Single mama, virgin burner, dreading having second thoughts

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Single mama, virgin burner, dreading having second thoughts

Postby Gen ov eve » Tue May 10, 2011 12:02 am

I post this amidst the excitement in getting prepared for my first experience, and when I lay in bed with my 19 month baby boy, whom I love with everything that I've got and more, I realize how ...scared, I guess you can say, I am of going away for a week+/-. I've not "officially" had second thoughts, but the thought of leaving him brings me much sadness.

One would say that being hesitant is a sign form the Universe, I have not yet taken it, as I really see this as a big growing experience for me, much needed and much overdue.

I've been caring for my son since day one whole-heartedly, with nothing but a loving, nurturing, and naturally educational environment. He has an intense love for arts, music, and books, and we watch not television, and are full participants of life. He is a very bright little man, and the thought of leaving him kills me.

On the other hand, he would be with such loving people the time I am away, and I'd be sure to get him prepared for the time away from me the best that I can. I do not look at this as a "vacation from my son", no, not at all, more of a vision quest for myself, as my being is not all there these days.

Please, could you kindly tell me if you've had such an experience, leaving a little one with loved ones while you go away to Burning Man? I intend to take him one day, just not my first time, and not alone.

I know it is my decision alone, that could not be more obvious, but I would like to get some honest responses. I thought for a minute before posting this and want to also add that it could go both ways if I do just go forward with this... my leaving him getting in the way of my experience, or improving my experience by just letting go for the duration, sending him postcards and whatnot, but letting go a little just to have a little personal freedom to self-improve.

In his 19 months of life, I've only had two nights away from him, both being less than 4 hours. Both times I went out dancing, and had the time of my life knowing he was in the care of someone that I trusted. But this time it is a week, give or take a day or two...

Big Love
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Postby haolegolucky » Tue May 10, 2011 12:38 am

You're a single mom.
You probably bust your butt for your kid and give very lil' to yourself.

You deserve some fun once in awhile. If BM is your idea of fun, then by all means go and enjoy yourself.

Keep in mind that you won't really have steady access to a phone, though internet signals can be picked up in various places if you need to reach out and check on your baby.

If you go, enjoy yourself! Take pictures, make new friends and have a few deep playa adventures. When he is older, you can take him with you.

On a side note, I did see a newborn baby (maybe two months?) on the playa a few years ago, and I thought the parents looked miserable. They did NOT have a good time.
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Postby Gen ov eve » Tue May 10, 2011 12:49 am

Right on. Thank you for your response. I mentioned I have some growth to do, and I do because there I was starting to think I was a bad mother for wanting to go out so long without him... It's either going alone or not going at all. I do a lot for him, stay at home with him all the time, and need fun, not want, need fun in my life. Time to get back into the rhythm full-power. Thank you for the tips as well. I should plan to check in at some points whatever way that I can.

I do intend to take him Home one day, as I mentioned. Not this time. Big Love.
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Postby Sham » Tue May 10, 2011 1:25 am

While you'll be leaving your little man for a few days, you'll be transported to a magical place where there will be different little men. Everyone can use a little time apart from each other. You're making the right decision.
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Postby Sic Pup » Tue May 10, 2011 4:09 am

It sounds like you're very confident in the care he will receive, and as mentioned you can check in periodically, worse case if you can't find a signal you can hop on the bus into Gerlach/Empire to make a call. I did this last year due to a pressing issue at home, got on, made my calls, and never left the bus (it shuttles to Gerlach-Empire-BRC).

Look no further than the theme for 2011..... don't fret but, rather embrace the growth experience.
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Postby elKay » Tue May 10, 2011 6:07 am

Nineteen months is too young understand when you explain where you are going to be. Regardless of how great the sitters are, this will be traumatic for your son, who will think you have died.
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Postby AntiM » Tue May 10, 2011 6:51 am

elKay wrote:Nineteen months is too young understand when you explain where you are going to be. Regardless of how great the sitters are, this will be traumatic for your son, who will think you have died.


