Leaving your little one(s), even for a few hours, isn’t always easy.
(Well, let’s be real, sometimes it is.)
But what if you’re leaving them for days?
Since my two-year-old was born, I’ve spent over three total weeks away from him on various adventures. Sometimes for work, sometimes just for the weekend, and once for a full eight days on another continent. And we all survived! (Even thrived.) Absence really does make the heart grow fonder, and it can be a refreshing re-set for your mama-soul.
Here are some tips and tricks I used to ease my anxiety and make traveling without my cutie a little bit easier.
1. Make A List
If you’re a control-freak like me, sometimes it helps to make a list. I included detailed information such as phone numbers, medications and doses, emergency contacts, and instructions for things like bedtime. It goes on the fridge and in the Cloud for all caretakers involved who are watching my little when I travel. It puts my mind at ease, and it’s nice know that all critical information is in one place just in case it’s needed.
2. Leave A Lovey
Before my last big trip, I spent a couple of nights sleeping with swaddle blankets stuffed in my t-shirt. It sounds a little nutty, I know, but then I was able to leave my little guy with some loveys that smelled like mama to snuggle with while I was gone!
3. Never Judge Your Trip By The First Day
When I arrived in London earlier this year, I called my child on FaceTime and he cried and ran away. Needless to say, I lost it. I was exhausted, jet-lagged, and 4,000 miles away from my baby. What was I thinking?? But then I took a four-hour nap, had a cup of tea, and started to feel a whole lot better. Give yourself some grace. On day one, you’ll probably be tired, grumpy, and uber-emotional. You may regret everything and want to turn around and go back home. So go ahead and cry. Get a good night’s rest. Take a walk. Have some caffeine. Things will start to look a whole lot better soon.
4. Talk Often
By day two of my recent European adventure, my child no longer ran away from the phone when I called. We both started to adjust, and he was happy to see me, even on FaceTime. It will put your heart and mind at ease to lay eyes on your cuties, so do so as much as you can.
5. Ditch The Guilt
Mama, listen to me. Lean in. This is important. Never, NEVER feel guilty for taking some time to yourself. It’s so easy to feel guilty for traveling alone or with your partner or with your friends and leaving your kids behind. DON’T DO IT! You cannot pour from an empty cup, and if you have the opportunity to refill it with some time away, take it.
6. Relax And Have FUN!
Having my son has been the greatest adventure of my life. But that doesn’t mean I can’t still have adventures that don’t involve being a mom. I have be on some pretty incredible trips since becoming a mother, most of which I took without my son. And I’m so thankful I didn’t let fear or anxiety keep me from jumping on those opportunities. I always come back refreshed, renewed, and feeling like myself – ready to dive back into my everyday life with an extra pep in my step.