My son is five months old which means my husband & I haven’t had a date night in five months. Not because we can’t afford a sitter or because we don’t have multiple family members that would gladly watch him for free, because we do.
But because I’m simply not ready.
I receive lectures and annoyed comments on how I’m a baby hog or selfish or need to let someone babysit.
But I don’t care.
I’ve left my son with my husband a total of 3 times. All of which he has slept the entire time I was gone.
It’s been about 3 months since the last time I left him with his dad and that time was for 20-30 minutes.
I texted my husband the entire time, impatiently waiting for a response, ready to race home or call 911 at any moment. Only to finally hear that yes, he is still fine. And still sleeping.
The second time I left him, to go to my 5 week postpartum appointment, I sobbed the entire drive there.
I felt silly because I trusted my husband and knew my baby was in good hands (they also happened to be at my parents house so there were about 5 sets of backup good hands as well).
But I couldn’t stop the tears.
I just felt incomplete.
Like I had left a part of me back home.
(Granted, I was 5 weeks postpartum, extremely sleep deprived and emotional…so that could have added to it. But still, incomplete.)
“Here, I’ll give you a break” people say as they reach for my baby.
What even is a break?
One of those awful 3 times was to go get a mani/pedi. My husband scheduled the appointment for me as a surprise and insisted I go to “get a break”.
I love surprises, I love getting my nails done, or maybe I should say loveD.
As in pre-mama life.
It wasn’t relaxing.
I mean how could I relax!?
The whole time I was worried about my baby’s wellbeing.
It’s like when you get a massage and while getting it, you realize you’re thinking about work or your to do list or something else that’s totally not relaxing.
So you think, “Crap, it’s only a 60 minute massage, I need to clear my mind and relax now. I’ve probably got about 38 minutes left”.
But thinking this only makes you less relaxed and more stressed.
It’s a never ending cycle.
My mother often offers to hold my baby while I go into the next room and nap.
A wonderful offer and one I hate to turn down.
“He’s just in the other room” I tell myself.
“She will wake me if he’s upset or hungry”.
So I go into the bed and stare at the ceiling.
I lay there for about 10 minutes before retreating out to the main room and saying, “Oh, I couldn’t sleep” while my mother shakes her head at me.
How can I sleep without my warm little friend next to me?
Especially when I’m laying there worrying if he’s alright.
I know the day has to come eventually.
My husband is more than ready for a date night and I do miss our alone time together.
I would love to put on a pair of heels and a shirt that isn’t nursing-friendly and eat at a quiet, fancy restaurant or see an R rated movie.
But even when that day comes, even if my son is in the hands of the most qualified, loving, responsible caregiver, I will still spend the evening worried about him.
There is no off button. There is no “break”.
And yet, I wouldn’t have it any other way.