Not true, babies don't understand death, only absence. They adapt quickly. Too quickly, it can be a bit of a shock for a mom that her kid may thrive in the care of others.

Get a couple of those recordable books so he can hear your voice, make sure he has a blankie with your scent. He'll be fine. Once you return, he'll forget you were ever gone.

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Postby havoc » Tue May 10, 2011 6:56 am

gen...your kidlet will be almost 2 years old when the burn rolls around. it is a good time to start socializing him to other people, especially if you're comfortable with them and plan to keep them in your/his life. honestly, it sounds like you're a thoughtful, responsible parent and that he'll be well cared for while you're gone. i say go, have a fabulous time, bring back stories to tell your son so he'll want to go with you when he's old enough! :)
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Postby havoc » Tue May 10, 2011 6:57 am

AntiM wrote:A momma who enriches herself enriches the life of her child by extension.


this this this!
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Postby elKay » Tue May 10, 2011 7:52 am

AntiM wrote:
elKay wrote:....this will be traumatic for your son, who will think you have died.


Not true, babies don't understand death, only absence.
by "died" I meant that he will think that she is never coming back.
A momma who enriches herself enriches the life of her child by extension.
There are many ways to enrich a life. The time between 18 and 30 months are so very important in regards to a child's sense of self and attachment to family. I personally would wait another year, until your child is old enough to understand and believe the words, "I will be back".
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Postby Elderberry » Tue May 10, 2011 7:53 am

Aren't there other two year olds on the playa? Take him and camp in kidsville, I understand it is a very supportive community.
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Postby ygmir » Tue May 10, 2011 8:05 am

jkisha wrote:Aren't there other two year olds on the playa? Take him and camp in kidsville, I understand it is a very supportive community.


viewtopic.php?t=3921&highlight=kids
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Postby mdmf007 » Tue May 10, 2011 8:13 am

Sounds like your first beebee too. Its natural to not want to be away, but you deserve time to yourself as well.

Wait until you have munchkin number 4 and you will certainly be more comfortable away.
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Postby AntiM » Tue May 10, 2011 8:18 am

jkisha wrote:Aren't there other two year olds on the playa? Take him and camp in kidsville, I understand it is a very supportive community.


It is, but it still is best to take a child who can communicate their needs. Also, it is best to experience and understand the environment before taking a child into it.

Elkay, I disagree. A week or two will not traumatize a young child to the point they are scarred fro life. I was raised in a military environment, I know kids bounce back. If we were talking months, yes, but a week to ten days? Won't even register long term. Childhood amnesia is a powerful thing. I say more powerful than a slight absence during the attachment period. It won't be a repeated erratic absence, which is what would cause concern.
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Postby Sic Pup » Tue May 10, 2011 8:20 am

As an afterthought, should you elect to go (and I hope you do, you deserve it!), given the fact that you've only been apart twice for 4 hour stints it might be a good idea to gradually work up to longer absences.

A day here, an overnighter there with the same people you're thinking of entrusting him with for the burn so you both adapt to the separation gradually.
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Postby elKay » Tue May 10, 2011 8:30 am

AntiM wrote:Elkay, I disagree.
OK. :-) I have no knowledge of burning man other than what I have gained from reading here. Just trying to converse about an area where I do have some credentials. Of course the child will be fine, but so will the mother be if she puts it off for a year. Moving on though, this is not the hill that I want to die on.
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Postby Minxy » Tue May 10, 2011 8:38 am

I agree with Sic Pup's comment.

Gradually extend absences from your child over the next few months. It will give you both the opportunity to get used to it.

I definitely think you should go! It's COMPLETELY normal to feel apprehension about it; I did when I had little ones. However if you have fantastic, capable, loving childcare I feel you should go.

Burning Man is many things to many people but it can be a wonderful place to get closer to yourself and help connect you to your priorities. There are ways to get in touch with the outside world for check ins for your mental health and you can input your camp location info with Playa Info in case of emergencies.

