Or the journey of enjoying myself without feeling guilty.
I kinda knew I was going to write this article about two months before the big day. The “Due Day“. Three months before departing. Three weeks. Three days. And then it hits you, this big D day. Some count breastfeeding as a first challenge with a new baby at home. For others is weaning, or waking up three times a night for six months, or lack of sleep, or diapers’ smell. For me it was the first kids-less vacation with my husband. Just to be clear, this is not a “How To” guide. It s just a journey of my first guilty, perfectly savoured first kidsless vacation.
You can never, and I mean never, be totally prepared for becoming a mother. Saying you are, is just a clichee. (Don t trust anyone who confidently brags about being “extra super ready for having a baby”), they re lying. Friends can tell you what to expect, moms cand give you advice, husbands can show support and empathy, but it s all a matter of perspective. The only moments you can understand what fellow moms were bubbling about is when you experience it on your own skin. And that s what happened to us when we planned our 2-weeks holiday slash roadtrip slash Bachelor party before our civil ceremony. We kept hearing how we d be running back home from the airport without even going through the check-in gates; or how we ll make an emergency passport for your baby so we can take him with us; or how we ll come back home in less than a week.
Well, we didn t do any of this. And honestly, I feel so…proud of us for that. Because there was nothing harder than this, ever.before. I m not gonna write about the “10 steps for having the best holiday in two”, or about how to not miss your child every second, or about how many times we thought of flying back earlier than planned. ( We still do. At this moment we have one week left of this bachelor party-wannabe, and yup, we re still looking for spontaneous flights back home. But that s a whole other talk. Let s stick to the point.)
Going away with your boyfriend, or husband or whatever you have after having a baby is SO good. And not just for “keeping the flame burning” as if you can t do that at home every day as well. Who says that having a baby kills the romance in the couple is just making future moms scared and hesitant and doubtful. It is not true. You can. But taking time off and going somewhere nice is good for the soul. For the sanity. Of the both of you. For your (exhausted) body to just switch off from that 24/7 hectic schedule. For your mind to stop planning feeding hours, sleep intervals, playdates, bottle heating, solids 3 times a day every 157 minutes, diapers change, pros and cons of EVRYTHING related to bebe and I could go on for hours. This is a time for your mind to plan destination after destination (in case you re hopping on a roadtrip as we did) or to plan how many hours to spend by the pool so that you can be on the beach for sunset, and when to have that Mai Tai in between the sauna and seasalt massage.
Doesn t that sound just like your…next birthday/ anniversary/ kid s birthday/ Friday turkey pie or whatever date you have coming up, perfect present ?
What I think every mom should know before going on a kidsless holiday like this is – the leaving is the hardest part, no matter what age your child is. Whether he is 4 months or 5 years old. (if he s 5, just stop reading and book that plane ticket already). But you just got to keep your head up, avoid “teary” moments and making a soap opera out of your departure. Leave the baby in good hands and trust him to become independent and sociable with others besides you and his dad, from a very young age.
For all you mums out there thinking whether you should take a vacation with your husband or not, whether it is moral or not to leave your baby at home without you for a few days, whether you are or not a responsible parent for doing this and so on – the answer is YES. And yes, I have been and still am going through these questions every day. Oh well. Trust your kid and trust your womanly desires. You know you want this, and need this. So do it, take a break from the daily responsibility and chaos, go away and switch off, be messy, sleep late, drink wine, eat 4 ice creams at once, smoke, swim, be playful, stay up late and remind yourself always that what you are doing is right and kind to yourself first. Count yourself out of this vicious#MomGuilt. Because we are women before anything else.