Friday, March 7, 2008


So a few months ago, a bunch of my good friends from grad school decided to reunite in Vegas for a weekend of March madness shenanigans. Husband and I debated about whether or not we could go. We were just recovering from the Christmas holidays, during which we had much less time for grown-up activities (like seeing friends, talking to each other, etc) than we had anticipated. And the March weekend was still months away... it seemed reasonable at the time that Bean might be ready for a weekend with Grandma while Husband and I had a break together to play with some of our friends.

Husband had me all convinced that this would be a great time to get away together... we'd get to hang out with our friends, get a couple of uninterupted nights' sleep, go someplace WARM(!), and actually spend some non-baby time together. The Bean, meanwhile, would have the attention of a very devoted grandma to play with her and hug her and keep her safe and happy while we were away.

And, we assured ourselves, if at the last minute I decided I just couldn't leave the Bean, we could bring her along and just lounge by the pool all weekend and maybe bet on a couple of basketball games.

All of this seemed fairly reasonable at the time.

Now our trip is two weeks away, and I have to tell you... I'm not sure I can do it. I was clearly not in my right mind when I agreed to this.

At the time, I was extremely burnt out. The idea of having a couple mornings to sleep in seemed like heaven. And it is still grey and wintery here, and the idea of going ANYWHERE and laying by a pool was also extremely attractive. I also believed that it would be quite reasonable to bring the Bean along if I decided to.

Okay, taking a baby to Vegas is the dumbest idea ever. Seriously. I think the only thing worse than going to Vegas Easter weekend (which we are) is taking your baby to Vegas Easter weekend. Right? This is not a family friendly place. And after the miserable time we had baby wrangling in L.A., I don't think baby wrangling in Vegas is going to be any easier. So it's just not a realistic option to take the Bean with us.

But leaving my 11 month old for two days sounds like we should win the World's Worst Parents Award. I feel like we're just one step up from that couple who locked their three-year-old foster kid in a closet while they went away for the weekend. I mean, of course Bean would be fine (right?) with Grandma, and I bet she'd have a great time. And Grandma is dying for some one-on-one time with the Bean. But I feel terrible for wanting to go.

And I'm not even sure if I want to go anymore. If we hadn't already bought our tickets and booked our hotel, I would definitely not be going. But we have. Will I even be able to have a good time? Or will I just be feeling guilty and sad the whole time?

Sigh. Oh internets. I feel terrible.


core said...

OK, this is very different and is going to pale in comparison but I often feel the same way about my dog whom I love dearly (I don't have kids yet but hope to sometime in the near future). My husband and I have planned many very exciting vacations that I really want to go on and the week or so before I start realizing how much I will miss him. But what I have found is that the leaving is the worst. It is much better when I get to a new environment where there is no association of him. Again, I know Bean is more precious than any dog is and that your biological ties to her and different but maybe it will be the same for you? It is a little embarrassing to admit this to the world.....

arduous said...

You should go. You should absolutely go and you should absolutely not feel guilty and you should enjoy yourself. Because guess what? Bean? Is going to be perfectly fine. And happy. Grandma? Is going to be perfectly fine. And happy. The reason you are feeling guilty and worried has nothing to do with them, and everything to do with you. But I will bet that once you get out there, you too will relax and enjoy yourself.

You're not a bad parent for spending a weekend away from your child. I remember very clearly my uncle and aunt taking a trip away when my cousin was about Bean's age and leaving my cousin with my mom and dad. And actually it is such a fond memory for me, because I got to spend really quality nurturing time with my cousin. I still remember, vividly, sitting outside with her, on our bench swing, rocking her back for FOREVER AND A DAY until she fell asleep.

That's the sort of heavy lifting nurturing a relative never does while Mom is around. And it was fantastic. And as much as it was sort of a pain at the time, and I was kind of like, damn, this baby takes forever to fall asleep, but at the same time it was an incredibly special bonding moment with her. And now, when she's 16, I still look back at that day, and feel this sense that this girl is my baby.

