For a while after giving birth, most moms can't imagine being separated from their baby. Eventually, though, self-care comes into play (whether you've thought of it yourself, or someone who loves you has said that it's time), and you need to get out of the house on your own and at least for a little while. Still, no matter how necessary that initial outing is, when a mom's partner is alone with the baby for the first time, things are going to get challenging. And by challenging, I mean simply existing as a put together human being can be difficult. Make no mistake, your baby will definitely survive, but whether or not you do is an entirely different story.
I remember, when I had my first child, I had real problems leaving her. I'm guessing the source of my extreme hesitance was related to some of my early anxiety rearing its ugly head, because from the day we brought her home, I didn't want to leave the room without her. So if that's what you're feeling, you're not alone.
When I was finally able to leave her in the care of someone else, even for an hour or two, I felt a physical pull back home, deep in my gut. By the end of my time away, I was crawling out of my skin, ready to leave wherever I was far too early and head on home to my baby. I had a weekly choir practice to attend, and it was tortuous. Eventually, I got over it (I'd like to think it was self-preservation, but if I'm being honest, it was likely finally going on medication to control my anxiety), but I sent many, many texts to my partner on the first night our baby was in his sole care, and many nights since. In fact, they looked a lot like the following 12 texts I'm just going to go ahead and tell myself every mom sends her partner when she's away from her baby for the first time.
First Taste Of Freedom
There's nothing quite like that deep breath you take, as you exit the house on your own, for the first time in a while. It's both calming and exhilarating, feeling your shoulders slowly drop away from your ears. It's beautiful.
It's Always Good To Send A Little Reminder
I mean, I'm sure they know, but I'm the one who changes that kid's diapers the majority of the time, so there's nothing wrong with a little nudge, right? I'm sure my partner will totally appreciate it.
OK, Maybe Another Little Reminder
The last thing I would want is for the baby to start crying, and then there's this panic where my partner is freaking out trying to warm the bottle up really quickly and then they scald the milk, and that stuff is liquid gold, so clearly we don't want to waste any of it. I'm just looking out for my family.
Focus. This Is Your Time Off.
Right, I'm outside of the house to have some "me" time, so let's make sure I concentrate on getting the most out of it. It's not like I won't see my precious babe in an hour, so be in the moment.
Showing Some Appreciation
This is the best way to encourage a repeat performance. Hopefully you have a partner who is going to share in the parenting responsibilities equally, and will take over when you need to go out and get things done. Still, when you're trying to carve out some time for self-care, it certainly doesn't hurt to massage your partner's ego a bit.
Speaking Of Self-Care
Is there anything better than drinking a coffee when it's still warm? Ask any mom and they'll answer with a resounding no. Well, maybe a sugary, fancy coffee topped with whipped cream.
Better Check In
I know this is "my time," but I haven't been able to stop thinking of my baby. That's totally normal, right? I can just check in with my partner and make sure everyone's doing well.
I Just Want To See Their Little Face!
Yes, I have a million pictures on my phone, but I can't see what they look like right this second. It's hard, not knowing what they're doing right now. I miss that kid so much.
Because You Never Know
There won't be an emergency. There won't be an emergency. There won't be an... OK, I'll just leave my phone out so it's visible, just in case.
When You Don't Hear Back
Why didn't they respond? Why don't they have their phone with them right now? It's probably nothing, just breathe and relax. Wait a few minutes, there's probably a messy diaper change happening right now.
Five minutes is plenty of time. I should've heard back by now. I bet they're driving to the hospital because the baby stopped breathing. Maybe I should just make my way there right now? Oh God, this was a huge mistake.
There was nothing relaxing about this time. Of course, it doesn't help that my partner decided to put their phone down for 20 minutes, while they played with our baby in the other room. I'm going to kill them, when I get home. Maybe I'll feel refreshed next week.