Monday, June 9, 2014

Time Apart

I can count on one hand the number of times I have been apart from our baby girl (not including the 9 hours she spends at daycare Monday-Friday). The first time was when we attended a joint 30th birthday party for my husband & best friend when Taylor was only six weeks old. Had I not spent a vast amount of time and money planning said party, I never would've left the house. But how could I say no to two of the most important people in my life? My parents kept Taylor at our house, I squeezed my post-baby body into a sheer black number, and off to the party we went. What I hadn't anticipated was that all anyone would want to talk about was our baby and my journey through motherhood thus far. It was great but also a constant reminder of just how much I missed her. Needless to say, I was more than willing to leave when Jake suggested we cut out early (even though we both knew she was at home asleep).

The second time we hired a babysitter (which just so happened to be our full-time sitter's daughter - and one of the sweetest girls I've ever met) and went to see a friend of Jake's comedy routine when Tay was six months old. I was nervous, of course, being that we were leaving our baby in the hands of a teenager, but we were able to enjoy a quiet sushi dinner and some much-needed laughs with friends. And at the end of the night, I was more than eager to return home to our sleeping baby.

The third time was just a few weeks ago when I ventured out for ladies' night with a few of my closest friends. We had appetizers and cocktails at the new rooftop bar followed by German beer and homemade bretzels (which were to die for) at a German pub topped off with a nightcap at one of our favorite rooftop patios. It was the first time I had been out with just the girls since 2012 - and it was long overdue. But again, I was anxious to get home to see my girl.

This weekend marked the fourth occasion that I have been away from our tot. It also marked the first time I have ever been away from her overnight.  It was a long and busy weekend that consisted of me attending a wedding in my hometown then leaving Taylor with my parents overnight to attend a reception of a different wedding in a town about an hour away. Trust me when I say that it took everything I had to leave her. Had the couple not been two of our closest friends and flown to Jamaica to attend our wedding, I honestly don't know if I would've gone. But, I did and it was one of the absolute best times that I've had in years.

Casey & Kristin - your wedding reception was the bomb and we had an awesome time 
(thanks in large part to the giant flask)! ;c )

Our high from Saturday night's festivities was deflated yesterday when the hubby and I had to say goodbye and leave Taylor with my parents for a couple of days (her daycare being closed this week has forced us to expedite her first extended stay at grandma and grandpa's house). I have been building up to this moment for the past eight months, but pulling out of my parents' driveway last night without the sound of my girl yammering in the backseat was hard to bear. And I may or may not have shed a tear during the long drive home.

Needless to say, I miss her.  I will probably even take the route to her babysitter's house after work strictly out of habit. And I know that our house just won't feel the same tonight without her there. But, as many of my friends reminded me this weekend, the fact that I miss her so is indicative as to the type of mother that I am. What a sweet perspective on an otherwise lousy situation!

I know that our time apart is necessary. Taylor needs to spend time with other people that love her as much as we do. And as a mother, I need to learn to let her do things on her own. This is the first of many experiences to come in which I won't always be there to protect her. Being a mother is a struggle and, most days, I just try to keep my head above water.

But I love it. I love how it has changed me for the better. And I love how it continues to challenge me (even if it stresses me to my core and makes me worry more than I ever thought possible).

And nothing will ever compare to the sight of her sweet smile first thing in the morning (even if it's accompanied by a hangover).

She makes my world go round.