Sophie, for the first time, spent time with her grandparents and uncle without Mom and Dad.
Equally as noteworthy, “Mom and Dad” transformed back into “Tara and Dominique” for a couple of hours.
It was fabulous.
We put the top down on the Mustang and cruised around the city. Stopped at a brewery with a fantastic view of the old town. Sipped beers. Snacked on pretzels.
It felt like a layer of something — maybe my mommy suit — was peeling back and I could feel a part of my life I hadn’t noticed in a long time.
Dom and I actually get a couple of “us” hours every day after the little person goes to sleep. But there’s something rejuvenating about knowing we’re not the ones who are caring for her at that precise moment. That little voice in my head that is constantly on guard, even while she sleeps, took a back seat.
Dom commented that when he was a baby, his mom and her neighbor would just take turns wheeling the bassinets to each others houses for a bit of free time. He and his brother were tiny babies when they left their parents’ side for the first time.
But it wasn’t that easy for me.
First, I had known his family for all of a couple of months before Sophie was born. The thought of leaving her with them felt, at that time, like handing her over to our mail lady.
Second, I had new mommy anxiety. I imagined every possible bad, stupid, annoying thing that could happen while someone else watched my baby. Somehow, the family that raised my partner could now turn into idiots. Were they going to shove french fries in her mouth, turning her into a 50 pound 4-month-old before a movie rolled credits?
Third, there was a part of me that felt a little bitter that my “in-laws” would get to spend this time with her when my parents couldn’t.
Waiting until I had worked through all of those issues helped me to enjoy the time with Dominique instead of constantly worrying. I trusted that they would know how to distract Sophie if she got upset, that they knew how to call emergency services if she chocked on peas.
After a beautiful late afternoon on the town, we returned to collect our little person.
When the door opened, Sophie was in tact and in her grandma’s arms. As soon as she saw us, her tears started flowing and her little arms reached out for us. In a matter of minutes, though, she was happy and down on the floor exploring and babbling.
Sophie and her family bonded. Mom and dad took break.
Everyone agreed. We need to do this again.