As a new mom, I know I can’t weigh in on this topic too much, but we recently had a weekend away from the twins planned, and while feeling bad was my initial instinct, I also came to realize that it is ok, and actually even a little healthy. Hear me out before you judge!…
Two Christmas’s ago, my oldest brother gave CJ and I a weekend in NYC as a gift. It included 2 nights stay at a hotel and a nice dinner. We were so excited about it but a few days after receiving it, found out we were pregnant and decided we didn’t want to waste a weekend in NYC pregnant! 🙂 It expired in October of 2016 and we knew that was going to be too soon to leave them since they were born in August so we had it extended as long as possible, and that was to this past weekend.
Our thoughts were: they’ll be almost 6 months, sleeping better, ready to be away from us for a little while! While I still had my reservations about it, we decided to go though with it and leave them in the very capable hands of my brother and his family (that was also a part of the gift, free babysitting!) and my parents would be there to help as well. I really didn’t think there was anything to worry about! They had even started daycare prior to this trip so were already getting used to being away from us. Well, the closer the trip got, so did my reservations about going. I had nightmares of them crying the whole time, not eating, and eventually passing out from either crying too much or exhaustion! I know that’s crazy and my family would never have let that happen, but none the less, I did some research on leaving babies for the first time, at that age. Not only did it seem totally fine, for them and us, but it seemed almost encouraged, especially when it comes to raising two at once! The break could be much needed and we would come back refreshed, rejuvenated and even better parents! Missing them wasn’t even going to be a question, but I miss them sometimes when they are asleep so I didn’t worry about that part too much! 🙂
After leaving ridiculously detailed instructions and everything they could ever need, we were on our way. We left them at their house so we would only be about an hour away if we needed to get back. And that is exactly what happened!
We had a great first night, Cj’s sister and her husband came too, which we were so excited about.We started the evening with a great dinner at Hill Country BBQ..
Then bopped around to a few places before going to see a late night jazz show at Blue Note..
(and had great seats!)
Everything was fine until about 11:45pm when my brother texted me that Mason just wouldn’t settle. He hadn’t eaten his full dinner, had a full bottle before bed but was definitely off. It broke my heart thinking that it was because we weren’t there. He texted that he was asleep before we left the jazz club and as relieved as I felt, we decided to go back to our room, just in case we were going to need to leave. I didn’t hear from him again until about 3:30am when it was the same thing, except now they were alternating waking and crying. I started to feel more bad for my brother than anything! Especially because this is pretty unusual for them..
Needless to say, I got less sleep that night than any of the nights I’ve spent with them- including when they were newborns!! So- after much back and forth with my family and their awesome support, we decided to go back. They had assured us that they were doing great that day so far, so we spent a little time in the city on Saturday, getting breakfast at Ellen’s Start Dust Diner in Times Square and walking around central park before getting on a 4:15 train.
Once we were back and saw them and got to give them their dinner and put them to bed ourselves, my family insisted that we go on more date, to dinner, to seal the weekend that we didn’t get to complete. So we did, and it actually felt more relaxing knowing that we would be there for the night and to calm them and just do what we know works best for them. We came to the conclusion that one night away was probably a good place to start, maybe two was too much for the first time? That and we also felt extremely lucky to be given that opportunity in the first place!!!
So in conclusion, what does a night or two away really do to new parents? Help them to relax and rejuvenate or just make them want to do back with their kids in case they need them? Probably one of those age-old, life-long questions, that will never have an answer, right?! 🙂