As I said in my last blog post, I recently went on a trip to the West with my husband. Our friends were getting married in Tahoe, and rather than take our energetic three-year-old along, we decided to make the trip a “just us” vacation.
Several people asked me if we were taking Baby Girl with us, and when I would reply that we weren’t and she was staying with his parents instead, they were sincerely surprised. It seemed borderline disturbing to them that we would leave our child for any amount of time, and it was especially shocking that we were doing so in order to go on vacation.
At the time I wondered if I shouldn’t feel some shame regarding our travel plans. I knew that BG would be in capable, loving hands with her grandparents; I also knew that this trip would be a wonderful experience for Bill and me. Still, the reactions of others left me wondering if I was doing something wrong.
Bill and I did in fact have a wonderful trip and came back renewed in both our marriage and as parents. BG was fine; in fact, she had a blast with her grandparents. There was no reason to feel shame about being a bad mom who leaves her daughter to go off with her husband on vacation; rather, Bill and I, BG, and probably even Grandpa and Grandma enjoyed this special weekend.
I want to encourage all of my parents who read the blog to question those who would wish to instill shame in you because of your parenting choices, especially when your gut response tells you that you are doing the right thing. We all need time to reconnect with ourselves, our spouses, our hobbies and interests, our friends, our faith, etc., and that reconnection makes us better, not worse. So, go on vacation, and even if it makes you feel vulnerable to other-parent-attacks. Trust yourself and know that all will be well.