I was digging through some family photo albums recently and this old, crumpled-up note fell out. I unfolded it to discover my greatest parental shame: a six-page list of ‘guidelines and explanations’ (my own obnoxious choice of words) that I wrote to provide a helpful guide for my mother and father-in-law when they came to care for our daughter while I took a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Italy with my mom. In hindsight, I can see it for what it really was: proof that spending an uninterrupted year caring for an infant had made me completely lose my mind.
As I read it now, many years (and a second kid) later, I realize how thoroughly amusing this instruction sheet must have been to two intelligent, loving parents/grandparents who already raised two boys of their own.
What follows is the body of the note and what I can only imagine was going through their heads as they read it.
I share this with all the moms out there. It’s for the new moms who are preparing to write your own lists of ‘guidelines and instructions’ for your first time away from your baby. And it’s for the moms like me, with older kids, but who can still remember that first time we handed off our sweet babies as we ventured out of arms reach for the first time.
Save those notes. You’ll look at them some day and they’ll remind you of how far you have come…and that you should probably step it up a notch for your in-laws’ Christmas present this year.
Here’s another post about 5 reasons I think you should take a vacation without your kids.
And here’s another post that involves me doing something even more crazy to my poor in-laws.
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The post was originally shared in October of 2014 on my The Dusty Parachute blog. I owe so many connections and opportunities to the success of this silly piece and am grateful for each and every one of you who read it and shared it. Thank you.