THE TENUOUS BALANCE OF LOVE, TRUST, AND INDEPENDENCE
Updated: Jul 12, 2019
This past weekend Jared and I traveled to Cape Cod on our Babymoon/4th Anniversary trip! I'm so grateful that my parents not only agreed to watch Avi while we were away, but were thrilled to do so. My mom picked him up from school on Friday and my dad joined them on Saturday morning. The weather was perfect and they enjoyed the zoo, planting flowers in the front yard, and running around outside.
This is far from the first time that I've left Avi over night. When he was just 7 months old, I had to travel to Israel for work and was away for several days (while pumping!). Even though I completely trusted Jared and my mother-in-law (who had come up for the week to help out) it was hard to leave Avi. Looking back though, I'm actually grateful for that trip. It helped create a paradigm early on in which I'm comfortable leaving Avi in other people's care. Jared did great, as I knew he would, and I loved being on my own for a few days. It was liberating and important for me to realize that I could still enjoy myself without Avi. And we would all live.
Since that first trip, Jared and I have both left Avi for several days separately (meaning one of us was home with him). And on occasion, we've gone away together. We went away for one night last year for our anniversary, and we went away for one night when I was running a 10k. But it's actually been almost a year since Jared and I have gone away together and we've never left Avi for this long before - three nights.
As we approached this trip, I didn't feel apprehensive about it. My parents are excellent caretakers and I trust them completely. Plus, Avi loves them. At first, we had planned two nights away, but as the date got closer, I actually decided to add another day! Two nights just didn't seem like enough for such a long car ride. So we added another night and I was really looking forward to it.
On the Thursday before we left, however, I started to feel a bit anxious. I started to think about what three nights really meant. In reality, it's not very long at all. But it did mean that Avi would be picked up from school by someone else, he would spend the entire weekend without us, and would be dropped off at school on Monday by someone other than me. All of a sudden, it felt very big.
On Friday morning, Jared and I dropped Avi off at school together. The plan was to pack the car and leave right from day care. We said our goodbyes, but we both had a tough time leaving! We asked the teacher to please take extra pictures of him. We asked for lots of hugs and kisses - I asked for a few extra ones - and as we walked towards the door, I started to get a little teary! I couldn't believe it!! I honestly believe that it's so important to leave your kids every once in awhile - to enjoy being an individual and enjoy being a couple. I think these experiences make me a better mom and wife. But as we said goodbye to little Avi, I had tears in my eyes and had to force myself to leave.
I'll be totally honest, once we were out of the classroom, my anxiety disappeared. Avi was at school - his happy place. And Jared and I were on our way.
The trip flew by, as is often the case. We Facetimed a few times with Avi to say hi and we checked in with my parents every morning. He did great. On Sunday evening, Jared asked my mom if Avi asked for us at all while we were gone. My mom’s response, “Do you want me to lie?” At first, I was sad that Avi didn’t seem to miss us, but I quickly realized that this was a good thing! He’s secure in himself, he loves his grandparents, and he trusts that his parents will come home. When I picked him up from daycare on Monday night, he flew into my arms yelling ‘MOMMY!!!!’ and I knew I wasn’t the only one happy to be reunited.
I know there are people who don't like to leave their children over night. I get that, I really do. We are blessed to have family nearby that we trust completely and that Avi loves, and I have no judgement for those who choose not to go away without their kids. But I do think that when the possibility presents itself, and the stars align, it's important to take it. Whether it’s for an hour or a three-day-weekend. Connect with yourself as an individual and connect with your partner as a couple.
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