All mothers say the first time you go out is going to be rough, but until you experience it for yourself, you really don’t know the feeling. Before having children, John and I discussed certain things regarding when babies came along and how to treat our relationship. We both believe that if you put your relationship first and make that a priority, only then can you truly make your child happy. Not everyone may have that philosophy so it’s okay for you to roll your eyes at the comment I made. I get it. Every family is different. Now, there may be times where that just isn’t possible and that’s okay. This is just a general rule that we try to live by.
We decided that when Ellie was three weeks old we would leave her with my parents and sister and go out for a drink and dinner in the downtown of the suburb we reside in. Little did we know that EVERYONE and their mother was out for dinner and every place would require an hour and a half wait. Normally, John and I wouldn’t be discouraged by that because we would just post up at the bar and drink until a table was open. That’s not so much the thinking when a newborn is at home. I wanted to be home within an hour and a half, not sitting down to a table by then. So we decided to venture out a little further away from our house. We went to a bar about 10 minutes away (an hour away in new mom minutes) and sat at the bar. It was a cute little place with plenty of TVs with sports games on (GO CUBS) and two very sweet women bartending.
I couldn’t wait. It was 9 months in the making of leading up to that first sip of wine that I had so desperately wanted throughout my pregnancy. So, I ordered my glass of cabernet and began to chat with John. As soon as I took that first sip, it’s like the guilt slipped in to my brain. I kept thinking “what am I doing? I could be doing this AT HOME while holding my baby.” I told John that I was feeling some separation anxiety, but that I was going to try and push through. I could tell John missed her too, but I was jealous at how calm and collected he was. I guess that’s why he’s a good balance for me. Fast forward 10 minutes and we were ordering our food in a hurry so that I could get home and see Eleanor. I had all of these irrational thoughts running through my head that lead me to believe that I needed to be home. I will share these thoughts below:
- “What if my parents forget to heat up her bottle before feeding it?”
- “I told them to hold her neck, right?”
- “She’s probably crying uncontrollably and they won’t call because they don’t want us to have to rush home.”
- “Do they know that a blue stripe on the diaper means she needs to be changed?”
- “Yep, she has to be crying. That’s the only explanation as to why I feel this way.”
- “Did we go out of the country for dinner? It sure seems like we are very far away from Ellie.”
- “Will she think we don’t like her because we left her so young? Yep, she will be scarred for life I’m sure.“
- “I’ll just text my mom and asked how she’s doing…..do I text her again in another five minutes just in case?”
- “Oh God. She didn’t answer my text. She’s got to be inconsolable!”
- “Check please?”
Now, to a non-parent you may think this sounds crazy because I was the SAME way. Some of these thoughts are probably more common than you think for the first time going out. John and I rushed to eat and we got our check. I had drank 2 sips of my wine. I just couldn’t do it. We told the women bartending why we were in such a hurry to leave and they reassured me that my feelings were normal. One of the women had 20 month old twins and had only left them 4 times since they were born. The other woman had an even younger baby with the same story. I felt so relieved I was not alone.
Since then, John and I have gone on another date and left her with my parents. Every time it gets a little easier, but I realized that it’s just part of being a parent. You will have a hard time leaving your kids and you won’t stop worrying about them. I took pride in the fact that I got back on the horse two weeks after our first attempt and treated myself to two glasses of rosé and dinner to celebrate Mother’s Day with John. I loved that I could sit back with my husband and talk not only about Ellie, but everything else going on in our lives. I knew she was in good hands when we were away and I could relax a lot more the second time around. Maybe the moral of the story is to wait until you are ready. Don’t just go out because you think it’s the right thing to do. I look forward to continuing to date my spouse and doing little things for our relationship in hopes that one day Ellie will strive to find a kind of love her parents have if that’s what she chooses. I can only hope and pray that’s the case!
** Here are a few of her newborn pictures that my cousin took for me. She did a wonderful job!
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