I believe it makes you an excellent mom for wanting to do something awesome, enriching and FUN for yourself and still feeling worry over your child. Set up everything appropriately with child care, emergency protocols and communication arrangements and go have a fabulous time! <3
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Postby AntiM » Tue May 10, 2011 9:02 am

elKay wrote:
AntiM wrote:Elkay, I disagree.
OK. :-) I have no knowledge of burning man other than what I have gained from reading here. Just trying to converse about an area where I do have some credentials. Of course the child will be fine, but so will the mother be if she puts it off for a year. Moving on though, this is not the hill that I want to die on.


LOL, and I agree. (I've a few credentials myself, although early childhood was more of a foundation than a main area of study, so I think I get where you're coming from). I do know that there are a thousand excuses not to go to Burning Man, many of them valid. There's one for every year, for every person. Sometimes you are ready, it must happen now, and you make the best adjustments and arrangements you can because putting it off is no longer personally acceptable.

Trial periods of separation are a good idea, children accept extended families readily if they are familiar people, familiar surroundings.

So, Elkay, when will be your year? Do you know, or will it jump out on you one day?
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Postby elKay » Tue May 10, 2011 9:10 am

AntiM wrote:So, Elkay, when will be your year? Do you know, or will it jump out on you one day?
Our tickets are on the fridge. In preparation we have purchased a truck, a north pole party shade and several little items that are piling up. I hope we make it this year as I am ready.
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Postby Super Evil Brian » Tue May 10, 2011 9:16 am

elKay wrote:
AntiM wrote:So, Elkay, when will be your year? Do you know, or will it jump out on you one day?
Our tickets are on the fridge. In preparation we have purchased a truck, a north pole party shade and several little items that are piling up. I hope we make it this year as I am ready.


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Postby AntiM » Tue May 10, 2011 9:21 am

elKay wrote:
AntiM wrote:So, Elkay, when will be your year? Do you know, or will it jump out on you one day?
Our tickets are on the fridge. In preparation we have purchased a truck, a north pole party shade and several little items that are piling up. I hope we make it this year as I am ready.


Make a note to drop by my Home for Wayward Art and adopt a piece of art. This year promises some interesting selections.
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Postby The CO » Tue May 10, 2011 10:09 am

Gen, you and your little man will be fine. I think the suggestion of working from now to the burn on slightly smaller windows of apart time is a great suggestion. Both of you will benefit from it, you I think more than he.

Certain first separation moments between parent and child are always anxiety inducing: First time away overnight from baby, first day of school, first date, first solo drive, first day away to college. We as parents don't like to admit it, but some of those moments trouble us more than the young un. My wife is having an extended "mom moment" about the fact that our youngest is driving her own car & graduating in June.

I say go right ahead to Black Rock City! (provided you have the proper childcare while gone)

I will personally offer a $1.75 guarantee that you will come back not only appreciating your little guy more, but that you will be bubbling with excitement for him to be old enough to go with you.
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Postby graidawg » Tue May 10, 2011 10:23 am

1 - allow time to get home and recover
2 - enjoy yourself as much sd you can
3 - have a pan to go back to your little one if you are miserable without him
4- read and inwardly digest the survival guide and make sure you are actually ready to go. for me and meany other birgings here planning is paramount, you have no idea whats going to happen when you get to BRC
5 - welcome home

its scary and doubly so for you but it could be the best thing you have ever done but, be ready for the worst and having to go home because you miss him

my opinion only ymmv
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Postby Elderberry » Tue May 10, 2011 10:26 am

Sic Pup wrote: given the fact that you've only been apart twice for 4 hour stints it might be a good idea to gradually work up to longer absences.



I missed this part...who watches the kid while you're at work? He should be used to you being away at least 8 hours a day, no?
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Postby theCryptofishist » Tue May 10, 2011 10:31 am

elKay wrote:...who will think you have died.

????
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Postby Elliot » Tue May 10, 2011 10:40 am

:D
Gen, I'm all for your plan. Get the little fellow accustomed to absences, and it will be fine. One additional thing: When you return from an absence, don't make a big teary reunion of it -- and not a scary goodbye when you leave either. Let it seem normal and no-big-deal. That way it will be normal and no-big-deal to Junior also. Kids react as much to our emotions as to the actual situation.
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Postby Savannah » Tue May 10, 2011 10:50 am

Hey Gen ov eve.

