My daughter is fifteen months old, and until this weekend I had never spent the night away from her. My husband and I worked out all kind of things and spent money on extra plane tickets so that I could have her close and keep nursing her. Finally, though, I felt like I was ready, and we planned that I would be away from home for a night to attend Thrive Lounge’s VisionCon in Washington, DC.
I wasn’t sure how it was going to go, because I’m prone to more than a little bit of anxiety, and my toddler has been in a nighttime cluster-feeding mania. But I was surprised and relieved to find that I needed and enjoyed the time away, and that my little girl (and my husband!) are extremely adaptable, even when my trip kept me away for two nights instead of one.
I have so much more that I want to say on this topic (we’re planning a vacation sans baby in April) but for now I want to stress this:
Your well-being and your sanity is so important. Your child is so important. Taking care of one doesn’t have to be done at the expense of the other. My daughter was happy, well-fed and cared for while I was away. She didn’t scream on my return, she just drowsily wiggled into my arms and went back to sleep. As for me, honestly, one night away didn’t quite cut it. It was the second night that I was actually able to get some rest–and get some work done.
It was on that second night that I started to finally relax a bit–I had the sensation of letting a little bit of air out of a balloon that was about to pop. Things that had been fluttering around in my head finally slowed down enough for me to begin to collect myself and make some sense of it all. It was so therapeutic and so productive, and also a little scary, because it made me realize how much stress I’ve been carrying around.
So if you feel like you need some time away, you probably do. Find a way to make some space for yourself. In fact, why not create it as a habit? If you don’t find a way to continually replenish yourself mentally and physically, your body and mind will eventually break down on you. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure.
Post in the comments the ways that you restore yourself, and where would you go if you had a night away?