I’m Leaving My 10-Week-Old To Go On Vacation

Five years ago, Rebecca Eckler raised eyebrows when she left her son at home and went to Mexico

This article was originally published on Mommyish. Five years on, Rebecca Eckler has no regrets...

My fiancé runs a charity golf tournament every summer in Mexico. I will be tagging along, not to golf, but to lie around, read, visit the spa, and eat a lot of guacamole. I’m super excited for this trip. To be blunt, it is a vacation for me. And to be blunt, I will be leaving my 10-week old baby behind.

Yes, I’m ditching my baby, which makes me a little anxious. But, mostly, I don’t have a problem leaving my baby behind since I have wonderful backup. My fiancé’s mother is moving into my house for the week and I have a wonderful nanny as well. It’s not that I’m not going to miss him, because I am dearly. But since I can’t read the mind of a two-month-old baby, I’m not sure he’s really going to miss me. All I know is when he wants to eat, needs to burp, needs a diaper change, or a cuddle—and that’s only because he cries. Other than that, the baby is quite happy and quiet.

I know many parents, including my brothers and my sister-in-laws, who refused to leave their babies alone, even for a sleepover with my parents who raised four kids, until the kids reach a year old or longer. My best friend, who has four children, didn’t leave her first baby alone for a night until he was 14 months old. By the time she had her fourth, she went out without her youngest, three days after his birth, leaving him behind with a nanny. The first time I left my daughter alone for a sleepover with my parents, she was three months old. I thought I’d really enjoy the night off, but how did I spend my night? I spent my night looking at photographs of her, calling my parents every 30 minutes to see if she was all right. But I was a first-time mother then.

I really don’t understand women who can’t or won’t leave their babies behind for a night, if they have trustworthy help. “Take the help,” I want to tell them. Go out and have a nice dinner with your spouse! Anyone who has babies or toddlers knows it’s a total crapshoot how your baby is going to be in a restaurant. We’ve taken our son out twice for meals and they were both miserable experiences. Of course, leaving your baby behind for a couple hours for dinner, or even a night at the grandparents is a lot different from actually going on a six-day vacation and leaving your baby behind. I’m sure a lot of people will ask (and I’ve asked this myself) if I’m a cold-hearted bitch for leaving a two-month-old behind for almost a week. I’m not. My fiancé and I really wanted a baby. We’re not cold-hearted. What we are is super laid back. In fact, I’d go as far to say we’re doing a good deed by leaving him behind with his grandmother, who adores him to the point that she actually calls him “our baby.”

Every time she babysits him, I’ll receive a call or an e-mail the next day telling me that she enjoyed her time “immensely” with our son. I know that my son is not going to remember me leaving him for this trip to Mexico when he’s older. He’s two months old, like I’ve said, and can’t do much. I’ve taken my daughter on trips with me, pretty much all the time. What she’s grown into is a very mature traveler for someone her age or any age. Someone who, if I fall asleep on a plane, actually knows how to order herself a Diet Coke and a meal, and even can hand over my credit card (she knows the pin) to order herself some food. Because she also travels a lot with her father, she’s completely comfortable in new places and never gets homesick.

Although leaving my baby behind this young is a bit premature compared to how my daughter was raised, I think that it will be good for him. I think that, even from his early age, I’m teaching him a sense of independence. I’m teaching him that he has a lot of people around him who love him and will take care of him. Is me going away and leaving him behind a little selfish at his age? Um, absolutely. I admit that fully. Am I lucky to have such wonderful help? Um, absolutely. Will I miss him? Um, absolutely. But will I enjoy my vacation? Um, absolutely.

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