When mom watches you…
VS when dad watches you…
I have a huge family. There are fourteen aunts and uncles (not counting their spouses) just from my mother’s side of the family. And they’re all spread out across the country and around parts of Mexico. So when the opportunity arises for all of us, or a lot of us, to get together, I really make an effort to show up. When I learned that this weekend a small portion of my family was getting together in Pasadena, I was instantly excited. If you have kids, you know that traveling with them is…difficult, to say the least. The last time we traveled with Athena, our now 17-month-old, she was only nine months old. She was still a baby, so she slept most of the car ride from Las Vegas to our destination near Salt Lake City. But even so, it was SUCH a production traveling with her. A baby’s packing list is soooooooo long. Between sound machines and multiple outfits (because oftentimes they’ll poop so much that it goes up their back and you just have to throw the whole outfit away) and diapers, wipes, breast pump, breast pump equipment, bottles, bibs, Nosefrida, swaddles, nail clippers, shampoo, lotion, the list goes on and on and on. We even took her crib with us. Yep. We did that. Anyway, the car was packed to the brim. But whatever, we did it, and overall it turned out fine.
However, I was not looking forward to doing all that again AND dealing with any new hurdles that might be thrown at us now that she’s a toddler, aka tiny tyrant. But how could I leave her?! I don’t think I can. The trip is only for one night so it should be easy, right? Well exactly, it’s just for one night, so instead of loading our entire house into the car and strapping the baby in for 4+ hours each way on back to back days, we decided it’d be best if I went alone. Insert sobbing emoji. I’ve never left my baby, and I’m honestly not sure how I’m going to handle being away from her for almost two days.
My worry about leaving her is literally giving me anxiety. I’ve been feeling a tightness in my chest since yesterday. I’ve been preparing food to leave behind for her as if I’ll be gone for weeks. I even bought new toys for Marc to distract/bribe her with while I’m gone. And don’t get me wrong, he’s more than capable of taking care of her on his own, but it’s different, you know. It’s different when there are two of us with her than just one. Even though we love her the same and always do our absolute best, it’s like the pressure is on when one parent is away, and the other one forgets how to function at full capacity.
For example, there have been days when I’ve been out of the house for a few hours and come home to find him frazzled and frustrated. He’ll tell me what issues he had with her, and I’ll instantly offer various solutions to the problem that didn’t even cross his mind. And somedays, our roles are reversed where I’m the frazzled one, and he’s got all the answers that would’ve never occurred to me. But like, I said before, it’s not even that that’s causing most of my worry. It’s something entirely different. I can’t even bring myself to write it because I feel like that will somehow be inviting it in to happen. Part of me believes that this type of worry is entirely typical, it’s just a mom’s nature. But the other part of me thinks I’m totally neurotic.
I’ve been practicing visualization recently, the science behind it is super cool. It’s really helped me with other aspects of life. Also, gratitude. I’ve been practicing mindfulness and gratitude which have helped immensely. I recently heard someone say that gratitude and negativity can’t exist in the same place, meaning that when we practice gratitude there is organically no space left for negativity. I think the key here is to keep practicing. But I’m curious what your experiences with this issue have been. What did you do the first time you left your baby behind. How did you handle it? Did everything turn out okay? Have you done it again since then? Please please please leave me a comment down below or on my Instagram and let me know.