Leaving our Kids Overnight for the First Time

We decided a couple of weeks ago that we were going to be bold and brave and leave our little ones with their grandparents overnight. Our main reason for this is because we have an event at the end of the year which wouldn’t be appropriate to take them to. So before jumping in at the deep end and leaving them, we wanted to give it a trial run. For their sake and for mine. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about leaving them, I was worried about how they would feel and whether they’d cause havoc for their grandparents.

The night has now been and gone and it was very tough for me to leave them. I had swept it to the back of my mind for the days leading up and all of a sudden we were at the grandparents with their travel cots. It still hadn’t quite sunk in that I wouldn’t be able to check on them in the night, that we wouldn’t be waking up to them in the morning. I happily set their cots up and explained to them what would be happening that night and everything felt fine. It felt the same as it did if we were just leaving them for a few hours.

We said our goodbyes and our eldest became really clingy. It wasn’t like him at all, he’s a complete Nannys’ boy, so much so that he usually doesn’t even notice us leave! But this day must have felt different for him, he seemed really anxious for us to leave and cried his eyes out. This was upsetting for us to see but we wanted to encourage him to stay with Nanny Firstooth, so we bribed him with an ice-cream and snuck out.

I still felt fine at this point as we sat in the car. Then I looked at the window to wave Goodbye and saw my boy sobbing his poor little eyes out. It instantly hit me like a wall, I had an ache of guilt in my stomach and burst into tears myself.

We couldn’t help ourselves but to call half an hour later to see how the little man was doing. It turns out five minutes after we left he was absolutely fine! That did make me feel a lot better as we carried on our journey to Lakeside. If you’re feeling a little rubbish after leaving your kiddies for the first time, I’d definitely recommend calling whoever is looking after them, as I bet they’ll be as happy as anything.

We called again shortly after their bedtime. We were the typical worried parents enjoying our child-free time but continuously questioning each other whether it was ‘too soon to call again’. Of course they were in safe hands, otherwise we wouldn’t have left them, but you can’t help that niggling feeling of wanting to check. It almost feels unnatural to be without them. So after their bedtime call we were told they were just being settled to bed. They were still alive and doing ok.

The next time we called was at half nine. I bet Nanny Firstooth rolled her eyes and thought ‘them again’. She told us our littlest went to bed without any bother, which isn’t like her at all. Not that I wanted her to resist bedtime and be a pickle. Our eldest on the other hand, the seemingly better sleeper, had only just gone to sleep. In-between them putting him to bed and him falling asleep he ended up breaking their blind, playing and watching TV until he gave up and asked to go to bed. I think it’s acceptable to have a late night when you stay with grandparents, they enjoy it just as much as the kids do.

We called again in the morning to check how they slept, expecting to hear an array of horror stories. We woke up at nine and calling them was the first thing we did and sat tentatively as if we were waiting for the results of a blood test. How did they do? Absolutely fine. Our smallest, the terrible sleeper, only woke once and went back to sleep instantly and our son slept through. All that worry and anxiety about how their night would pan out and I needn’t have bothered. They slept like a dream and I felt so proud of them, so relieved that they weren’t upset or unsettled nights.

I had to laugh though, our boy stayed up three hours past his bedtime and only slept in for an extra fifteen minutes in the morning. Monkey. When he was asked what he wanted for breakfast, he asked for a bacon sandwich. I don’t think he’s ever had a bacon sandwich for breakfast, or even at all, so that was a random request. Although it was a request that he received and he thoroughly enjoyed it too.

If you’re planning on leaving your little ones for the first time then rest assured everything will be fine. It’s natural to worry and feel uneasy about leaving them, it goes against everything in our mothering nature. But it’s good for them to have an adventure away and for you to have an evening to yourself. They’re only a phone call away. Sometimes you just need to get that first night out of the way to see what happens. Like my mother-in-law said, “we can only try it”. She’s right, we’d never have known how they’d be until we’d experienced it ourselves.

Another thing I’d suggest while they’re having their first sleep over, is to keep busy. We had a lovely day and evening together which I’ll write about in a separate post. It helped to be busy, a wandering mind is never a good thing.

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27 Comments

  1. August 7, 2016 / 7:43 am

    Oh honey I know how hard this is, and mine are 12, 9 and 6 now and I still hate leaving them even though I know they will be OK. I think it is such a mummy guilt thing and that feeling of will they feel abandoned? It is good for them and great for us to. I am really glad it went well for you guys. I also agree a trial run is necessary. It’s better to do it for the first time when you are not out of town or at a major event which would be hard to leave. Well done gorgeous xo

  2. August 8, 2016 / 6:55 am

    We still haven’t left put almost 3 year old with the grandparents over night. I am absolutely dying for an overnight break and I know I’d be fine leaving her with my folks but my other half would have a melt down. He’s clingier than she is! Haha #mg

  3. August 8, 2016 / 7:08 am

    I am leaving Baba overnight in two weeks time with Grumpy Boyfriend’s mum and I am dreading it. We are going to a wedding so we don’t have the choice… I know he will be fine with her. She raised two kids and they ended up fine. But as you said, we always feel guilty. I will probably check and call every hour and be annoying LOL. #mg.

