Monday, August 13, 2012

Parent Life: Home Away From Home

Saturday night, I went out with three girlfriends.  My "mom" friends.  Our kids all play at the playground together, but none of us were friends before we had kids.  Since we are all often too busy chasing our toddlers around the blacktop during the day, these nights out are a way to discuss all the "mom" stuff we never get to when we are all playing.  A few glasses of wine doesn't hurt either.

After a tough week with Reese (everything is "no," "noooooo!!!," or "MINE"), it was nice to compare notes.  One topic of conversation at the table was leaving the baby overnight.  I was surprised to hear that half of our group had never spent the night away from their child and the other friend who has hates doing it.

Reese engaging in some light yardwork during her last stay at with her grandparents.

Reese has had a few "sleepovers" as we like to call them.  Since Reese refused a bottle for-EVER, we didn't start until she was about 11 months old.  Once or twice, she has spent the night with her grandparents (mostly when we couldn't line up a babysitter) and a few times when we've had to go to a wedding out of town.  It's always incredibly weird to wake up and not hear her singing the alphabet in the morning (any hopes of actually sleeping in disappeared a long time ago).  On the other hand, it's nice to feel a little free.  It helps that every report I get about Reese is that she's just having a blast without us, doubtlessly plied with new toys and copious amounts of her favorite foods.

I was kind of shocked to hear that my friend who hates leaving her baby with her in-laws.  She said that when she's away from him, she cries every day and misses him so much.  She said he's just a mess with sleeping and eating when they get back, so she feels like it's not worth it.  I definitely notice that Reese is a little cool towards us when we come back from a trip away, but I think we all appreciate a little break now and again.  Being with people who are familiar with her routine forces her to be a little more independent, and forces the same on us.  I miss her, but I know she's having fun and that we can all enjoy some time alone.

I also found this discussion interesting because we were just considering spending a week in December in Mexico with friends.  No babies allowed.  A week seems like a long time, but the thought of being able to take a vacation like that is kind of thrilling.  So, what do you all think?  How long have you spent without your children?  At what age did you first leave them?  Do you miss them like crazy?  Does anyone else actually like it when the baby has a sleepover?


  1. Hi! As much as my husband and I love our daughter, we know that "us" time is very important. Besides that, I think it's important for the grandparents to get to know their grandchild without us "hovering" around.

    I know she is loved and cared for and having a great time. Yes, I miss her pretty badly and am always ready to see her, but we need that time away to be "us". I always feel re-charged and energized after a weekend away.

    I think the earlier you start leaving your child with the in-laws the better. I left Emmeline at 8 months old for 2 nights and it was hard, but good for me to do.

    That's just my 2 cents... love your blog.

  2. We have no in-laws near us to leave the baby with, so we're on a baby-sitter hunt, with the hopes of being able to find one willing to do weekends at some point. In the meantime we have every intention of bringing my mom out to help us if needed.

    I grew up with my parents taking a long "mom and dad" weekend every year. Right up through when I was a senior in high school. Once a year they left me for about 4 days (I also did summer camp when I was older so that helped too). They started these annual weekends when I was about 8 months old. I'm none the worse for wear.

    "Me" time for the parents is so important. Whether you choose a weekend or a week, you know what you and Reese can handle - or work up too. Enjoy!

  3. I have no problem with a night off now and again, but a week is too long until...well, I don't know when, exactly. My daughter is three and I wouldn't do it (I would do a weekend in a heartbeat, though!).


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