Last weekend I did something difficult but necessary. I packed my suitcase, went to the airport, hopped on a plane, and left my family. Just for the weekend. I left my husband in charge of our three boys, uncertain if he would even be able to handle it. I mean, by the time he gets home from work every day, I’m ready to hand off all three of them. A whole weekend alone is not easy!

How can I say goodbye to this sweet face for even a day?

How can I say goodbye to this sweet face for even a day?

Shortly after I arrived at my destination, I logged on Facebook to see that my husband was planning to take the boys to a Major-league baseball game. A seven year old, a four year old and a nine month old! I take the boys a lot of places, but I have not been brave enough to take them to a sporting event, the movies, or even the beach or pool without backup. Yet, he seemed to welcome the opportunity.

I guess my husband has this solo-parenting thing down.

I guess my husband has this solo-parenting thing down.

Although I was feeling a little inferior to my husband’s parenting skills, I went on with my evening, networking and enjoying a much-needed break from my everyday life. When I was getting ready to turn in for the night, my phone rang. It was my husband. Well, mostly. It was my husband calling me with the baby screaming loudly. This was exactly what I had been afraid of when I made plans to leave my baby for a whole weekend. I tried to stay calm, even though my husband was obviously struggling.

“I can’t get him to go to sleep. Can you talk to him?”

“Um, I’m not sure what you want me to say over the phone to a baby.”

“Well I don’t know what to do!”

“Just hold him. Walk around if you have to. He’ll go to sleep.”

A few minutes later he sent me a text: “He’s asleep, he just needed to cuddle.” It felt good to be needed, even for just a second, even across the country. It felt good to know that as awesome and capable as my husband is at this whole parenting thing, he can’t do it alone.

His style? Tire them out.

His style? Tire them out.

I made it through my weekend, and even though I wanted to call my family at every possible break or spare moment I had, I refrained. And they survived. Actually, they did more than survive. They thrived. So while I was terrified to leave them, especially the baby that I had never been away from for a few hours, I found that it turned out to be a good thing. I came home refreshed, and with a new-found respect for my rock star husband, and with the knowledge that it’s completely okay to go away without you family. Your baby will still love you just as much when you get home.

When was the first time you left your baby with someone else overnight?

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When I'm not writing, I'm cleaning up after my three very messy boys, ages 7, 4, and 1. If I had to describe myself in just one sentence: Slightly crunchy, a little crazy and always exhausted.

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11 Responses to Leaving baby for the first time

  1. It is SO hard to leave them with someone else! Mine are 9 and 4, and when my Mom wants to keep them for the weekend, I have a really hard time saying yes – and they are only 30 minutes away when they do that!!

    My oldest was probably about 2 when I left him for the first time, my youngest was about 4 months old.

  2. crystalpaschal says:

    The first time I left my baby it was so hard – but I was so refreshed at the end of my weekend. Now I get rid of my kids regularly, LOL! I think it makes me a better parent. So glad you enjoyed your time away!

  3. Rachel says:

    When our youngest was only a couple of months old, I left all three of the kids with Grandma for the weekend to go see Adam who was at school 12 hours away at the time. It was not easy, I cried for the first hour of the trip. It was just the time away that I needed though.

    Glad you had a good trip & that your boys had a fun time too while you were gone! :)

  4. Amy r says:

    My husband and I have left our kids with family for a few days when another of our kids was having surgery. But not until last year did I get to go away alone. In fact I went away twice! Four days each time! My husband managed our five kids (all between 2 and 8 at the time) without a problem, my house was in one piece. It was impressive!

  5. Greta says:

    I know exactly what you mean! Sometimes, when I’m gone, I know their dad will feed them hot dogs and cheetos for lunch every day, but at least I get time to recharge and know they’ll be fine.

  6. Last year was my first time to leave my kids for more than a few hours and I worried so much about them. But knowing that you have someone to take care of them and that you are still needed can be a relief. Us mommas need to take some time for ourselves and it is so hard to do that. Glad you got to get away :)

  7. I think as moms we always feel guilty about taking time for ourselves but we shouldn’t! It is so healthy for our children to see that we do have an identity outside of mothering and of course for our men to have a chance to appreciate all we do a little :)

  8. Aw I’m so glad you got to get away. Your hubs has it under control :) like mine did too.. lol

  9. I still haven’t left my kids alone without me and I am so sorry that I never did. They are 21, 20, 13,12 and 9 and the only time I was away overnight was when I was in the hospital delivering one of them. It is a great thing you did because it shows them that they are fine without Mommy and it shows your husband that he is capable of doing it. Not to mention you get alone time.

  10. Pam Gordon says:

    I didn’t leave mine alone until my youngest was like 3 or 4. Sounds like your weekend went very well!!

  11. monica young says:

    It is hard to leave your baby overnight. I think I had to travel for work and he was like 6 months. It was so hard.

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