Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Why I'm Freaking Out

So yesterday's Reality Check was actually more of a pitiful attempt at asking for help/advice...You see, this weekend, Tom and I are leaving our children for A WHOLE WEEK! We are going to (of all places) Disney World for my mother's 50th birthday celebration. Fortunately, my in-laws are flying out to take care of the girls. My worries aren't because my in-laws are bad people, they are just Not the Mama (I love this post by Michelle). And it's not that I'm terribly worried about what they are going to do with the girls, (but let's be honest, I am) I'm just worried in general. Isabel has been away from me for multiple days before, once with each set of grandparents, but Tom was always close by (she traveled with him to a couple of classes). This time we will both be far, far away. Alexis has never been away from me for more than maybe 5 hours in her short life.

The biggest issue, by far, is how well is Alexis going to eat. I had been trying to freeze enough milk to make it through our trip, but due to some traveling and growth spurts, I'm going to fall just short. We bought some formula to cover the shortage, and she has taken 3 bottles well to make sure she's not allergic or anything. So now we just hope she does well taking a bottle (milk or formula) for every feeding. I also feel bad because she's in a phase of getting up more often than I would like at night. It's one thing for the Mama to have to get up at all kinds of crazy hours, but I feel bad about Tom's parents having to get up with her. I'm not too terribly worried about Isabel, as long as they keep her somewhat on schedule for naps and bed. She's pretty easy. And I also worry about the grandparents trying to do this all as visitors. They've only been here a handful of times.

So I guess what I am so pitifully trying to do, is ask for your advice on

a) handling my worries
b) best preparing the grandparents to make it as easy for them as possible. Any tips?

I'm not dumb. I know that Tom and I getting away is a good thing.

I know that his parents have taken care of kids before.

I know that Alexis will eat when she gets hungry.

I know that not everything, if anything, will be done "my way."

I know that God will take care of everything.

But sometimes my heart and my brain don't communicate so well. I am human after all. And more importantly, I'm a mom. And I will ALWAYS worry about my kids.


Kristina said...

Yes, you will always worry about them. Since you do trust your in-laws so much, it will help. Also, remember that big sister (even though she is so young) will be there. She will also take comfort in her little sister being there. You guys were just at their house in October, right? So, there won't be as big an adjustment period there for the kiddies.

My main advice to you is to pump while you are gone. Don't worry too much about the frozen supply. She IS also starting solids. She may get more solids that you might want while you're gone, but I've left my little ones while they were nursing, and they always picked right back up where they left off. One of them actually decided that nursing was the thing and decided to forgo solids for a couple days.

Just remember that, yes, you will worry. That is naturaly. But, yes, you can go guilt free. That is the big difference.

Good luck! Have fun!

Michelle said...

I am kind of serious about not thinking about it. The kids will cry. They will miss you. They will get up in the middle of the night. The grandparents will be exhausted...but...

...they won't be nearly as frustrated as you would be if your kids acted like that with you, because the grandparents will know that you will come back in a week, and the kids will no longer be their problem.

You can't wave a magic wand and have the kids all happy and perfectly behaved when their normal life is disrupted. Give the grandparents permission to do things any way they want: no nap, no problem; ice cream for breakfast, sure!; TV 24/7, whatever makes you happy. I'm not saying you should encourage them to forego naptime, I'm just realistically pointing out that your children will not go to sleep for them the way they go to sleep for you. Let the grandparents do what they see best - bribes or whatever - to get through the week with everyone happy.

I would write up a really bare bones guide to what the normal routine is: approximate nap times, approximate meal times, specific meal routines (like cereal for the baby for lunch, jarred veggies for dinner, whatever).

I would remind them about food limitations: honey, peanut butter (if these are in your house and you think they might serve them...I know they now recommend keeping PB away from kids until age 3, but this "rule" has only been around for about 5 or 6 years...not sure what advice you were given).

I would make sure they had phone number for the pediatrician and knew the procedure for urgent care and emergency care in your area. Also, I would see about a medical permission slip for them to get treatment for your children in your absence. This would help in an urgent situation.

I would make sure they had contact numbers for you (obviously).

I would think up a few places the kids like to go (nearby playground, McDonalds with indoor play area?).

And then I would just not worry about it. The routine will be messed up and it will take a week for things to get back to normal, but your 2 year old will quickly understand that Grandpop hands out lollipops and mom doesn't and Grandma will let you stay up until 10 pm, but mom won't.

And in 2 years, they won't remember it at all.

Stina said...

Thank you both for "listening" to me vent my worries. And thank you for being specific about things. I think that really helped. For whatever reason, whenever I've mentioned my worries, (which isnt' that often...readers probably think I'm going nuts, but really it's just all in my head) it's all been a very vague "I'm nervous" and "Don't worry about it" "It will be fine" which wasn't helping the mental list of everything that could go wrong. Michelle, I think your list of things helped me to focus my energy a little. I was swinging from "writing every little thing down" to "I don't want my in-laws to think I'm completely crazy and not write enough down". I think I'm also really concerned about them (my in-laws) living in my house and how vulnerable it makes me feel.

Enough, though. I am going to focus on what is important, celebrating my mom's birthday and spending some quality time with my husband since there definitely has not been enough of that with everything that has been going on.

Thank you again ladies. I know you have busy lives and I appreciate you taking the time to help lil' ol' me.