Change of Address

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3.05.2012

A (much-needed, hard-earned, emotionally-crucial) Break

When Em was eleven months old, I decided to reward myself for surviving my 'first year' of motherhood with a girl's trip. A group of friends from high school and I were lucky enough to score some super cheap plane tickets through Allegiant Air, and 
                             leave this:                                                                    for this:
  
The decision to leave Em for four days wasn't an easy one, but it was a smart one. My mother-in-law actually talked me into it (my husband claims she had ulterior motives--she wanted to watch Em). She said it would help Em learn that she can exist independently of me. Part of me wasn't sure I wanted that to be true. I'm her mother, after all. Including utero, we'd spent nearly 20 months of days together. While my role as a mama is sometimes suffocating in its responsibility, it also gives me a sense of security to be so undeniably needed.

But ultimately I decided I needed a genuine break, and that if I brought Em along she would not only be the only baby on the trip, but the trip would be equal parts fun and stressful, if I was lucky. Most likely stressful would win out. I was fortunate to have someone I could trust to leave Em with, and someone who didn't consider watching her to be a burden. And since I was no longer nursing Em, that obstacle wasn't an issue.

I felt a bit like I was missing a limb for the first few hours, but as the day wore on I felt an incredible lightness and relief. I knew I owed it to Em to return rejuvenated, so when thoughts of her crept in, I'd simply remind myself that I'd see her in a few days. It was such a luxury to have a chance to miss her! (Not to mention the sleeping in...)

What was it like the first time you left your kids for an extended period of time? Did you enjoy it? Spend it worrying? Wish it had been for longer? Are you still mustering the motivation/courage/desire to take the plunge?

1 comment:

Jamie Johnson said...

I'm so glad you were able to do that, Gina, and see all of our friends. :)

Leaving is always so bittersweet, but in the end, you are so right, rejuvenation is so worth the separation!