Now, planning a kid-free night out is probably something every parent dreams of at some point. OK, it may be on a night where you have only had two hours of broken sleep, but you will all have thought it at some point – even if the only reason for a night away is to get some much needed sleep!
Turning this dream into reality is doable – I’ve done it on three occasions now, however it does take some planning!
Here’s how I managed to get away for two nights, even though I was still breast-feeding:
Planning is the key here – I was going away on a hen weekend and Harry was six months old, so still being breastfed.
I had to make sure he was happy to take a bottle before I went and, so as not to confuse this issue, I would get my husband to feed him the bottle. Harry would refuse from Paul to start so I started wearing one of Paul’s T-shirts to bed, so it smelt of me. Then Paul would wear this while feeding Harry.
I also needed to make sure I had enough expressed milk in the freezer to last him the two days and nights I would be away. I increased my water intake by double, which really helped with my milk supply, and, for me, I found I managed to express more if I was feeding Harry at the same time – not the easiest of things to do but you need to find what works for you.
I then needed to make sure Paul had a long list of things written down to follow. He is a good dad but pays no attention to the everyday things like timings of meals for the children, nap times and how many bottles Harry needs and when.
It sounds simple but I wrote the whole daily routine down in a step by step guide for him. I prepared meals for them all and put them in the fridge with post-it notes on telling him how to warm them up. I also got the children’s clothes out and laid them down in their rooms, ready.
I knew they would all be fine but making it as easy as possible made it easier for them, too.
I was then able to go away for two whole nights and not worry about them too much. I still called a few times a day to speak to the kids but I knew they were having a blast without me, which meant I could relax and have a drink or 3/4 with my friends and enjoy the weekend – even if I did keep having to sneak away to express a few times during the weekend.
As you can see from the picture, it was a fancy dress themed weekend with the theme being “E is for Emma” – Emma was the hen. We had a blast in a Gothic mansion in Bristol.