I just bought the plane ticket, so there’s no going back now: I am officially going to NYC for BlogHer’12 and leaving Adeline at home with David. Ahhhhh!
Now you can go ahead and read that “Ahhhhh!” in two tones: (1) oh my god, I get to go to New York alone and have a ton of fun and not have to worry about baby stuff for four days and it’s going to be amazing! and (2) oh my god, I’m going to leave my baby, I’m not going to see her for four days, what if she misses me, what if I miss her, what if David can’t get her to sleep, oh my god, this is going to be really hard!
Most of the other moms I know have already left their babies, some with other family members, some at less than a year old, and some for up to two weeks. I’ll be leaving Adeline with her father (and his mother will be here to help), she’ll be nearly 21 months at the time, and we’ll only be apart for three nights. Part of me feels like a crazy person for even worrying about this. But the bigger part of me knows that, while this is an important step, it’s natural for it to be difficult and stressful.
When I was growing up, my parents very rarely went on vacation without my sister and I. We did road trips all over the country. We went to California and Colorado and Florida. As we got older, they took us to Europe with them many times. It probably would have been nice for them to get away, but it was awesome for us to go along.
I loved that experience as a kid, and it certainly didn’t prepare me for the idea of parents taking vacations without their kids. Of course, BlogHer’12 is kind of like a work event (although I also think it’s going to be super fun) and it’s really only a long weekend. So I’m building up my courage and I think I can manage. But the two-week vacation without the kids? I really don’t think I could do that.
And I don’t know that I’d want to. I want to expose Adeline to the world. I want to her experience different places, different cultures, different people. I want her to develop a love of travel and adventure. And I also want to take her to places where she can see the conditions that some people live in: I want to create a sense of philanthropy in her through the real-life experience of seeing the world.
On the other hand, I very much value my alone time with David. Maybe next time we’ll leave her with Grandma and get a weekend to ourselves. Just a weekend, though.
So what do you think? Have you left your kids? Did you struggle with it? Am I crazy?