First Time Out Without Baby

 I just had my first baby-free day out.  It was a month in the making. A friend offered to watch Mary while my husband and I had lunch. Unfortunately, her kids proceeded to bounce a stomach bug around for a month. But everyone was finally happy and we were able to go. So I'll share how we prepared and what I suggest for anyone else. 


The first thing I did to prepare was write out Mary's daily schedule. I recommend listing everything that happens from wake up to bedtime, what are the important things. When she takes a bottle, when she eats solids, when she takes her naps, and when she gets nappy changes. From there I listed the details for those things. What solids to feed her and her nap routine. 


I felt a great sense of relief once I had her plan written out to give to our friend.  The next thing that I did was make sure our house was organized. Not tidy or clean, just organized. Our house was messier than I would have preferred, but we felt overwhelmed and needed a break.  I made sure we had easy to put on nappies (We use cloth and flats normally so I wanted an easier to put on pocket nappy for our friend).  I made sure the wipes were clean, the sleeping bag was handy, the dummy was in the cot, and we had pumped milk in the fridge. 


Once our friend showed up, I showed her around the house while Nick wrapped up some work.  I showed her the sleeping Mary, the pram if she wanted to walk, the milk, the food, and the nappies.  And then we were off. 


It was such a great time to be able to be out just the two of us again.  We decided while walking to lunch to not talk too much about Mary and what she was doing.  I thought about her some, but we had a lovely conversation and I tried to be present in the moment.  I have some projects planned I am very excited about and my husband has things he was excited about.  


We walked back home to find our friend putting Mary in the pram to take Mary for a walk while Mary was crying.  Mary stopped crying when I picked her up but was shuddering in my arms for a few minutes while our friend was explaining what happened.  My heart broke listening to her describe how Mary woke up and was looking around for us and crying.  When Mary was feeding she kept stopping her bottle reaching out to touch our friend’s face and then started crying.  My poor baby.  I feel like I should feel guilty, but other than for a second I really don’t. I think that break was really good for us. And Mary was with someone I trust who has 3 amazing kids.  We needed a break and it didn’t take Mary long to recover once we got home. I fed her and then put her down for the nap it was almost time for and she was fine.  I encourage all parents to take time for themselves when they can.  Your baby will be better off with a parent who is refreshed and happy than one who is burnt out.  If you have the opportunity, take it.


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