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!
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.
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.
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?