Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Mummy's Big Night Out

I've heard tell in some parts there are women who plot and plan and scheme and still have the hardest time leaving their child with a babysitter for the first time. I even know of a husband and wife whose eldest child is 7 and has never had a babysitter. They have literally never even had family watch her.

I'm here to tell you I am not one of those women. I first left Reagan with my parents and husband (what could be better and easier that first time than family?!) to get a massage a few days after she was born. I had the most intense shoulder pain and it was to everyone's benefit that I get it taken care of. I didn't even think twice I just zoomed out the door. A few days later I did the same thing to get my hair highlighted and cut. She got a little sick but it was all ok. These are capable people were talking about. My husband, God bless him, is just fine with the baby and knows I need "me" time too just like him.

So this past weekend the family journeyed to Pennsylvania state for a friend's wedding. The bridal couple was nice and thoughtful enough to find us a baby sitter so that we could attend the ceremony and reception. I looked forward to this day way too much I know but it was well worth it. Yes, I was nervous and apprehensive about leaving our 6 week old with a total stranger but I trusted our friends that she was capable and we would be near by and a cellphone call away as well.

The Big Night out was everything I had hoped it would be- I got to get all gussied up, wear some kicky silver heels and drink and dance. We had dinner and conversation without getting up to change a diaper, replace a pacifier or discuss various baby mishaps that had occured that day. We felt like adults that day. I felt refreshed. The funniest part of the whole experience was how I noticed that my husband is way more maternal than me. It almost made me feel bad! He was the one who wrote out detailed instructions on feedings, bedtime and likes and dislikes. He showed the sitter around our hotel suite and made sure she knew how to reach us. He was also the one to go back and check on her, call her, and the one who had to drag me out of the reception early to go home. He simply couldn't take it! It wasn't enough that we left early an boarded the first shuttle back to the hotel. Oh No! It wasn't departing fast enough for this new Dad. He saw a person who we previously had not known until sitting at a table with them through dinner and made us bum a ride. Yes, he was a bit tipsy but it was almost comical and touching how badly he wanted to get home to his child. Upon getting back to the room he take the baby and cuddle her until they were both asleep. I saw the sitter out after asking the pertinent questions and paid her. I think she found the whole "role reversal" pretty amusing. I know I did.

Days later I'm still happy that I didn't bow out of the offer of a sitter. I'm glad we went and I know that in a few months when we leave her for the whole weekend (with grandparents but still) I'll be ok. I'll miss her but I will be able to enjoy myself as well. To me that makes a better parent. We all need to step back from our jobs for a vacation and parenting is one of the toughest jobs there is if you do it right. It was great feeling like an adult and not a feed bag for a few hours and good for both of us to see each other in a different light.

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