When Torran came home from the hospital, I didn’t think I’d ever let go of him, much less someone else be his babysitter. In the NICU, my emotions had a terrific bashing. Yet, the joy of coming home with my son was sometimes overshadowed by the ongoing stress of early preemie/special needs parenting. There were days when I felt like I couldn’t give any more of myself. That’s when my husband and I agreed, we needed a babysitter.
Bruce and I love going to the movies, and we used the NICU as glorified babysitting on three occasions (two of those occasions were to celebrate avoiding surgery). At home, there aren’t any medical professionals to watch your little one sleep and make sure he’s breathing. However, taking a break from my hyper-aware and medicalized parenting was as essential at home as it was in the NICU. Bruce and I needed it for ourselves and for the continued health of our relationship.
If you step away from your demanding environment, you’ll still have your life weighing on your mind. It never leaves you. A change in your daily routine or environment may help you cope. Certainly, you can reconnect with your partner or your inner self in a way that you can’t when you’re at home. For example, its hard to discuss your little ones’ unknown future when she is crying for food. I couldn’t feel romantic about my husband as I stared at the swelling over my son’s brain surgery site, waiting for it to fail.