I have been thinking recently about time away from kids – perhaps because soon we will have another small baby and child free time will be extremely rare and a lot more difficult to coordinate! We are lucky enough to have lovely family members who will look after our little munchkin when B and I have somewhere we want to go without him. Especially as he got older and I didn’t need to breastfeed him so frequently (and then weaned him) it’s been easy enough to leave him with grandparents for a few hours while we have a meal with friends or go out for afternoon tea. He has a good relationship with both sets of grandparents and they are all local to us so it’s great to have that option.
However, we had never spent a whole night away – and actually Daddy still hasn’t! But I was invited to a good friend’s hen do (a weekend away in Norfolk) and decided I didn’t want to miss it. The truth is he doesn’t really need me the way he did when he was tiny so there really wasn’t any reason not to go! I opted to go just for one night so that B didn’t have to take a whole weekend off work (and to ease myself in gently as jumping from 5 hours to 48 felt too much!!).
I left Saturday morning at 9.30am and I have to say waving goodbye to my little man in the car was a bit emotional! I’ll blame those hormones for that though. I got back on Sunday afternoon at about 5pm and I was very happy to see my little family. TM had been at home and out and about with Daddy so of course he was totally fine, although he was chuffed to see me again! I imagine some of you reading this will be thinking that you’d never leave your 16 month old overnight, while others will be surprised that I even considered it a big deal. We all have different things we are comfortable with – and of course not everybody has the option of leaving their kids with family members or babysitters.
I think it’s pretty natural that I found it strange being apart from TM, though. I carried him inside me for 9 months, fed him myself for 14 months and generally spend all day (and half the night, little bed invader!) every day with him. So while I missed him, I did actually enjoy the time away. It was so relaxing and a novelty to just be Ellen again, rather than Mummy. I was well looked after too so I didn’t even have to cook for myself and I think the extent of my ‘work’ for the weekend was washing up a few plates and cups! It was a great group of women and we were in a lovely, pretty setting and the weather was gorgeous, so all in all I truly appreciated the ‘break’.