  4. August 8, 2016 / 7:26 am

    Hi honey, I know I have already commented, but wanted to pop back to say thank you for linking up with me at #mg Have great week beautiful lady xx

  5. August 8, 2016 / 7:29 am

    This one brought back memories. The first time I left the kids alone overnight, which is pretty recently (and they’re twins, 10) I was worried sick. They, on the other hand thought it was such a party to not have me around. They were with their aunt who spoils them silly so I needn’t have worried. I think it’s okay for the kids to be spoilt once in a while and even better if someone else is doing it for you. #mg

  6. August 8, 2016 / 8:16 am

    It’s hard leaving them for the first time isn’t it. My eldest is 5 and has stayed at my mums a few time but my youngest has only stayed once and I remember being really nervous about it, she was fine though! x #MarvMondays

  7. August 8, 2016 / 9:22 am

    Great post! We’re leaving our little on at the end of this month for the first time. It feels a bit early, he’ll be 71/2 months but my best friend is going travelling for 2 years so I don’t want to miss her leaving do! His grandmas staying at our house with him which makes me feel a little better but I’m dreading it a bit, like you, trying not to think about it! #mg

  8. August 8, 2016 / 10:14 am

    The first time is always so hard! My kids sleep better at my mum’s than they do for me too. #mg

  9. August 8, 2016 / 12:27 pm

    Oh gosh, the guilt can be horrific can’t it? I left my littlest overnight with my mum, when he was a couple of months old-he was so little, he didn’t know any different! Then I hadn’t left him again after that, and the first time both children were left was when I was at BML-my husband was away working that weekend. The guilt ate me up for the entire weekend, although like you, every time I phoned, they were having an amazing time! Even my super clingy youngest apparently didn’t ask for me at bedtime (he usually never lets anyone else put him to bed than me!)
    I’m glad that this went smoothly for you, and I hope it’s put your mind at rest for your next trip away!
    #mg

  10. August 8, 2016 / 1:00 pm

    What a lovely post. We have never left our little one overnight before, but planning on it soon so thanks of the advice i’ll take it on board 🙂 #mg

  11. August 8, 2016 / 8:41 pm

    Glad to hear it went well. I remember when we left our youngest for the first times, and like you said we had to keep our selves busy. Now they are 5 and 8 and they are about to venture to Cornwall tomorrow (we live in Devon) with their Nana & Papa to stay overnight with their cousins! #MarvMondays

  12. August 9, 2016 / 10:37 am

    Its so hard the first time but they start to see it as an adventure! Sleeping over somewhere else is like a treat now – we have 6 children though so it never happens that they are all out over night! lol

  13. August 9, 2016 / 4:45 pm

    I can not even imagine what you must have been feeling but glad they were ok and enjoyed there stay with there grandparents.

  14. August 9, 2016 / 9:50 pm

    Ah bless it is hard leaving them for the first time. I have gone away a fair few times with out my girls, but not without my boy yet (he is only 15 weeks!) However it is normally me going away on my own and my husband having them at home. We have only ever been away from them both of us about 4 times. I know I am going to be a wreck leaving my baby boy, but luckily he relies on boobs and will do for a while yet. 😉

    • firstooth
      August 11, 2016 / 9:27 pm

      It feels a lot more difficult to leave the kids with someone other than their dad, it must be a mum thing. It just feels unnatural but it is nice being with our hubby’s isn’t it, even if it may only be once a year! He’s got a long time with you before any nights away and that’s lovely, it’s an excuse to take him with you too he’s too tiny to not x

  15. August 10, 2016 / 6:54 am

    It always nerve racking, I remember my sister calling my mum 3 time to see if her kids are ok. Enjoy the peace while you still can. xx

    • firstooth
      August 11, 2016 / 9:30 pm

      Ah bless! We needless worry as mum’s but it’s all part and parcel I think xx

  16. August 10, 2016 / 7:37 am

    My eldest Dad and me split up when she was 5 months old so I have always been used to leaving my kids, it was just a way of life for us, so when it came to leaving my younger monsters it came quite easy (thank godness)

    • firstooth
      August 11, 2016 / 9:31 pm

      It’s definitely something that’ll become easier as each time passes

  17. August 10, 2016 / 8:43 am

    I am sure it will do you the world of good, all of you infact, but I can imagine how hard it is, I am terrible and a wreck when I leave my cats x

    • firstooth
      August 11, 2016 / 9:32 pm

      That did make me laugh, I used to miss my cat too x

  18. August 10, 2016 / 12:22 pm

    It is tough when you first leave them but it gets easier each time. We left ours to go to a wedding last year and it was lovely to have a break

    • firstooth
      August 11, 2016 / 9:33 pm

      It is nice to enjoy a little alone time and to feel like us again

  19. August 12, 2016 / 12:15 pm

    My son is 7 and he’s only stayed away from home on a handful of occasions and honestly, I hated it! My 3 year old has never been away from home. In October though baby number 3 is coming and I dread being away from them whilst I’m in the hospital! #MarvMondays

  20. August 14, 2016 / 8:01 pm

    I was nervous with all mine – Pickle hasn’t stayed any where on his own – luckily one of my teens goes with him! I’d rather leave him with my 16 and 20 year old daughters than any where else. Kaz x

  21. August 27, 2016 / 9:08 pm

    Aww well done you guys! That first night away is tough, but much easier once its done and you realise that they will be fine. I think they probably behave much better for others than they do at home 😉 Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays. Emily

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