I've had the luxury of having more than one of each types of these trips so far this year and I want to write some things about the third.
1. I am so grateful to have people who can watch Jamie without me
This includes Porter. He watched Jamie while I was in Cuba and I realize that one, not every mom has a partner at all and two, not every mom has a partner who has the flexibility to take over.
Beyond Porter, I have a group of friends and family who have been so wonderful at watching Jamie while I'm away, no more than porter's mom trish. She had him the entire time we were in Italy and I am so so so lucky that she is willing, capable and that Jamie is getting to bond with his Nana. She is so fun and loving and honestly, probably more safe and healthy than I am. This trip, her best friend Pat came out to help out and I'm so glad for her too! We got semi-regular updates and cute photos of Jamie being happy and that he isn't waking up every two hours feeling abandoned.
I recognize just how lucky I am to have her.
2. Traveling without Jamie makes me feel very complicated.
It's hard to not feel like I'm being an awful person and awful mother just up and leaving my baby. I read all these advice forums for moms and we're fed a pretty steep diet of 'Your child needs you' and how attachment in the first 3 years sets the tone for a child's ability to love later in life and blah blah blah. It's hard to not feel bad for not being there for every smile and cry and, in the case of Jamie, every heavy thing he lifts.
It's also hard to not feel indebted to Nana, because I know he's probably more clingy than usual, and I know how many diapers he's going through, and that he's wiggly and a handful and maybe not sleeping great while I'm away.
But it's also preeeetty fantastic to be away, to sleep in, to read uninterrupted, to have few responsibilities and to get to hang out with Porter, undivided in attention.
But I also miss him so much! Porter and I fought over who got to watch videos first and how long we got to ogle snapshots Nana sent. I saw kids and playgrounds and strollers and kid's stores and just wished he was with me. Every good thing I experience I want him to experience and it would be made sweeter with him around. Except it wouldn't because traveling with a baby fundamentally changes the experience. But it sure would be great if it didn't.
3. Child free time is so great and important
Man, I love my husband.