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My First Vacation Without the Baby

Where I went: To Orlando with my husband, Peter, for four days.

Who cared for our baby: My parents flew in from Minnesota to stay with Alex when he was 7 months. He sees them almost every month, so I hoped that would make it easier for him to adapt.

How I felt about the idea of leaving him: Guilty -- especially since I work and already don't spend as much time with him as I'd like. But I decided it would be nice to have some alone time with my husband to de-stress and recharge.

What I did to prepare for the separation: Well, we couldn't help but worry. We took out extra life insurance (we had only minimal coverage through work), and we drew up a will. We figured, better safe than sorry.

To ease the transition for Alex, I asked my parents to come a day early. I made them notes about his eating and sleeping habits and wrote down phone numbers and directions to the pediatrician and hospital.

How often I called home: I phoned the minute the plane landed, and then checked in daily. I was proud of myself that I was able to keep it to once a day!

What we did: We went to Universal Studios one day, but mostly we just tried to relax -- it was nice to sleep in, order room service, exercise, shop, read.

The best thing about the trip: We felt renewed as a couple -- it was the first time we were able to have sex on our own schedule and not Alex's. And it was great not having to entertain our son while we were eating out.

The toughest moments: When I saw other parents with their babies -- it kept reminding me that ours wasn't with us. But it made us feel better to talk about Alex -- we chatted about how he's trying so hard to crawl, and we laughed about his babbling noises.

The smartest thing I did: I asked my parents to stay a day later so I had some help while I unpacked and settled in. We made the return flight on Sunday an early departure so we'd be home before noon. I had most of the day to spend with Alex before I went back to work on Monday.

What I'd do differently: I wouldn't go to such a kid-friendly destination! The fact that I didn't bring my baby was being rubbed in my face.

Words of wisdom: Go when your child isn't old enough to experience much separation anxiety!

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