Throughout my pregnancy, our families would ask when we were going to let the baby spend the night at their house. I dodged the question. Though I had yet to meet my little guy, I was certain that I wouldn’t be ready to give him up overnight for at least a couple of years. Two years old seemed like a reasonable time frame. By then, I think we would all be able to handle the emotions associated with some time apart… and I’m sure after two years together, we would need a night off.
Well, Munchie came… and so did an emotional roller coaster. We stuck it out for three full weeks together… but then… it happened. Four weeks after our little guy was born, I was exhausted… in every sense of the word. Munchie was crying and we couldn’t get him to stop. Desperate, I picked up the phone and called my mom. It was 10pm. I was in tears… I was hysterical… between sobs, I asked her to please come and help me. “I don’t know what to do. He won’t stop crying. I am just so tired.”
Less than 30 minutes later, my mom and sister were at my front door. They swooped in to help. Then, they offered to take him for the night. I felt like a horrible mom. Was I seriously considering handing over my 4 week old baby for the night? What kind of monster was I? Then, I was reminded of the most important piece of advice anyone had given me. If you don’t take care of yourself… you aren’t going to be able to take care of your baby.
We packed Munchie up (with an insane amount of supplies) and they headed out. For the first time in a month, I got a full night of sleep. In the morning, I was refreshed. (Daddy Bish was refreshed, too… and I am so grateful that he agreed to let Munchie spend the night with my family.) The next morning, I was beyond thrilled to see my little guy. I had the energy to care for him. I had more patience. I had more stamina. It was amazing.
Two weeks later, Munchie spent the night out at the farm with Daddy Bish’s parents (and grandmother). Again, the next morning… we were refreshed. Munchie is now 10 weeks old and has spent FOUR nights away from home. Shipping him off was extremely difficult at first… and we certainly miss him… but the experience is wonderful for everyone involved. We get some much needed rest (and alone time). Munchie is getting familiar with other environments… and spending quality time with his extended family. AND… everyone is happy when Munchie comes to visit them! It’s kind of a gift for all of us.
We are incredibly blessed to have family so close. I strongly encourage other new mommies and daddies to part ways with their little one for a night. Hopefully, you have family (or friends) close. If not… I suggest adopting some!