How am I going to survive my first night away from baby?
There comes a point in your motherhood/parenthood journey, when you have to be brave and leave your child for their first sleepover. It might be because they’ve asked for one with mamma and grandad, or maybe their friends have asked, maybe you’re on a friend’s hen/stag do, or…. Maybe you just need a night off.
For me, I’ve been trapped in an endless internal battle. Caught between feeling incredibly selfish and wanting some time off from being ‘just mum’ and then not actually wanting to leave my son when an opportunity presents itself. It’s not that I don’t trust anyone to care for my son in the way that I do, or indeed care for his needs at all. Its more my needs, I need him with me, so I know that he doesn’t need me. I know, right!?! It’s completely contradictory and has left me without some actual ‘me time’ since before Logan was born.
So here I am…
… 15 months into my motherhood journey and my time has come to leave him for his first sleepover with granny and grandad. My head and heart are an absolute cement mixer of emotions.
Trust – Without a doubt, I wholeheartedly trust my in-laws to care for my son. They already have him twice weekly, so I can work and have his routine down to a T!
Excitement – It’s our 2nd wedding anniversary, We’ve booked a room at a fancy hotel in town, we’re having a meal at The Ivy and we’re getting dolled up (for a change). It’s going to be lovely to spend some quality time together as a couple
Guilt – This is such an issue for me as it’s currently the strongest emotion I’m feeling. The heart pang of guilt, the palpitations that I’ll be leaving him overnight at someone else’s house. Feeling like I shouldn’t be having a night off because he’s still so young and needs his mummy
All those emotions have been reason enough to stop me from leaving him up until now. But I’ve decided to be brave and gave myself a few months to work up to it!
Although my first-time mum anxiety has shot through the roof over leaving him, it’s given me a kick up the backside to be super organised about it. So, going into this new experience, here are my tips on how to prepare:
- Write a list of things to pack for baby, including any toys from home (if baby is staying at someone else’s house)
- Give contact information of places you are going/staying (this way you won’t need to be checking your phone all night for updates)
- Give a specific time that you will text/call to check in, then put your phone away
- Leave instructions of baby’s routine (if not already known)
- Start small and work your way up (my mother-in-law had to hug and push me out the door on my first day back to work because I couldn’t stop crying and refused to leave him!)
Obviously, all these tips may change when I’ve actually been on my night away. But rest assured, I will be back with an update on how things went!
I’ve found that since having Logan…
…I’m so much more emotional than I used to be. Especially when it comes to my son, and bless my husband, he just doesn’t always understand my dramatics. It’s so important to keep those communication lines open, give each other the chance to explain why it is they’re feeling the way they are. Maybe it’s because he went back to work when Logan was 2 weeks old and has already had nights away from us, that he doesn’t think it’s even a thing to be spoken about. But to me, it is. I’ve never left him, he’s my little sidekick, my right arm!
I do think it’s definitely time to give this sleepover a try. I’ve heard from so many mamas across the globe, that having some actual time off makes them calmer, more relaxed and just better mummies in general. Plus, if I’m being truly honest with myself (and the entire internet), I’m desperate for some time off. And you know what, I deserve it, being a mummy is the hardest but most rewarding job there is…