Gone, mom, gone
I did it. My first 3 days away from the baby since his birth 13 months ago. Granted, it was for work, but still… it was time to be away with actual adults in a real city with cocktails and a little fun sprinkled in. Does it sound like I was looking forward to it? Truth be told, I was. And I felt super guilty about that even though I knew I’d miss him like mad.
I was also nervous – would my husband warm up his dinner exactly to 16.75 degrees above room temperature the way he likes? Or know many times to caress his face in only a clockwise direction at bedtime? Would I come home to a scene from Animal House with food on the ceiling, beer cans strewn across the dining room table and both dad and son passed out on the couch?
After the tears, the clinging, the screaming… I pulled myself together and hit the road. The baby didn’t know any better. But I figured after 3 long days with dad, he would know a LOT better. In fact, my separation anxiety was almost fully eased by tidbits of advice from other moms—I needed time to rejuvenate and would be a better mom for it. The time apart would make my husband appreciate me more. The baby would be ok, but love me all the more upon my return. He’d know his mom was working hard and sacrificing for the greater good and for pricier light-up toys.
I had dreams of sleeping in until 7 in a lush king size bed. I’d getsugar-topped brioche French toast and a latte delivered to my hotel room door just after I returned from a long run through the historic streets of Boston in the morning. Once I returned home, the baby would beam with smiles and love and utter his first sentence (“I missed you the most, mom!”) as he threw himself into my arms and cuddled me for the rest of the evening. Our bond would withstand this separation and my anxiety.
But instead… it was an unseasonable 40 degrees and pouring rain the entire trip. The baby had no interest in FaceTime. Instead of fitness and French toast, I woke at 4am to sounds of partying, doors slamming and vomiting. (I’m not sure that man survived that day from the sounds of it.) Then, I hit traffic on the way home and rolled in to find an overtired baby ready for bed, not pining away for mom. The cable was out, dinner wasn’t made and my Kindle was dead. Trifecta, not in a good way.
But after a small meltdown… here’s my takeaway: things are rarely, if ever, what we expect. They can be better and they can be worse, so really, it’s all about how we perceive it. Thank God it rained because I was stuck in a conference room every day. And the fitness and French toast—I can get that on most days if I try real hard. Here’s the thing—I trend toward the negative. Always have. So it really takes effort for me to put on the rose-colored glasses some days. But, if I don’t, I know life will always seem like a real downer and I’ll miss the good stuff. The even better stuff, too. Here’s the real silver lining to this scenario… if the baby survived and thrived with cold(er) food, counterclockwise caresses and a messy house, then I see no reason (rose colored glasses or not) why I (and other mommies out there!) can't get "gone, mom, gone" every now and again… without the guilt.