Before I became a mom, I promised myself I would make self-care a priority. I can’t be a good mom if I’m exhausted/unhealthy/unhappy, right? Makes perfect sense. I did a great job of taking care of myself throughout my pregnancy. I rested when I felt tired. I ate nutritious foods. I said no to anything I didn’t feel like doing. I protected my “me” time ferociously. I meditated. I showered myself with love and kindness and dark chocolate.

I thought about what my life would be like once BabyRoX was here. In my head, it was this perfect balance of mom-time, me-time, friend-time, work-time, and Mark-time. I’m self-employed, so I can set my own schedule. I’m good at the work-life balance. I love spending time with friends, with my husband, and all by my sweet little self. I’m passionate about my work. Soooo… dividing my time between all these should be easy, right? I pictured date nights with Mark while loving family members watched our kidlet, fun nights out with friends while Mark and Jonah had some father-son bonding time, solo hikes in the woods to restore and rejuvenate my mind and body, blocks of time each day devoted to work projects – both creative and administrative. Having a child wasn’t going to strip me of all these other things I wanted to do!

And then I had a baby.

Wednesday by Leah | Atlanta Family Portrait Photographer

And it’s not that I *can’t* segment my time the way I want. It’s not that being a mom is so much more demanding than I anticipated that I just don’t have the time or energy to do anything else. It’s that… as much as I want to do all these other things, as nice as all of that sounds… I’d really rather just hang out with my child.

In fact, the longest I’ve been away from BabyRoX is just over 2 hours. People tell me that this is normal, that of course I want to be with my baby, that of course leaving him is difficult. And that’s good to hear (not that I’ve ever been too concerned with being normal…I mean, I did give birth at home and eat my placenta and teach my baby to pee on the potty and all that jazz)… but I’m wondering if I should just let this progress naturally, and only leave Jonah for longer periods when I feel ready, or if it will just always be difficult until one day its not and I should just power through, and leave him from 3 hours, then 4 hours, then 6, then 8, then a day.

Wednesday by Leah | Atlanta Family Portrait Photographer

I’m supposed to shoot a wedding out of state in May… and I’m already feeling anxious about it. Do I take BabyRoX with me and bring along a trusted friend or relative to watch him? Do I leave him in Atlanta and go away for nearly 3 days without him? And if I do go away for the weekend and leave my child here, I suppose I should start building up to that separation… which means leaving him in someone else’s care for longer than 2 hours before May gets here. And it’s already March. Gah!

I’m really not sure what to do. So I’m asking the internet… what did YOU do? How did you handle this? Help!

In the meantime I’ll just be here, hanging out with my baby. Contentedly addicted.

13 Replies to “Wednesday by Leah: Before and After

  1. Hey Girl! I think you build up to being away from him. Not for a particular event but more for life in general. I had never really been away from L until I went back to work. 3 days is a lot…I'm not there yet, I say you take Baby Rox with you. I feel like the seperation is good for us. When I go pick him up we are so happy to see eachother….he's kicking and smiling and I'm kissing him all over. Good luck.

  2. I'm not a parent, but I would say that if you can take him with you, then you should. Time flies, so you should spend as much time as you can with him at this very young age. You have the wonderful ability to be with him and still work, so take full advantage of that. And, I always appreciate your blogs! 🙂

  3. While my work/life schedule is different as I went back to my day job in the office, I understand what you mean. There have been plenty of times where things were going on after work or on the weekends and I just took a pass with out even considering options because I want to be home with my husband and baby more then anything else. For me, it really wasn't the duration away that made it hard, it was how occupied I was and who was watching her. When she was home with my husband or mom, who I am really comfortable with and they know her schedule, I spent a lot less time worrying. And having something to occupy my time while I was away made it less stressful and the time goes by quickly. Also, getting lots of updates from care takers is a big help too. Working and traveling with a baby is a lot of work, not that it's not worth it. But one thing that does happen to me when I am working and someone is watching my baby near by is there is a good chance I am going to get pulled in on the little things while I'm working. The real question I would need to ponder is how much focus do I need to give to my work? I have a hard time split focusing when my baby is near by, because I care about every little thing when it comes to her.

    • Thanks so much for your comment! If he goes with us, he wouldn't be AT the wedding, just nearby at the hotel with a caregiver…if we can find someone willing to go to Indiana with us for a weekend just to watch him. Hmmm, decisions, decisions.

  4. I totally agree..I had all these visions of still doing everything I did before. Now all I want to do is hang out with Evan when I am not working…a mix of guilt, love and desire. I have been back at work since Evan was three months working 8 to 9 hour days and left him for a 36 hours to go to California. It was a hard 36 hours.
    I would say bring him and a babysitter with you on a 3 day trip. If anything pumping enough to supply for 36 hours was hard, I can't imagine having enough for 3 days. Solid foods at this point really are not sustenance. It is the nights that will be the worst if he isn't there.
    The one thing that has been able to get me through is to be in the moment, I appreciate the time I am with him, but when I am working…I work.

    • Haha, yeah, I'm not looking forward to pumping… blah. Ugh, it's soooo hard to think about leaving him. My parents can watch him, so I know he'd be in good hands, but I might be a wreck. Maybe we can find someone to go with us…I'm leaning in that direction, and especially now hearing from other mamas!

  5. Having children made me a really big homebody. I mean, really- the people I wanted to be with the most were already right here. But the challenge that I had- and yours might be different- was that I had to almost force myself to take time away from my first baby. The first time my husband and I went on a date after she was born, I just wanted to rush back home. But after you (and Jonah) are used to it, it'll become easier and you'll actually be okay with doing it more often. The first time I was away from her overnight was when she was 8 or 9 months old, and then we went away for a long weekend out of town right after her first birthday. And she was totally fine- it will help if you let him get adjusted. And I agree- a caregiver you really do trust will put your mind at ease. Sometimes I think my girls are in better hands with my nervous parents than they are with me! 🙂

    • Also: by the time you guys get to a second child, it will be different. With our first daughter, I clung to the doorway whenever I left her. This time, it's a world of difference. It's not that I don't miss the baby, I just know the separation is actually healthy and that she will be perfectly fine while I'm gone. And remember & repeat: When mama's happy, EVERYONE'S happy. Go get a pedicure for an hour and see how you both do.

    • Thanks, Krista! Haha, Mark and I have not had a date night yet…I guess we should try going out for dinner at least. Or a movie. I don't think I can do both just yet!

  6. Just bring him to the wedding and let the matron of honor hold him all night. I'm sure she'd love it! 🙂 I'm so excited to see you in May (and hopefully meet your adorable son!).

    • LOL, I don't want my son crashing your sister's wedding! But if we do decide to bring him, which I'm leaning towards, hopefully you can still meet him before or after! Looking forward to seeing you!!

Comments are closed.