Cabin Fever

| March 25, 2013 | 1 Comment

mom coffee


Once you have a baby, your life changes… I don’t really need to tell you this. It’s not rocket science. You go from being responsible for only yourself to now having a little life to mold and to care for. Completely. I mean the giraffe moms have it so good, their babies come in with a bang. Nice big drop to the floor and they get up with a little nudge and walk away. Yeehaw!

It’s the complete opposite for us humans. Our babies are totally reliant on us and it’s easy to get cabin fever with a newborn. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, where you’re living (and re-living) Groundhog Day: feed, diaper, sleep — repeat. All without washing your hair and for some women: without showering.

I’m here to tell you that you should leave your baby sometimes. In fact, you should do this as soon as possible. Don’t delay. It’s good for you and they don’t actually notice enough to care. (This is not backed by a scientific study that I’m aware of, but it seems pretty logical.) Let me share my experience with you.

I breastfed my babies, so it was a little tricky for me to leave them, but I did. Lucky for me I have a mother who is pro-breastfeeding and who has told me from the beginning that I should go out alone and on dates with my husband as much as possible. She is a wise woman and I think she’s the major reason why I can go out without my children pretty much guilt-free. (Thanks mom!)

Anyway, I am a working mama so I introduced my babies to bottles at the six-week mark. I pumped a lot and they drank a lot. It wasn’t unusual for me to leave my baby to pop out to run an errand or two. I always planned these outings between feeds, because I wanted to save my stored breastmilk for when I had to work. So I would nurse my baby and run out the door without looking back and then return with boobs as hard as rocks in desperate need of a great latch or a flange… (love that word.)

There is nowhere that states that you must be attached to your baby at the hip even if you do practice attachment parenting. You won’t get a medal for never leaving your baby’s side. We need to have time away from our loves even if it’s just to go for a walk. We need space to breathe sometimes. Even though when we leave without them we miss them and we are constantly thinking that we are forgetting something.

Let me share with you the first time that I left my son to go on a shopping trip one Saturday afternoon. He was about three months old and the plan was that I was going to be gone for an entire afternoon, so I left a nice bottle of breastmilk in the fridge and my pump bits sterilized and ready to go for the second that I walked in the door. I nursed and he went down for a nap. His naps were usually about an hour. Off I went, happy as ever to spend the day at the mall on my own. Bliss.

I arrived at home approximately four and a half hours later to find my husband in the same spot on the couch and my baby still asleep in his crib. Chances are he would’ve only had a half hour nap if I was at home and my husband was at the mall. But that’s another story

He had no idea I had even left. And that’s the way it goes sometimes people.

My point is, don’t worry. Your baby is fine with you being away for a few hours or even longer than that. As long as they are happy, fed, and with someone that you trust, they’ll be ok without mom for a little while.

They may not realize that you were gone – as in my case. Or they might miss you so much that they’ll be ecstatic to see you and love you more when you return.

We all need alone time… including babies. It helps to keep us sane and reminds us that even though we are moms we still need to nurture ourselves in order to be the best moms that we can be.

Do you get out without your wee one? What has your experience been like?

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Category: Babies and Toddlers, Family

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  1. kathy downey says:

    Oh I remember those days so longer your own boss…baby now runs the home

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