Shawn and I recently went on a trip to Las Vegas and left Joseph with his Grandma. (Shawn’s mom.) This was the first time that I was away from Joe for more than a few hours since I went to the hospital right after he was born. I really struggled with mixed emotions of guilt, elation, abandonment, and fear.
I knew that Joseph would be in great hands. My MIL is a nurse, raised two boys on her own as a single mother, and is one of the most cautious, careful people I know. He would probably take more precautions and care that Shawn and I do ourselves. I was more concerned about her stamina. I mean, I am whooped by the end of the day. Joey is a handful. He is all over the place, squirmy, and currently teething. He is also not a big napper. So, I was concerned that she would be worn out. Luckily, Shawn’s aunt and a few of her lady friends came by and helped out so she could get a break and have that extra pair of hands every once in a while.
I think that the biggest thing I struggled with was guilt. Guilt of leaving him, guilt of not being there, guilt of having fun and enjoying myself without him. It took me a few days to get over the constant guilt I felt about leaving him and allowing myself to relax and have a good time. I think that part of it was that I was getting reports that he was fussy, wouldn’t sleep, etc. After a couple of days of this, I had Shawn call his mom and talk to her to see how things were. She gave him a different perspective: they were having fun and she was enjoying her time with her grandson. It was hard work, but it was good. This made me relax a bit more and eased my mind that she, and him, weren’t miserable.
I continued to have some guilt about having a good time and enjoying myself without having to constantly care for Joseph. It was a revelation that I NEVER stop care-taking. Yes, Shawn helps a ton, but I am still “in charge” in one way or another. I can’t explain how good it felt to stop that for a little while. I know that is something that I have to work on, but I am unsure how to do this without having to fly across the country.
All in all, it was a really great experience. Shawn and I got the time we both really needed as a couple, I was finally able to relax and realize that he would be okay without me, and my MIL and Joseph got some serious bonding time together. I just hope that she wasn’t so worn out that she’d watch him again for us before he’s in preschool.