This is a follow-up to the What to Do post about our anniversary celebration plans. Last weekend we went on our mini trip… (drum roll please) without little Miss Ava. Yes I did it, I left my baby for the weekend! For the first time in 13 months, I was away from my baby. She wasn’t sad to see me leave, granted she had no idea that we weren’t coming back to get her for a while. As I walked out of my parents house where she was playing and laughing, I cried. My husband and I got in the car and I was overcome with tears. He looked concerned. He made a futile attempt to incite excitement. He said “This is going to be… fun.?” Through my tears I replied, “Yes I am excited”. It was truly a funny sight to see. It didn’t take me long to regain my composure, although I am sure that my husband was thinking that at any time I was going to tell him to turn the car around and get my baby! But I didn’t. I was very proud of myself honestly.
A few days prior to the trip, I made up my mind to leave her because a light went off in my head. After 3 years of marriage and a baby, my husband still wanted to spend time with me. He still finds me interesting. All I kept thinking about was that this is one of those “when opportunity knocks” situations. As I thought about it more I realized that a lot of women I know who have had failed relationships always say they didn’t see it or coming or didn’t realize how they grew apart. I quickly realized that currently my husband is asking me to spend time with him. He is letting me know that he wants to be with me. If I keep ignoring his hints, eventually he’ll stop asking and doing things without me. To me that’s when you open the door for a wedge to grow. So though I was anxious and sad to leave Ava I felt like I did the right thing. My parents and sister took very good care of her and she had a great time. Even though my mom encouraged our trip, sometimes I felt that she was apprehensive about my decision. She never ever left us over night and that played a big role in my guilt in leaving Ava but also in my decision to do so. I never saw my parents doing things just for them. Everything revolved around us, their children. I believe it did cause a strain on their relationship and after we all grew up they worked hard to rebuild their relationship with each other. I didn’t want to lose and have to regain my best friend. I honestly think it’s healthy for couples to get out without their children. To invest time in their life long commitment to each other.
Once we reached our destination it was incredible how easy it all felt. We had nothing to nag about, prepare/plan for – we just got up and went where we wanted and stayed for hours. We really had fun. It was reminiscent of our dating days. It showed me that our responsibilities to each other, Ava, our careers, and our families, take a toll on us and cause us to be my stressed and irritable. We rarely ever even go out on dates and I realize we need to do more of that.
I also learned that though Ava had a great time she was confused about why she was away from us so long (Friday to Sunday morning). I called and checked up on her frequently and by all accounts she was fine and having a great time. My mom said Friday night when she put her to sleep in her playpen, Ava looked confused and ended up staying up pretty late. Other than that she really showed no signs of distress. On Sunday my sister called me and told me that Ava grabbed her by the hand and walked her over to our wedding picture and started to point at us. My sister said she was looking at her like “where are they?” She took the picture down and gave it to her and she said he just sat on the floor held it. That made me feel sad for her but luckily by time this happened we were only about 45 minutes away. I woke up Sunday morning ready to get back to my child. Thankfully I took off Monday to spend the day with her and she was very excited for her mommy time.
All in all it was a great experience and I learned a lot. I learned that all relationships whether husband/wife or mother/child take work and devotion but in there has to be balance. It can be overwhelming to be so much to so many (well two people), but hey it’s the life I chose and I wouldn’t trade it! I don’t know that I will make a habit of leaving my child for the weekend but it is nice to know I can and should get away to enjoy my husband’s company.
(*** As an interesting side note, the woman I wrote about a few posts ago who's husband left her high and dry; stopped by my office today to ask about my weekend. I gave her the short version about us leaving Ava and she said she's had many revelations recently and that was one of them. She said she wished she made time just for her husband. She said she never left her girls and all their vacations were planned around them. Looking back now she can see some things she did wrong in her relationship with her now ex-husband. I just thought it was interesting and wanted to share.)