saying goodbye to your baby

So the t-shirts weren’t pink but hey, I’ll take this over gray or navy blue any day…

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I made it home Friday evening and had the weekend to recoup from hours and hours of traveling over a 2 day period. Summer was dropped off back home to me last night, and it was the first time I had seen her since taking her to daycare last Tuesday morning. That’s about 5.5 days; it’s a long time to be away from my little one. And early this morning on my last post, one of you lovely people left me a comment – but rather than trying to fit 500 words into a little reply box, I decided that the answer deserved it’s own post. So here goes….


Q:

“I’m a loooong time follower and I must ask you something – my husband and I are going away for a week in February and I’m crapping my pants thinking about leaving my little girl (who is just a couple months younger than Summer) – please please please tell me how you deal with this!” – M


A:

First, go burn your pants, put on some clean underoos and come back….I’ll wait.

Next, locate a paper bag and breathe in and out of it slowly until the tingling in your face and fingers stops. Xanax works even better. I’ve been there….I know the fear.

Finally, read on…

So the very first time I went somewhere without Summer, she was three weeks old. My teeny tiny little peanut who had been attached to me whether sleeping on my chest, sucking on mah boob, or being carried around in the bjorn, had never left my side since being served her eviction notice from my uterus. Granted, during this first outing without her, she was with my mom, she was just down the street and actually, it was only for a couple of hours, BUT she was on my mind the. entire. time. I had gone fishing with Michelle and Ryan and I’m not kidding when I say this algae probably reminded me of her somehow. Baby poop perhaps.

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But I allowed myself to have fun. I never actually caught a fish but I tried and I laughed and I had a blast with my sister and brother-in-law. And when I got back to my lovey a few hours later, I gave her the biggest hug I could squeeze out of a 3 week old without making her eyeballs pop out and roll onto the floor. And it felt really good. And honestly somewhere in the deepest recesses of my mind, I actually liked the fact that I had gotten a little sun on my shoulders and felt slightly more human.

A few months later when I went back to work, that was really tough on me. My maternity leave days of baby=24/7 were replaced with 30 type-A personalities and milking myself in a back room with a breast pump while wishing for nothing more than to be home with a baby on my boob rather than a plastic Medela breast shield. Glamorous. I know. But then every night on my drive home I’d have butterflies in my stomach just thinking about scooping her up and loving her within an inch of her life. That excitement. It was like crack for this momma’s soul. I actually still get that feeling now, 3.5 years later on my drive to daycare for pickup.

My first actual trip without her was my annual work trip in 2012 when I was gone from Wednesday morning until Friday night. That was also very tough. But a lot of work distractions, a lot of alcohol flowing with my work peeps, and daily FaceTime chats with this little face helped a bunch.

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And when I got home I was welcomed back with “WELCOME HOME MOMMY!” written in chalk on the driveway and a bear hug from a toddling 1.5 year old face that melted my heart into a puddle of goo. I remember big ploppy tears dripping onto my shoes. They were my tears.

Next up was my 5 days in San Francisco for my sister’s bridal shower, the longest I had been away from Summer. The anxiety leading up to being away for the better part of a week was the worst part, because once I left there was so much to do. Flights to catch, hotel to check into, rental car that I desperately tried not to crash with my sisters and mom as my passengers, a bridal shower to attend, bars to visit, soon to be in-laws to meet, more flights to catch, it was over in a blink. But in between the festivities, we made it a point to have lots of moments like this…

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And this…

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…to make it better. And when I returned home, she tried to strangle me with full wrap-around-the-neck-hugs and squeals of happiness. Pure heaven.

This last trip I believe was the longest I have gone without seeing her. It was a whirlwind of a week traveling to and from the other side of the country, losing major sleep due to a lumberjack swallowing her uvula every five minutes as she snored in the bed next to me, fitting in 2 days worth of work stuff and lunches and dinners and flights to catch, and then coming home to an empty apartment for 2 days to catch up on sleep and outstanding errands I needed to get taken care of. And when Summer showed up at my patio door yesterday? Best hug we’ve ever given each other. Promise. It was awesome.

So….to M…this time, right now, from now until February while you have way too much unfortunate time to worry about how hard it’s going to be when you leave that little girly, is the worst of it. I promise you. Of course when the day comes, it will be hard to say goodbye. You may find yourself the night before secretly hoping that your flight gets cancelled, or that your husband gets a bad cold and doesn’t want to travel with clogged ears, or that you won’t fit into a plane seat because you’ll accidentally break some major bone that puts you in an awkward standing-positioned full body cast because quite frankly the thought of that is better to you in that moment than the thought of leaving your girl for a week.

I TOTALLY get it.

But, once you step over your own puddle of tears and poop and get on a plane to somewhere, make sure you carve out plenty of time to FaceTime with the little one, to go through your camera roll and smile at pictures of her beautiful face, and to daydream about her and miss her a little, but also enjoy yourself and your hubby and soak in the trip as much as you can. Know that when you get home, you will probably be strangled by a short little strong person trying to hug you to death and it’ll be amazing. Remember that worrying doesn’t change anything or make anything better.

You’ll be fine.

She’ll be fine.

The person taking care of her will be fine.

Try not to think about it too much now, worry serves no good purpose in life.

Just breathe and know it’ll all be ok.

Promise.

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1 Comment

Filed under Kids, life, Love, Parenting, Travel

One response to “saying goodbye to your baby

  1. M

    YOU. are the best. Seriously lady. You rock my socks even though you made me cry. Thanks for this post and the shout-out 🙂 I feel tons better.

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