You want to leave your little one behind and go on a romantic getaway. Let us show you how to let go of the guilt.
You’ve been looking forward to this moment – you and your husband are about to go on your first vacation without Baby. Yet now that it’s almost here, you are having the jitters. How do you prepare for a smooth handover?
Here are 10 suggestions to have a worry-free holiday.
Have confidence in your carer – Whether it’s your mum or the domestic helper, remind yourself that she is competent and loves your little one. You can be reassured he’ll be well looked after in her safe hands.
Appreciate couple time – Your world has centred around Baby since he was born. But you also deserve to have time on your own, as well as with your spouse. So don’t feel guilty. As long as you’ve made proper arrangements, you can relax.
Anticipate his needs – Draw up a detailed list of all the equipment, clothes, food and toys that he might need. Try to expect all possible contingencies, so Grandma won’t have to search high and low for essential items. Go over this list several times until you are satisfied that it is complete.
Share his daily routine – No matter how confident Grandma is about managing your kiddo, compile a recommended daily schedule that sets out the times for getting up, feeding, bathing and sleeping. She doesn’t have to stick exactly to that plan, but it will provide her with a reliable guideline.
Suggest his favourite activities – There’s also no harm in providing her with a list of his favourite play activities and places that he likes to visit with you.
Leave contact details – Of course, everything will be fine while you are away. But just in case, give your mum the essential emergency contacts, such as those of your family doctor, the children’s hospital and one of your reliable friends. Remember to include your own travel details as well.
Prepare emotionally – No matter how much you plan ahead, the actual moment when you leave your precious one can be emotionally challenging. Mentally rehearse that moment as often as you need to, until you are confident you will cope without tears.
Manage the separation – On the day of your trip, give yourself plenty of time to hand over Baby to Grandma. Be calm and upbeat when you do this – floods of tears will only make everyone upset, including your one-year-old. Say your goodbyes, give him a reassuring hug, then leave with a smile on your face. He’ll be fine!
Stay in touch – While you shouldn’t spend all day and night checking up on how your little darling is coping in your absence, you should plan to contact your mum two or three times each day at a pre-arranged time. But don’t be upset if that doesn’t always happen exactly at the agreed time.
Enjoy this special vacation – Instead of smothering yourself in guilt about leaving him behind, take advantage of everything your holiday offers. You’ll enjoy quality time with Hubby and feel like newlyweds again.
By Dr. Richard C. Woolfson, Young Parents, November 2014