The first time you go overnight without your children can bring on some of the biggest anxiety you may ever experience. It’s perfectly normal to second guess going away, stress over them not being with you, and cry at the thought of not being there if they want you.
But getting away every now and then, whether it’s for work, or leisure is a good thing for everyone! It helps your child to learn to trust others for their needs, they get to bond with family, and you get to know that you’re doing something for you that will not cause the world to fall apart!
Here are the best ways to prepare:
- Care. If it’s a couples getaway, have the Grandparents come a few days early so your child can get comfortable having them around. If it’s a solo getaway, start letting your spouse take over the middle of the night feedings or bedtime routine.
- Schedule. If your child isn’t on one already, work to get them on one, even older kids too. Write down the schedule for the caregiver too so there is no second guessing what is supposed to happen.
- Prep. Anything you can do to prep is always an added bonus. Stock up on the diapers, have some freezer meals ready to go, and make sure all the laundry is done. Whatever there is that can be done so your caregivers don’t have to go out of their way will help make everything easier. There won’t be any second guessing when it’s all ready to go!
- List. This goes along with the schedule some. Have a list of the addresses that the caregivers may need to go to – soccer practice, dance, school, etc. Also have a list of numbers they can call if they need help and can’t get a hold of you – neighbors, regular sitter, kids friends, etc. Having it all written down in one place allows them to easily reference it when needed.
- Medical. Having a Medical Power of Attorney for your caregiver can be beneficial should there be any major emergency. It will allow your caregivers to make medical decisions for your children in case you are not able to be reached. While you are at it, write down anything about your children’s health that may be important to know – allergies, medicine, or other conditions.
When you prepare for the trip and make it easy for your caregivers, you will have less anxiety about being away. Less anxiety means that everyone has a much better time!
Written by: Megan Harless, Doula for Stars and Stripes Doulas of Hampton Roads