Keep the tissues handy: this article may just make you shed a tear or two. The author and mother went on vacation for a week, the first time away from her young daughter. Here is her written day-to-day account of the trip.
Never without my daughter…
I flew to Paris for a week without my little girl. I was accompanying my boyfriend on a business trip. Here is an account of my experience.
There are a few things about me you need to know before you start reading:
- Since my daughter was born a year and a half ago, we’ve never been separated for more than 24 hours. The few times we have left her in the care of a babysitter, we’d always get a call a couple of hours after our departure about how there was no way to stop her crying and wailing.
- We have a symbiotic relationship that is seldom understood by my friends and family.
- I have a (slight) penchant towards drama and irony.
I don’t feel like going. I’m not even excited. I’m just a big ball of stress with a lump in my throat. Our bags are packed, and I’ve told her time and again that I am leaving for a week with daddy, that she’ll have so much fun with her grand-mommies, that it’ll go by so fast, she won’t even notice I’m gone. But whom am I trying to convince: her, or myself?
We leave after I give a few of my last wishes to my mother-in-law, which adds a sense of urgency and drama to our departure. Contrary to how I imagined it would go, I actually manage to leave the house without sobbing uncontrollably.
7 pm: I am sitting on the plane next to my boyfriend. We’re about to take off, and that’s when I feel the tears welling up in my eyes. I don’t want to go. Why is everyone telling me that this will do me good? It’s not because my daughter cried nonstop for the first 14 months of her life and that she demands to always be carried in my arms, that I need a break. And it’s not because it’s been over a year since we’ve had a romantic getaway that our relationship needs one. Get me off this plane! I want my little girl!
After a six-hour flight, a two-hour layover in London, a one-hour flight, 30 minutes in a cab, I don’t have my daughter or Paris on my mind. I just require one thing: sleep!
It is almost 5 pm when we wake up. We easily just want to stay in bed and sleep some more, but we don’t want to spend our trip in our hotel room. We’re in Paris, after all! What’s more, our hotel is smack-dab in the middle of the city, with everything within walking distance. So we visit the Notre Dame de Paris cathedral, grab some dinner and drinks, and then head back to bed. Our first day is already over!
The sky is gloomy, as is my heart. I am happy to be in Paris, but feel a sense of weariness; a longing that is keeping me from enjoying this fantastic opportunity to be in this gorgeous and historic city. It has been drilled into my head by everyone to just enjoy myself, so I force a smile and head out to enjoy my first full day.
I take to the streets of Paris by foot. I visit the Orsay Museum and the Galeries Lafayette, and take in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. I eat croissants, I drink coffee. I spot many children, quiet and angelic in their strollers. It makes me question again my decision to leave my daughter behind. And I recall how my adorable offspring just can’t sit still in her stroller. This validates my reasoning to leave her behind. And it seems my decision is revalidated after a long dinner with a lot of champagne.
The adventure continues...