My First Night Away From My BabyEmily Malone
Friday night was the annual holiday party for Casey’s office, and a date that has been on my calendar since before Cullen was born. I knew that December 9th would be the first time we’d need to leave our little guy with a babysitter, and I dreaded it for seven weeks.
But by the time it actually rolled around, I found myself surprisingly calm and, dare I say … excited? It’s not that I wanted time away from Cullen, but I was excited for the chance to have some uninterrupted time with Casey outside of the house.
Getting ready to actually leave the house was probably the trickiest part of all. We both needed to shower and get dressed, and Cullen needed to be fed, dressed, changed, and packed for his night out. I started early to make sure we’d have enough time, and even snapped a few pictures before we left.
My two favorite fellas dressed for a night out: Casey in a suit, and Cullen in his turtle pajamas.
And a new mama in a new dress bought to make her feel pretty on her first night out — thank you, Casey! Check out that boob grab …
I think most people leave their babies for the first time with doting grandparents or other family members, but out here in Seattle, our closest family members live in Indiana. Being so far away from family and helpers while taking care of a new baby has been really tough, but I feel lucky that I’ve made some great friends out here who have made me feel supported.
Case in point, who watched Cullen for us on Friday? My friend Nicki and her husband, who also have a baby. Oh, and their baby is actually nine days younger than Cullen. Two babies under seven weeks for the night that’s what I call friendship.
Nicki was one of my pregnant walking buddies this fall, and even though our due dates were a month apart, we ended up having them almost within the same week. I felt great leaving Cullen with Nicki, knowing that as a new mom herself she knew exactly how to handle his age, and any crying fits wouldn’t phase her.
We dressed him in his jammies, made sure his belly was full of milk, and took him over to their place. He fussed a bit when we got there, but I knew he’d be tired and ready for bed soon. I forced myself to not linger and worry, and we gave him kisses and headed out.
We weren’t even to the party yet when Nicki texted me this picture of Cullen already passed out on her shoulder. What a good boy!
The party was at the Seattle Aquarium, which I was excited to explore for the first time. Within ten minutes of getting there my feet were KILLING me in my 4 inch high heels. Note to my future self: I am too old/lame for heels these days.
The only bad thing about the party was that there was literally NO food. I was expecting a sit down dinner, so I actually went hungry thinking I was going to stuff myself silly with delicious food. Turns out it was a small plate buffet, and the only vegetarian food we could even find was pita bread and grilled eggplant. Major fail.
Halfway through the night I checked my phone and saw this picture…
Cullen is such a good snoozer in the evenings, and I was glad to see that he was just as happy to sleep on his pillow at Nicki’s house as he is at ours. I never worried once knowing that he was in good hands, and it was so refreshing to just relax and unwind for a few hours.
We got back to Nicki’s around 10pm to pick up our sleeping turtle, and bundled him back into his car seat for the drive home.
Our first night out was a big success, and I am so grateful to our babysitters for giving us a few hours to ourselves. I spend every waking (and sleeping!) hour with Cullen, and honestly love every minute of it. But I think a few hours apart now and then is probably good for both of us, so he can see new faces and be exposed to different things, and so I can release my brain from baby-watch occasionally. And it just makes coming home and seeing him again that much sweeter.
After eating nothing but two small plates of eggplant at the party, we were ravenous when we got home. We watched TV and ate Trader Joe’s frozen enchiladas at 11pm, and then crashed hard on the couch. I can’t quite hang like I used to.
It was a great night out, and hopefully we get the chance to do it again at some point. But until then, I’ve also found that snuggling at home with my little family isn’t so bad either.