In the last six years, I can count the number of times I didn’t sleep with Sam at night.
The first time was when I gave birth to Jamie. I stayed in the hospital overnight as mandated by the doctors. I’d just given birth, what do we expect.
The second time was when I rushed Jamie to the hospital one weekend for aspirational pneumonia. Someone had to watch Jamie through the night too.
The third time was when I was weaning Jamie from breastfeeding, and we collapsed in exhaustion in another room in the house. I don’t know if that counts though, because at about 5am Sam found us and snuck into bed with us.
And as you can guess, in the last three and a half years, I’ve never slept away from Jamie. There’s been no business trip, no weekend get-away, and no vacation without them.
These facts surprise — and often shock — a lot of my fellow mothers. By this time, most of them have had some weekend away from their kids, by themselves or with their husbands. While they share their first experiences away, I often sit quietly with nothing to contribute. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the re-charging moments and the good night’s rest, and they know this — so it makes them wonder why we haven’t done it yet.
My husband has never been “for” the idea. He always says there will be time for us later when the kids are older. Right now they need to be around me (all the time?) more than him (because he has taken trips away from them). It’s having me around all the time that’s reassuring for him (them). He worries a lot about how they’d be away from me (since it’s never happened!), and (I secretly think) how he’ll handle them without me there. His hesitation has been the main deterrent to why we’ve gone as long as we have without a night away from the kids!
But really — it couldn’t have all been him because if I really wanted to, I’d have found a way by now, right? I realize I probably don’t want it as much either. Maybe it’s the loss of control over our routine. I’m so used to doing it all my way, I’m not sure how I’d handle it if someone else did it differently (hence all my yaya issues of the past!).
However, it doesn’t stop me from broaching the topic when an opportunity presents itself, just to see where we stand. I honestly feel he’s more-than-capable handling the girls without me. If there’s anyone who can, it’s him! And the girls are older and more independent too. There’s always a lot for them to do in 48 hours (or less). In fact one trip to Disneyland ought to do it. And of course, connectivity makes it easier to stay in touch. With the right pre-preparations and the accessibility of Jollibee and Chowking, I’m confident they’ll be fine.
We talk about it, but I expect status quo. So you can imagine my surprise one morning when I woke up to find this in my inbox:
One of my best friends invited us to the Christening of her baby in the East Coast for a weekend. To have all of us travel that far is admittedly too costly, and impractical given the three-hour difference. It’s too much for a weekend, and they’re not missing school!
I talked about the possibility of traveling by myself and being away for one weekend (46 hours to be exact, inclusive of all travel time to and from the airports!). These friends (and some other girlfriends who are going too) are like family to me, so it would mean a lot for me to be there. I’ve been so busy with our own family’s milestones and events, I’ve missed out on theirs. So it was (it is) important for me to go.
I can’t deny I’m both excited and nervous about this breakthrough milestone in our parenting. It should be good for us all though. And besides, spending two full days alone with the kids is something I do all the time! My husband can finally have a taste of it. How hard can it be, right? 😉 (Insert evil laugh here)
Thanks Dad! It’s an awesome me-time gift (with shopping money to boot! Ah-mazing!). Between this and last week’s Date Night, you’re on a roll! 😉 Keep it up! Heeheehee.
And by the way… good luck to you (insert more evil laughter)! 😉