I’m in the airport about to board my plane. I’d forgotten how wonderful it can be to fly without a child. I’m looking forward to actually getting some work done on the flight rather than just trying to appease and entertain a squirming baby in a cramped middle seat. I think I may even have an aisle seat. Heaven!
But of course, I am tugged by a nagging feeling about leaving my baby behind. What if something happens to her while I’m away? What if her babysitter forgets to pick her up at daycare today? What if she won’t take a bottle? (a likely scenario). What if she doesn’t sleep at all?
My friends have tried to reassure me. “Babies and toddlers do beautifully when Mommy goes away,” they say, “It’s you who won’t get a wink of sleep. She’ll be fine.”
“But MY child NEEDS me,” I want to scream at them, “our bond is special. We still co-sleep, be still breast-feed. She’ll be devastated. She’ll feel abandoned. I’m a miserable mother for going on this trip by myself.”
Then I try to remind myself that this separation had to happen sometime. And this is a short trip – just over 36 hours. It’ll be a good trial run. It’ll be hard, but she’ll survive. Maybe she’ll even do better than expected. And I’ll survive too. I’ll pump and dump, and one night of missed breast-feeding won’t end our special bond. We’ll survive. We’ll thrive.
And now it’s time to board my flight.