Leaving your baby for the first time
I am currently on my first solo trip to Cairo without my baby and let me tell you – its been WILD.
After it was determined my husband could not get time off work so that we could all go together & attend a friends wedding, he pushed me to go knowing how important it was to my friend & me (especially since I committed to being a bridesmaid!).
I reluctantly took the offer and then did nothing about my trip for a few weeks, letting it sink in that I would be travelling solo without my little son who I have not left for more than a few hours!
I bought my ticket finally and started to feel a mix of extreme excitement (Cairo! I love and miss you!) and absolute dread. How could I leave that little face & also the massive task of solo parenting to my (amazing) husband who is crazy busy at work and also preparing for his first jujitsu competition?!
As the weeks whizzed by as they do, I started tearing up at the very thought of leaving. I felt sick to my stomach at times and honestly I just felt like cancelling. But then I started to turn to people who have travelled without their babies for advice, and while I haven’t been able to follow ALL their advice, I took some and got my head into prep mode.
Want to know about some suggestions? Read on!
- Schedule a trial run– a night away with your partner leaving the baby with someone else. Now I was not able to to do this because I have been involved in A LOT of dance stuff so there wasn’t time to prep for this component however in hindsight I wish I did bc that would have made this trip so much easier. So my advice to you is to do it!
- Prepare a solid childcare schedule with familiar people- We are so lucky to have a dynamic, caring combo of people that love Rowan and so this part was easy. Luckily daycare eats up 3 of the days we are away so that was easy to book around. We did a Google calendar that we shared with everyone so that was fairly smooth & effortless!
- If you are still nursing, up your pumping! I was getting a bit lazy with pumping at work but about 2 weeks out I started to up my pumping so that I had enough milk in the freezer. This component has honestly been the most stressful part of going away as I am not sure if he will wean himself or not in my absence so saying goodbye had this added sense of uncertainty & mourning.
- Make sure your childs’ medical information is accessible to everyone, including dad! This is pretty self-explanatory but it is really important to communicate this to your partner especially bc us moms tend to hold everything in our hands. I taped Rowan’s healthcard on the fridge and made sure everyone had a copy of his doctor name & location.
- Leave an article of clothing that smells like you- I wore this one sweater while at home for the last few days so that I could essentially saturate my smell into it and left it on the bed so that when Rowan went to sleep it was there.
- Experiment with facetime / videochats – We will see how this will go – some people said it was helpful while others said it only upset them further.
- Schedule fun activities with your partner/ family/ friends – We booked several dinners with friends with kids, a Scienceworld trip with my sister and a few other activities so that it not only got Rowan out of the house, but also offered something different to the day.
- And lastly, don’t worry about being brave. I cried alot the night before I left, in the morning and also while flying. I kept saying to myself “be brave” and remembered “hell! I don’t need to be brave! I am sad and I miss him. And that is ok!”.
What things could you add to this list? Tell me here! I am always eager to add to the list!
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