It's that time of year. The time when your social calendar fills up, when all your friends and family try to squeeze in a visit or a party over a short period. I love it - the dinner parties, restaurant meals, coffee dates, holiday get togethers - it's great. This is my first time with a baby as a scheduling factor for these things.I've touched on this briefly with my posts about going out without baby in Mommy Time and with baby in Family Outings.
There are times when it is very appropriate to take baby with you. Afternoon events, early dinners, events with other children or special occasions are all acceptable to myself and my husband. However, having just become sticklers for his bedtime routine we are planning to be careful where we take him, and how long we stay. Having spent the last couple of months with a restless sleeper, I personally do not want to backtrack on any progress we have made. So as as hard as it is going to be to avoid certain outings or having to duck out early just when things are just getting good, I know it's a baby's world and I'm going to have to stick to it or pay the consequences.
Then there are times when bringing baby is not the best option. lt may be at a time too late in the evening, a place that it is innappropriate for a baby, or just an event that would be much nicer to do without having a baby to shift attention away from the evening's purpose. These times it is necessary to have a babysitter available to watch the little guy.
Having a babysitter requires a certain amount of preparation. First - I am still breastfeeing so I need to pump enough milk and ensure that it is properly thawed in advance. Second I need to consider if I have to pump while we're out - if I go too long it can get very uncomfortable, so I may make plans for that. Then I need to find an available sitter and ensure that I include enough time for my son to get used to him/her before I leave. He's at the stage where he sometimes gets a little spooked by people he hasn't seen in awhile and needs a little time to warm up. It also helps me to get ready if the person comes early. It can be hard to shower, blow dry, and primp with a baby in the house, at least on a time crunch. Finally, I need to have time to direct the sitter to the specifics for my child and the more time I allow the less likely I am to forget something.
I am very lucky to have a group of family members who are more than willing to sit for me and I feel so comfortable leaving them with my son. We have a no contact unless emergencies deal and I enjoy this rule. I am very much looking forward to our Christmas activities - both with my son and without him, both types are very important for us as a family!