So my point is, yes, for Grandma, this one on one time will be incredibly special and important and something she will probably always remember. Bean will be too little to remember it consciously, but subconsciously it will probably tie her more closely to Grandma. Which is also important.

And you and Husband will be able to spend some quality time just with each other.

I know it's going to be hard. But I think what you need to remember is that it's going to be much much harder for you than it is going to be for Bean.

Anyway, that's my two, very long cents.

EcoGeoFemme said...

I completely agree with Arduous. If there is anyone who might love your kid as much as you, it's her grandma. My neices and nephews LOVE spending time with my mom and that started when they were very young. So, instead of feeling guilty, try to feel glad that you can provide this experience for both Bean and her Grandma while enjoying having family around who can help you out too. This is how life is supposed to work. :)

Another Mom said...

Bite the bullet and go, without her. I know I don't have a leg to stand on here, since it's been a year and Punkin hasn't been with someone other than me or my husband for more than a couple hours at a time. But still, I will talk to as if I have great experience in the matter.

#1: Don't take the Bean with you! Yes, Las Vegas is not kid/baby-friendly and you will be miserable and you will not enjoy sin in the sin city.

#2: Don't feel sad. As everyone has mentioned before, Bean and Grandma will be very happy. There may be rough patches, but they will survive. You, on the other hand, must conquer your emotions and be determined to not be sad. ok, you're aloud a little bit when you leave, but get over it. That's what the plane ride is for.

#3: Go see KA. I've heard it's awesome, my SIL just saw it and the Cirque du Soleil folks said it was their best show in Vegas. Splurge. You guys deserve it.

Jane said...

What everyone else said. Getting away every once in a while makes you a much better, happier mom. The leaving IS the hardest part, but it gets easier after that. Go! Have fun!

acmegirl said...

I agree. You should go. What's crazy is thinking that you are a bad parent for wanting some time away to recharge and reconnect with your husband. You are leaving Bean with the woman who raised you. I assume that since you don't seem to have any obvious psychological scars, she did a good job with you, and guess what? Grandmas are infinitely more patient and fun-loving with their grandkids than they ever had time to be with their own kids.

I'd also like to add that I've been hearing subtle messages from my mom for nine years, now, that it really hurts her feelings when I suggest that she can't handle my little ones, or that they won't be "all right" without me if they are with her. She desperately wants to have opportunities to bond with them without me there. It's a tricky thing to understand, but the way she put it was that when I'm there, they will never want her to comfort them. When I'm not there, they open up to her love in a different way, because they don't have the option of running to mama. I'm not trying to say you should force you children to become close to others by withholding your presence, just that, as others have said, your absence will allow a deeper bond, that I'm sure almost all Grandmas crave.

So go. Do something for yourself. And realize that you are doing something for your Mom and your daughter in the process, by allowing them the time to grow closer.

The bean-mom said...


Only you know if you will feel right leaving Bean with Grandma for that weekend. But I do hope that you decide to go, and that you DO NOT FEEL GUILTY if/when you do so. The other commenters here have written more eloquently than me on providing Bean an opportunity to bond with Grandma (and I honestly never thought of it in those terms before; thanks, Arduous and Acmegirl!)

It sounds like you could do with a break!

Flicka Mawa said...

Add one more to the votes for "what everyone else said."

Jenn said...

I hope you go and have a great time, and give Grandma and Bean a chance to have a great time too!

Scientia Matris said...

Guilt is a mother's burden. Your beloved husband is highly unlikely to feel guilty and this is entirely normal. My mother lives 5 minutes away and I often feel so guilty asking her to look after the kids whilst I get a tooth extracted (yay...). But one day she made it crystal clear to me, and said "think about this. Would you do the same for your daughter?". To which I dutifully replied "I'll go mental at her if she doesn't brush her toddler teeth properly, otherwise she'll end up spending what money I have left after my dental treatments on her teeth too!!!"

Of course I would do the same for my kids and I rather suspect that your mother will feel so proud to be able to give you some time out. Just make sure she's OK with hourly cell phone calls for the first day!

Good luck with your decision.

ScienceGirl said...

Another vote for what everyone else said. A little break is healthy, as long as the Bean is in good hands!