Bye, Bye, Baby

This summer has been one full of firsts for my husband and me. The latest first for us was leaving baby for the first time for an adult night out.

I don’t know when most newbie parents first have their first night away from baby–whether it be for a dinner and movie or a night on the town–but my impression is that we’re on the leading edge of that learning curve at two months into life with baby.

Our night out was exactly that–a night spent outside, sitting around a fire by lake with my brother and sister and their spouses. We had been at a family barbecue when my aunt out of the blue offered to take baby home so we could stay and hang out. (I have one of those patchwork divorced families where everyone is spread out all over the place and consequently it’s rare that so many of us siblings are all in the same place at the same time.)

Maybe it was the beautiful sunset that was brewing or the promise of a cooler full of cold beers, but I think it took maybe 30 seconds of deliberation between my husband and I before we had the car seat and kid strapped in the care with her, grandma, and my dad.

As they backed out of the driveway, my husband and I could see baby’s

You're Seriously Leaving Me?

round little face through the backseat window. He was giving us this look that made we want to open the door and run my finger down the side of his face. It looked similar to this photo. His little brow was furrowed, his mouth was in a pensive line, and his blue eyes were open wide, looking slightly confused. My heart tightened a little seeing that look.

We stood waving as they drove away.

“I didn’t like that at all,” my husband said.

As we grabbed our beverage of choice and picked our spots by the fire, my sister-in-law says, “I can’t believe you did that. I’m impressed.” My siblings had been watching the whole farewell scene, more or less in disbelief. Apparently we made it look easy.

I started to wonder if we were weird. Were we somehow deficient in the parenting department because we were able to let our two-month-old baby go in the name of a good fire and good conversation?

But I looked at this decision as the right one a few different ways. First, we weren’t leaving baby with a stranger; he was with family. Second, we weren’t going to be out all night. (Although I will say 2am came amazingly quick–too quick, in fact–when you’re having fun catching up.) Third, he wasn’t likely to be a pain. He had two full bottles, clean diapers, and a change of clothes, so chances were that he was just going to eat, poop, and pass out for the evening.

But there was something else that made me feel like it was okay to send baby packing for the evening. It was the feeling like I needed to share him. I find him so beautiful, so wonderful, so perfect that when someone offers to hold him, change him, feed him, or, in this case, watch him for a few hours, I have a hard time saying no. I want them to share in the wonderful feelings that I get when he’s close by experiencing those little moments–a snuggle against your neck or a little snooze on your chest–for themselves. And I figure the more I share him, the more he’ll be loved; that’s one of my biggest hopes for the wee one, that he’ll be as adored as he deserves.

But sometimes I wonder if my willingness to share will be confused for something else. My paranoia makes me hesitate for a second every time I give my wee one over to another pair of hands; I worry people think I’m a bad or negligent mother. But I’m not about to stop sharing–I think babies are good for the soul–but I wish every goodbye to baby didn’t feel like such a milestone.

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2 Comments

Filed under daily life, infants, moms, newbie parents, parenting, post-partum, post-pregnancy

2 responses to “Bye, Bye, Baby

  1. colleen murphy~pegues

    Sarah~you write beautifully! I’m up for a 2pm feeding & he just fell back asleep so this will be short but I just wanted to share some validation that you are doing such a good thing! People will always have their own opinions but what you do for your child & yourself as a parent is what you decide & what is best! I used to ‘share’ (I love how you put this) my daughter (now 7 yrs old) with everyone, as well as leaving her with family once or twice a month for some well deserved ‘me time’. I remember feeling guilty at times, even remember hearing comments from a friend that she would never go out to leave her babies. But I can tell you today that my daughter is the most well rounded, comfortable, intellectual child I have ever seen (of course everyone says that about their own child, but its true, lol). I remember even at 6 months of age, I brought her to my best friend’s wedding while trying to fulfill my role of bridesmaid at the same time. (The wedding was 5 states away so I didn’t have a sitter!) She was used to being around so many pele in her life that she was comfortable staying with an unfamiliar face (a bridesmaid’s fiancee) and being passed around for the evening. Several people commented on how comfortable she was, as most babies would scream and cling to their mother. Still to this day she molds well in social situations (mostly with adults!) And is very mature for her age. In addition to the child becoming more well rounded and comfortable with others, leaving your child for the eveming is sooo beneficial for the parent and sooo well deserved! Okay, I’m rambling now, ill probably read this tomottow and it won’t make sense, lol! Good night and congratulations on your little one! P.s. is he going to learn to skate? 🙂

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Colleen! And I can so appreciate what it takes to type and feed at 2am. 🙂 I’m glad to hear that your “sharing” your child has made her super well rounded and chill. I can only hope the same will happen to Aleksi. As for the skating, you bet! My husband keeps telling me with a name as Eastern block as the one Aleksi’s got, he’s born to be a hockey player. I wouldn’t mind that…

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