I am currently in Denver at a very geeky journalism conference. Go NICAR.
It’s the second trip I’ve taken away from my sweet babe, Bellamy. She’s almost 9 months old and she is the dearest darling you’ll ever meet.
Now, I love this girl more than most things.
But sometimes, you need a vacation from being a mom.
But what nobody tells you is the polarizing emotions you face when embarking on a Momcation. I call it the six degrees of baby separation.
Stage one likes like an explosively poopy diaper failing to hold its contents and the now soiled wipes that suddenly become paintbrushes of disaster, coloring the contents of your changing table as you wrestle a wiggly 8-month-old in one hand and try to clean up a mess that rivals the BP oil spill with the other. It’s a thought that sounds like “I won’t miss this for a few days.”
Stage two inevitably comes a day or so before you are supposed to leave. This stage looks like a social media-induced panic attack. Days before my conference started, a friend posted a very important post about recognizing the signs of a sex trafficking scam. Obviously, I want to know this information, #themoreyouknow. HOWEVER, I did not want to know this days before I drop my precious, beautiful, perfect baby off in Salt Lake, a city LOCATED ON ONE OF THE PROMINENT SEX TRAFFICKING ROUTES. I read this brave PSA around 5 p.m. that day. By 10 p.m. I was a full-on basket case, certain the cast of “Taken” was already plotting to steal my baby. Stage two is sheer, unfiltered anxiety.
Stage three is the surrender. Despite my worst fears, I simply cannot get out of this trip. The Momcation must continue.
Even after the eventual acceptance of stage three, stage four comes around with a vengeance. It starts right before you leave. Suddenly, every adult you’ve ever met is incompetent. Your parents? Forget it. What do they know about taking care of babies? And don’t tell me they raised me, that was almost 30 years ago!! What if they walk away when she’s in the bath?! Will they creepily peer into her crib at night to make sure she’s breathing? They know she shouldn’t eat the dog’s food, right? What if they get too distracted with Netflix or their phone? My goodness, what if I do those things one day?! WHY DO WE LET ANY ADULT TAKE CARE OF BABIES??
Luckily, stage five always rises from the bleak ashes of stage four. FREEDOM!!!!!!! I’m going to finish all my grading and watch all the obnoxious political commentaries I want and go to dinner with adults and run a billion miles at the gym and solve world hunger and listen to all the podcasts and DO ALL THE THINGS!!!
Stage six comes about 36 minutes later: See any baby, sob internally.
That mom life though. It’s a roller coaster with or without the babe.
But look at her. Just look at her!
Hashtag, worth it.
Now I’m back to learning about all the data in the world and how to write about it, all the while pretending like I’m a total media professional that’s not longing to get thrown up on.