHTSCANDY!!!PRESENTS!!! but at T Minus Three Days Before Christmas I'm a teensy weensy bit, um, done. [Ducks.] Anyone else? I mean, I love Christmas, I really truly do, but I'm just a little TIRED, a little COOKIED-OUT. I can't believe I just said that, but it's true! I'm ready to open those presents and get over the bummed out feeling when I realize for the umpteenth Christmas in a row that my present for Phillip is lame-o and start looking forward to my ladies' weekend away at the end of January. Sun! Quiet! Sleeping through the night!
Oh wait - I'm bringing Emma with me. HRRMM.
So I'm interested, Internet. What is your standard I Feel Okay Leaving The Baby age?
I've heard it all. I've known people who left their kids within a month and I know people with grade schoolers who STILL haven't dumped them at Grandma's house for a weekend. For me it was seven months. Not necessarily because that was when I felt fine about it (I DID NOT FEEL FINE) but Jack was seven months old at Christmastime when we hosted our Christmas party and it was just going to be EASIER not to mention MORE FUN if I wasn't also taking care of a baby... and my parents drove up to my house, strapped my baaaybeee into their car and drove away. I cried. It was terrible. (Until the second glass of wine at the party. Um, then I was totally fine.)
I'm sure it was sooner with Molly. Jack had obviously lived to tell the tale after his parents' desertion and with no apparent ill effects. I can't remember when we left the two of them overnight with grandparents, but we did and it was awesome and we did it ALL THE TIME and I felt so bad for my friends without family, ie: the only other people willing to get up in the middle of the night with your kid.
When my friends and I planned a Milestone Birthday Weekend in a sunny locale - plane trip required - Emma was only a few weeks old and I was all, "NO PROBLEM!" I'll just bring the baby with me! No sweat! We didn't really plan to do much except sit around and eat too much, so hauling a baby along didn't seem like too much of a downer. Now, I knew that I wouldn't get to participate in everything and I'd have to go back to the room early and all that, but I was prepared!
But now? Yeeeahhh. Now it doesn't seem so awesome. Here's why:
1. Emma is older. Older = harder to be away from home. It's not like I didn't KNOW she was going to get older, I just like to think I am in possession of more brain cells the farther I get from being pregnant. Blargh.
2. Phillip will be on a business trip the entire week before I go on my trip. This was NOT known ahead of time. So now I'm looking at a whole week of getting up wtih a baby, plus another weekend of getting up with a baby, right when it would be really super duper great to not deal with ANY children WHATSOEVER.
But she'll only be four months old! And I'm still breastfeeding! And would like to keep doing so! (I think!)
There are, like, nine million different kinds of guilt wrapped up in this one little weekend away. There's the being away from your teeny baby guilt. The going away by yourself guilt. The spending your family's money on something frivolous for just you guilt. The strapping your just-as-tired husband with the kids guilt. The leaving your husband with a four-month-old who (most likely) is not sleeping through the night guilt. People, I am the Valedictorian of Guilt.
But. Nearly everyone I talk to thinks this is the Height of Ridiculous and I should just go by myself and have a great time. I just don't know, though. Phillip would be fine. I'm not worried about that. But I'm worried about missing her, I'm worried about the breastfeeding situation, I'm worried that I'll be The Mom Who Left Her Teeny Tiny Eensy Weensy Baby At Home So She Could Get An Overpriced Massage In Palm Springs.
Anyway. Because perhaps YOU are over the Christmas Spirit at this precise moment and YOU have a strong opinion on women who have babies and then fling them at their fathers so they can fly away to a resort and eat too much, YOU will let me know what YOU think! The internet is SO good at that.
P.S. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO US! I hope Santa brings you a box full of Sleeping In.
Is this a smidge Grinchey of me? A tad Scroogish? So be it, Internet!