How Soon Is Too Soon To Leave Your Baby?
Kylie Jenner has been slammed in the press over the last few days for leaving her two month old daughter to go to Coachella festival in California.
Described as a terrible mom for leaving her two month old newborn at home, 20 year old Kylie was mom shamed by those on social media who described her as ‘selfish‘ and a ‘bad mother‘.
But really, when is it too soon to leave your baby? Believe it or not, my husband and I left our newborn when he was 13 weeks old, and considering baby Stormi was born on the 1st February, this means Dex was barely three weeks older than she was when I first left him.
Am I a bad mother and totally selfish? Nope.
Having a newborn is such a cataclysmic event which changes the shape of your life forever. In the months leading up to the birth you can sleep whenever you want, eat whenever and whatever you want and everybody is focused on you as the glowing pregnancy goddess you are.
Suddenly labour arrives and not only is this the most painful and, at times, degrading event a woman will go through in her life, but you are also left with this tiny bundle of joy who doesn’t let you sleep and certainly, from memory does not let you eat. I remember the first few weeks I simply could not face food and in the weeks that followed after that, baby Dex would wake and need my attention if I simply thought of throwing a piece of bread in the toaster, let alone attempted to make an actual meal.
The newborn days are long and they are hard. You barely sleep and the weeks feel like months. Yes, looking back now I think it’s crazy that I left Dexter overnight to have a good night’s sleep in a hotel, but at the time it felt like Dex had been with us for a lifetime and that we deserved a little break.
Kylie is a 20 year old woman who has more money than we could ever comprehend and therefore all the right people around her to look after her tiny newborn. Who cares if she had one weekend away? Aren’t we told in the media that most rich people don’t raise their kids at all and have a permanent nanny there to feed, burp and dress their kids?
This is simply another case of Mom shaming fuelled by the press who love nothing better than to let us all know what terrible mothers we are. But as Nell Frizzell so eloquently wrote in The Guardian, where is the shame on the fathers? They too are just as important when it comes to raising a baby, helping with night feeds, giving Mum time to nap during the day and pampering her as much as possible, so where is the shame when they choose to go for nights and weekends away, as they invariably do?
Perhaps people were shocked when I left Dex at 13 weeks old, but although I do now think he was probably a little young, after all I was a 31 year old woman who has had more nights out than Kylie, I don’t regret it, because if I hadn’t have done it, how could I have learnt from the experience? Nothing went wrong, Dexter slept all night and he spent some quality time with his Nanna and Uncle. Meanwhile, Neil and I talked about Dexter all evening and then woke every three hours right on cue, disappointed that our little boy wasn’t next to us as he usually was.
Let’s leave the mom shaming for the Mums who are actually bad mothers eh? The ones who neglect to feed their kids, the ones that physically abuse them and the ones who literally don’t give a crap about them. Kylie took some time to fill her cup and believe me when I tell you, self care is so important when you have a newborn. But I tell you something else, fair play to her rocking up to Coachella at two months postpartum. I was still totally greasy haired and make up free at that stage and still had about three stone to lose!
So in answer to the post’s title, how soon is too soon? Well, I guess that is totally dependent upon the Mum in question. Some Mums I know haven’t yet left their children and they are now at school age and that completely okay too. But in ny opinion, if you have great support network and people you can trust, why not get some time to yourself during the newborn stage? I’m not talking in the first week, or hell, even the first month; but I definitely think it’s important to remember who you were before the birth of your child and if that means a night or two away, why not?
What do you think of Kylie going to Coachella when her newborn was only two months old? Yay or nay?