Jena has spent the night with my parents on a fairly regular basis since she was six months old.
She's also spent the night with my in-laws, my brother & his wife, my husband's brother & his wife.
Jason & I have taken "just us" trips together since she was around 10 months old, leaving her in the capable hands of family memers.
Spending the night away from home is nothing new for her.
Spending the night away from my baby is nothing new for me.
I believe it's good for us, as individuals, and as a family.
Sometimes, I simply need some alone time to recharge.
Sometimes, Jason & I need some time together to reconnect.
Both of which enhance our family as a whole, not even counting the personal growth Jena is experiencing by learning to spend time away from her parents.
But, the truth is... as much as I enjoy the time away from my child, so that I can focus on my husband, or simply relax in quiet, or sometimes get stuff done... I also hate it.
My heart aches to be with my baby again.
Today Mamaw is picking Jena up from preschool and she is spending the night at Mamaw's house.
Even now, a time when I am at work, Jena is at preschool, and I wouldn't see her anyway, even now, just knowing that I won't be picking her up after work & taking her home with me makes my stomach sink.
Such is the dichotomy of motherhood, I suppose.
I need time alone. I need time alone with my husband. Both things help me to be a better mom, help me to support my family better.
But the very same part of me that tells me when I need alone time, also cries at the thought of not being with my daughter, even for a night. Even for a moment longer than usual.
Three years later, and I'm still not used to it.
Part of me wonders if you're ever completely used to your child leaving, even when they're grown.