Mondays belong to Moms at HH.
I think before I had kids I would have guessed that it would harder to leave a baby overnight than big kids. But for me, that hasn't necessarily been true. In the first 18 months of her life, Pigtail stayed with grandparents when I had to travel for memorial services, and then for eight days when The Gorilla and I went to Europe on the press tour for his last movie. We missed her, of course, but I wasn't worried about her.
As she's gotten older, it's been harder and harder to be apart. She recognizes when one of us is gone, and raising a toddler is a lot more layered than feeding, changing, and bathing an infant.
Ten months later, I am really starting to get a feel for our family. The foggy newborn days have faded, the kids' personalities emerge more and more each day. My perfect day involves nothing more than being with these three people.
So I hate leaving them this week, even if it's for something that is important. I worry, about all the things you expect a mom to worry about. I fret, about all the things that keep every other mom you know up at night.
I remind myself that a really lasting impact of my own parents was that they always had their own interests outside of our family. They had jobs, hobbies, trips, friends. They were better parents and I was a better kid for it. So when nothing feels more instinctual than hunkering down and being mama bear forever, I have a rich example of why I pursue what I do. That it is satisfying in the short term and the long term.
Just like parenting.