31 Days of Parenting Littles: Away
As I type, Anneke is sleeping, wrapped on my chest. I am never away from her. It will probably be many months before I go out without her at all, even for just a few hours. In the 5 years we've been parents, we've never left our children overnight. One or both of us has been with them each night, and the only time I've been away is when I'm in the hospital giving birth to the next sibling. We have friends who have gone away for romantic weekends or even on holiday for a week or two, leaving the kids with relatives or close friends. I'm happy for them that they coiuld take the time and recharge, but I honestly couldn't even imagine doing that until our kids are much older. I don't think I'd be able to relax and enjoy it. Even just dates have been rare since becoming parents- at least completely child-free ones.
We do our best to foster close attachment when our kids are little, so when they're babies and toddlers, we don't usually go out without them. We feel it's better for them to have one or both of us with them, especially if they're distressed without us. Zak is an extrovert and has always done quite well being babysat, even though we didn't go out frequently. Josiah on the other hand is as introverted as they come and was a bit traumatised when we left him with friends so many times over the weekend Anneke was born. After that, he's cried when seeing the people who babysat them (even at our own house while being held by Raoul), and clings to us when we go to anyone else's house.