Elma Family Kitty Milestones Motherhood Pip

One night away


I have been away from Kitty overnight exactly three times in her life.  Once was to stay in London for the first Blogtacular, and the other two were when I was in hospital giving birth to her siblings.  For Elma it’s one Blogtacular and one sibling, and where Pip is concerned I have never left him.

I’ve had lots of days out, for fun as well as for work, and even the occasional evening out that hasn’t involved working too, but when the crunch comes, in the wee small hours I have been there. Which has generally been a pretty good thing because while Pip has just about got to the stage of waving me off in the morning with a happy smile and a “bu-bye”, when it’s dark and night and he’s sleepy there’s only one person that will do.

Space for the Butterflies - one night away

Which brings us to now.  In a month or so it will be H and my 10th wedding anniversary and H has suggested a lovely plan, and got his parents on board, with the idea that we go to the north for the weekend in question, leave the children with my in laws and go away for a night, just the two of us.

Part of me absolutely loves the idea.  The chance to spend time just with H, to have an uninterrupted conversation at a time of day when we’re not teetering on the brink of half asleep, to have a meal when I don’t have to cut up anyone else’s supper, or keep passing things, or saying “sit down please”, sounds incredibly appealing.  As does the prospect of an uninterrupted night’s sleep, something that hasn’t happened since before Pip was born, and the concept of a lie in that doesn’t mean 6.30 rather than 6 just blows my mind.

But then I worry about leaving them.  The girls I’m sure will be fine; they adore their grandparents and while the times when I’ve been away they’ve always been with H, I’m pretty sure that in the excitement and distractions of Grandma and Grandad’s house, and seeing their auntie who lives nearby they’ll barely notice we’ve gone.

But Pip? He’ll be fine during he day, he’s used to me not being around while I’m at work and he’s happily toddled off on expeditions to the supermarket without us on previous trips, I’m just not sure about bedtime, or if he does crash asleep in Grandma’s cuddles, what happens when he wakes up at midnight with a plaintive cry of “Mummeeee” and I’m not there.

Space for the Butterflies - one night away

It’s been such a hard one to call; on the one hand I would love to go away overnight, but if I think he’s going to think I’ve abandoned him and left him forever, would it be worth it? Would I really enjoy it? And should we just go out for lunch instead?

Except what’s really truly the worst that could happen? Pip struggles to go to sleep and one of my lovely in laws spends much of the evening, and possibly a few early hours either driving him around the scenic route that is “Yorkshire in the dark”, or pottering around the house with him in the sling until he nods off.  They’re not going to let him cry, there are ways and means of settling him without me, we’ve just never had to try them in the middle of the night before.

And so we’re going for it. With copious pre-prepared apologies for the inlaws and assuming that H can decide on somewhere to go and get around to booking it before we get to April of course.

Just tell me that you’ve left your little ones and it was all fine and wonderful OK?!


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  • Diane A 22/03/2016 at 8:17 am

    Just go and enjoy. A friend of mine and her hubby have just returned from cycling across Vietnam for charity, it took two weeks. Her eldest daughter is nine years old, her youngest was 23 months at the time. Grandma stayed at their house, they all survived. You are thinking too much, if you had been rushed into hospital,you wouldn’t have time to think, they would survive. Don’t feel guilty, we all need some down time.

    • Carie 22/03/2016 at 10:55 pm

      This is true, although there is a distinction between emergencies and planned indulgences – OK, I promise to stop over thinking now; we’re going and it’s going to be fine!

  • Claire 22/03/2016 at 8:30 am

    I totally understand your concerns. Both my girls woke up in the night until they were about 2 and like you only mummy would do! Strangely though when we have taken the plunge and gone away then everything seems to go a lot more smoothly than you think it will. I’m sure pip will be fine – as you say the worst that will happen is your in laws don’t get much sleep but it is only 1 night for them 🙂
    Hopefully you will relax enough to really enjoy it!

    • Carie 22/03/2016 at 10:56 pm

      That would sort of make sense in the world of baby logic – whenever H had to travel for work when Kitty was a baby I worried that I’d have a terrible night and no one to give me a morale boost in the wee small hours and they were always the nights Kitty slept the best!!

