The question of whether and when to leave your child overnight is one of the many parenting quandaries that provoke very annoying, unsolicited input from family, friends and complete strangers. Recently, I left my girl for two nights with my parents and my sister. Dun dun dunnnnnnnnnnnnnn.
The longest period little V and I have been apart is like…4 hours. Possibly 6? I don’t say this with any sort of pride or any kind of sadness, it is what it is. Some people have to leave their little ones much sooner for work and other commitments (like my Jess, my friend who pushed for then planned this whole trip), some people choose to, some people can’t (like me, who lived a continent away from anyone who I could trust to take on the task of caring for her) and some people don’t want to.
Before this trip was ever planned, when I brought up my sometimes-desire to leave for a night or so, I often faced the reality of extremes. Some people were like ‘You don’t need to be away from your baby! Your baby needs you! They’ll grow up fast enough! Imagine the trauma of this on her!’ or the contrasting ‘You haven’t left her yet?! You guys are co-dependent and she’ll be living in your basement forever!’ Eyerolls all around.
My feelings on this topic can be filed under ‘Whatever You Want, Pal’ with the subheading ‘Whatever Works For You, Buddy.’ What worked for me was 2 nights away, within driving distance, 19 months after my child was born. Spoiler alert: I had a blast, missed her like crazy and she was an angel child who slept all night and played all day for her caretakers. Even if that’s not what she did, she was happy and alive when I got home. And that’s the main thing. Don’t tell me the other stuff.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t shed a tear when pulled out of the driveway. But by the time we picked up Jess and her husband (roughly 4 blocks away) I was fine. And about 25 miles into our 200 mile journey we broke out the personal-sized bubbly. At 8:30am. If that gives you any indication of the mood in the backseat of the Trailblazer.
The rest of the journey played out like this (not pictured: ziplining, which I do recommend but will never do again)…
Men and manly things (like jerky) in the front seat.
We stopped at a greasy diner for burgers and fries. When choosing our seats Jess pointed to the high chairs and loudly stated ‘We do NOT need these today.’
Make that a gardenburger with fries.
And fried pickles.
And shakes, vanilla and chocolate. I didn’t say this vacation was going to be low-calorie.
Sitting by a pool is actually quite relaxing when you have wine in a paper cup and are not responsible for keeping your kid from drowning.
It’s all about the cup.
For dinner I ate…something. And I drank this raspberry mojito.
All dressed up at out at 9pm! Kid-free-vacation WHAAAAAAT WHAT!?
When I don’t have to carry a diaper bag, I trash the idea of a purse altogether.
Mommy, where does wine come from? Well, a grape meets a fermenting yeast and then it comes out of this stainless steel uterus…
Patio sitting, wine sipping, the weather could not have been more cooperative.
Vineyards and Lake Michigan.
And yes we went to a spa. With robes. And yes we took all the free things they left lying around. A bowl full of hair ties!? Thankyouverymuch. I considering taking the robe but I want to be allowed back next year.