21 August 2014

The first night away from my baby - a business trip to Antwerp


I recently went on a business trip to Antwerp. Before going I was in two minds about it.

Antwerp at night fall


On one hand I was quite worried what would happen back home - I have never been away overnight and I would be gone day and a half in total, leaving on Monday morning and returning on Tuesday evening. Not that I was worried about my husbands capability of taking care of our daughter, he cares for her every day, but I am still breastfeeding, once or twice a day usually, and I was wondering how would she react not having her usual night time milk and mummy cuddles.

On the other hand, I was looking forward to the trip because of two reasons - an undisturbed sleep and a lie-in. I was planning to be really sensible. Get to the hotel in the evening, eat a nice meal at the hotel restaurant, maybe grab a glass of wine, get to bed early and enjoy my glorious sleep. 14 months as a mother have really hammered it home how treasured those nights without any interruptions are.


antwerp ferris wheel

Well. I got to the hotel 9PM, decided to go and explore the city as I've never been to Antwerp, saw the sights, got a take-away pizza and a beer, and got to bed well past midnight after some Twitter, Facebook and Instagram surfing. Woke up at my usual time (6.30AM) so that was that for a good night of sleep.

How was it then back home? Apparently absolutely fine. She fell asleep fine, woke up in the night time and it took an hour and a half to get her back asleep, but in the morning she was her usual perky self. When I got back home in the evening she didn't seem at all confused or upset about me having been away.


antwerp unesco world heritage site

And how was it for me? To be honest, it wasn't as bad as I expected. I thought I might be a bit upset, but I wasn't. I knew she was well taken care of and my husband sent me lots of cute pictures of her. My real problem was that I had forgotten to bring a breast pump - big mistake! I had to "relieve" myself in the shower and at the airport, and I was still extremely uncomfortable once I got back home.


antwerp statue unesco world heritage site


Even if it all went well I am glad regular travel is not part of my job description. As a one off it was fine, but if it was regular I think I would really start to resent being away from my family over-night. Kudos to all those families for whom this is part of their everyday lives - I don't think I could do it. I was glad being back home, back with my little family, reading my baby girl her night-time story, giving her a big cuddle and kissing her good night. That is what I want for my life.

(Even if those few hours of my own time were nice and Antwerp was pretty they were nothing compared to the adorable smile and soft cuddle waiting for me back home!)


Have you been to Antwerp?




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