For the first time in nearly a year, we’re taking a vacation. We had a few weekend overnights late last year and earlier this year, but nothing that really counts. Unlike those trips, the baby stays home for this one. And, I’m losing my mind.
My husband qualified for the trip we’re taking through his job. One of the perks of working for his company is that each year, as part of their rewards program, employees can qualify for travel. This year’s trip is a big one: a Mediterranean cruise.
Normally, I’d be all about it, but since our son was born, part of my brain clicked off. It’s the part of my brain that cared about frivolity. The part that replaces it is one that focuses solely on the baby’s well-being. It’s the part that now cries every day realizing that he’s at daycare instead of with me; that some stranger is getting my daily share of his lovey cuddles and may not be enjoying them as much as I would.
But, because the baby can’t come with us, we’re doing our best to prepare and leave him in the loving arms of my husband’s family. Although it’s not ideally how I’d like to travel, a free trip, especially one to Europe is not one that I can say no to. Every mom I talk to encourages me to go, reminding me that travel will be infinitely more difficult when he gets older, that he’ll barely notice we’re gone, and that he’ll be just fine with my in-laws until we get back.
I hope they’re right. But part of me is feeling a tremendous weight of guilt. I’ve never been away from my son for an overnight since he’s been born. While he’s a tremendously easy-going baby, he still has cues that need to be minded in order to keep him calm. I’m worrying and I’m sad because I’m going to miss him. I really enjoy him and we’re doing some really great bonding these days. Given my choices, I’d rather just have the vacation as time home to be with him.