  • sustainablemum 22/03/2016 at 10:22 am

    Only you know if it is the right thing to do as you know your children best. I have to admit that I have spent two nights away from my daughter in her nearly seven years of life and both of those were when she was on sleepovers somewhere else. I went back to work when my eldest was little (a year old) and my job involved nights away my husband was always around so he hasn’t had much time away from both us either just the odd sleepover. But we are all different, you have to do what feels right for you. Most importantly though, if you are going away, have a wonderful time!

    • Carie 22/03/2016 at 10:57 pm

      I don’t think it’s something I’m going to make a regular habit of, but I think just this once, and with the in-laws ready and willing we might just give it a whirl!

  • Kim 22/03/2016 at 10:58 am

    Oh how I understand your dilemma. I have never left my little man overnight, (well except for the birth of a friend, in which I left in the middle of the night while he slept) and would be having the same back and forth about it if I was about to. In the end only you and your hubby know what is right for Pip. I do think though you have to come to a place that if you do go, you can enjoy the time away and not be worrying, or wondering if all is okay. You have to trust that it will be just fine and then let go and enjoy yourselves 🙂

    • Carie 22/03/2016 at 10:59 pm

      It’s really hard when you’ve never left them isn’t it! But I think you’re right, I’m sufficiently excited about the prospect that I’m sure we’ll have a lovely time

  • Nasreen 22/03/2016 at 1:00 pm

    Of course it will be fine! I had no qualms leaving my older two overnight fairly early on, but they were sleeping through reliably. They also each had a trip overseas with Papa when they were little, one at 18 months, with no evident psychological damage (!) – and why would they, with a loving parent and grandparents on hand. Now no. 3 has always been with me and is still feeding during the night at 21 months (I’ve clearly gone soft in my old age!) but we are thinking about an overnight getaway to recharge. I have broached it with MIL who was very relaxed about it, saying he would sleep eventually, given that milk is not available…if your in-laws are up for it, it will work out! And you will be better parents for the break (and the blissful sleep!).

    • Carie 22/03/2016 at 11:02 pm

      I think the sleeping through is probably the big key – Elma was my best sleeper so the only other time I’ve gone away when not in labour I knew she would sleep – Pip though, well I think the grandparents may be doing some late night driving!

  • Evelyn 22/03/2016 at 1:05 pm

    It’s tricky trying to work out when is the right time to leave them isn’t it. I’ve not left mine very often either, probably a similar number of times to you! Hope you have a lovely night away 🙂

    • Carie 22/03/2016 at 11:04 pm

      Thank you – I hope we will and a 10 year anniversary does seem like something worth celebrating!

  • Bex @ The Mummy Adventure 23/03/2016 at 10:52 pm

    I was dreading the first time I left Dylan overnight (For Britmums), but I was so busy having a good time that is was much easier than I expected. I felt the same with Archie was I was still breastfeeding, but he was 15 months and not as reliant and again, he was absolutely fine. It is really tough, but the reality was (for mine) that they got totally spoiled instead, and they loved all the extra attention and double pudding that Mummy doesn’t allow. I hope you have a fantastic time, it will be great for the pair of you and happy 10 years!!

    • Carie 25/03/2016 at 10:28 pm

      Oh I am absolutely certain that there will be lots and lots of spoiling – that’s what grandparents are for after all!

  • Katie 24/03/2016 at 8:44 am

    We left Theo with his grandparents overnight in January so that we could visit our new nephew in Yorkshire without him trying to mash his tiny newborn face. He wasn’t sleeping through every night at the time, and I was really worried. In the end, though, my parents knackered him out so much, he slept until 5, then was up, thrilled to be with my dad. When they dropped him off the next evening, he had had the best time, but was clearly happy to see us. It made me feel it would be OK to do it again, which is hugely liberating! I’m sure it won’t happen often, but still so good to know it’s an option.

    • Carie 25/03/2016 at 10:27 pm

      That sounds like it went exactly how you’d want it to be – and yes, lovely to know it’s an option for the future 🙂

  • Eline @ Emmy + LIEN 26/03/2016 at 7:34 pm

    It so tough, this. I have left my little one several times and gone through this exact same, rather agonising thought process. In the end it was always fine, despite him not being an easy sleeper without me either. He did always let me know one way or another I was in the bad books for a bit, but I kind of thought that was fair enough. I’m certain Pip really will be fine too x

    • Carie 29/03/2016 at 8:57 pm

      He really seemed to enjoy playing with his Grandad over Easter so I’m revising my vision of the weekend to my inlaws spending the wee small hours playing hockey with him – and on that basis I know we’ll all be fine!