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A Week Without My Kiddo

kiddo-585I’ve never been away from my kiddo for more than a day. He turned 2 in August and the thought of him being out of my view for too long made me so nervous. He’s had plenty of one-night sleepovers, but I’ve always been a quick drive away. With this pregnancy knocking me off my feet often (yes, I’ve struggled just like the Duchess. Royals, they’re just like us!), my mom threw out the idea of having Evan go to Chicago with her for a week to give Jake and me a break to relax and for my body to focus on regaining some energy. This was a back and forth conversation — mostly on my side. Will he be okay without me? What happens if he needs something and I’m 400 miles away? My fear was that he would not survive without me and if something happened I couldn’t get to him quickly enough. I trust my mom, of course. Evan loves her and she loves him beyond words. I finally realized that Evan would be just fine without me, it was more of a question of if I would survive being away from him!

So it began. I installed Evan’s car seat in my mom’s car and made sure to give her a thorough and detailed explanation on the safety of this particular seat and exactly how to secure him. I walked her through installing it because she would need to transfer it to another car, and I reminded her that she could check in with her local fire or police department for help or a car seat inspection (too much?). Then my entire life left in a car and was headed to Chicago. I was a nervous wreck. I cried when he left and I would get worried when my mom didn’t answer her phone. I checked in a million times during their nine-hour drive. Evan was having a blast and was free entertainment on the road, and I was a hot mess.

Sunday came and went and Tuesday rolled around. I was ready to hop a flight to Chicago to see my mister. I missed everything, including the way he asks for syrup with his waffles. I missed HIM, us, and our precious moments together. This was ridiculous. He was on vacation, and I was having a hard time relaxing! We Facetimed, at least 10 times a day up until this day. He was fine, no he was better than fine, he was in heaven! Nana’s house was the place to be! They were so busy and he was making himself right at home. He didn’t miss me, in fact it hurt to know he didn’t ask for me. I felt ridiculous yet my body felt a sense of relief knowing Evan was doing just fine. He communicates well and could tell my mom exactly what he needed. He got to spend time with his cousins, love on my grandparents and have all the attention on him each minute of the day. Meanwhile in Kansas, I had a sinus infection and constant nausea. Yeah, my mister wasn’t missing much. I quickly realized this was so good for him!

Jake and I counted down until it was Monday. Once Monday hit, we checked on Evan’s flight a gazillion times. By “checked on his flight” I mean we literally kept refreshing our browsers while Evan was in the air. I knew exactly where his flight was, including the altitude and just when it would land … to the second! I believe people refer to this as helicopter parenting. My favorite thing about the Kansas City airport is that you can watch through a glass window as your loved ones come up the jetway. I waited anxiously once their plane landed. Evan saw me and I saw him and he ran for me. I cried like a baby (I’ll blame it on hormones) once I had him in my arms. We were complimented by passengers on the flight about how wonderful he was and how impressed they were to learn that he was 2 and so well behaved on the plane. Proud mama moment!

Here’s what I learned: it’s okay to let go of my grip a little and focus on myself and my health. When Evan came back I felt refreshed and had a bit more energy to give. My mom stayed with us for a week and that helped me settle him back in and continue to regain the remaining energy my body was willing to give. Pregnancy is not easy with a toddler, but it can be easier with a little help from my friends (cue the Beatles!).

What was your experience the first time your kiddo went on a trip without you? Were you anxious or did you high five your spouse once they were out of eye sight? I was clearly a nervous wreck with lessons learned for next time! —Jennifer

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