I really hope you come to the playa. It sounds like you need it. If your child is with people he knows and loves and who love the dickens out of him, I think he will be fine. I have no memory of my father's business trips when I was that age because 1) I was always surrounded by love, and 2) he always returned.

I like Graidawg's suggestion of having an escape plan (at least a credit card) in case you decide to bail while you're at the event. You'll feel better having the option.

More importantly, budget for a couple of shuttles into Gerlach in case you get no signal in the playa and want to check in. From the site:

"The burning shuttle leaves every 2 hours; between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, and between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on Saturday.

Tickets for the bus are available in center camp. It costs $10.00 to leave the city on the bus. You must have a valid Burning Man ticket stub AND a bus ticket, OR a gate re-entry chit (which you will receive if left by car) to ride the bus back into the city. Conversely, if you return to the city by car, you must have a Burning Man ticket stub AND a bus ticket (you need to show BOTH items to get back into Black Rock City)."

More info here:
http://www.burningman.com/on_the_playa/ ... rvice.html

Best of luck to you.

ETA: I think Elliot's advice about not making the goodbyes/reunions dramatic or scary is really spot-on.
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Postby Gen ov eve » Tue May 10, 2011 10:52 am

Thank you, every one of you. Each of your responses has helped me. Last night when the initial thought of separation anxiety hit, I was filled with so much thought - now I am more at ease, as I wrote in my -BM 2011 prep journal- (yes, I am keeping a journal :) )with a better image of the plan.

I did come up with the plan. His grandma lives out of state, as does his father, but I also realized last night that this is an incredible opportunity for growth and healing for all of the family, as it is an excellent chance for his father to decide to be more a part of his life. His mother and I have gotten along so well since the beginning and she has done so much in my sons life. She visits and writes often. I will plan to go to her home every other weekend, and have them come here to our home every other weekend in between. I will start small, a few hours away here and there, and then spend a day to myself, and by July I should be ready to take a weekend a month. It is heartbreaking for me, but a step that I personally should take because My son comes first, not my emotions. And, again, it is a great door for his father to step into the picture.

The amazing thing here, everyone, is that from what I've personally gathered of the BM intent, my experience has already begun - in that, there I was just days ago, talking with friends about it, and then deciding - I'm going. Not trying, I AM going. And with my instant planning I already see growth and blossoming from this in my personal life. It is just the beginning and this moment was completely meant to be.

Let's see if I can respond to all responses with questions...

@Antim, great ideas, thank you, I will do the books, and I've got other ideas in mind as well, including recording songs that I sing to him at night.

@Elkay, I personally do not think his world would completely end, mine maybe, well, no, not really. It is a growing experience for the two of us, as someone had mentioned.

@Jkisha, I work at home as a nanny to two other children. I watch him while I am at work ;)) It's amazing that I have this life with him.

@graid, thanks for the great tips, this is true and I hadn't thought of that yet.

@The CO, yes yes.

@Antim, "I do know that there are a thousand excuses not to go to Burning Man, many of them valid. There's one for every year, for every person. Sometimes you are ready, it must happen now, and you make the best adjustments and arrangements you can because putting it off is no longer personally acceptable." Yes yes, this is how it all started :) Here and now, let's go. Not next year. Now. Let's do this.

@Minxy This is my "goal" and already it is blossoming.

@Jkisha, I wish to go to the playa alone first, as I personally have never camped in such harsh conditions and although it is different every year I am sure, This is a journey I must go at alone first, then later down the road, if the time is right, he will join me - but that's the future, so let's focus on now right :)


@Elkay, I feel this is an excellent opportunity for my son to get some grandma and hopefully father time, if he is willing to take advantage of this.

Hopefully that covers everything.

Again, everyone, thank you kindly for your words of encouragement and support, and for all of your tips and thoughts. My gratitude is endless.

Big Love.
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Postby Gen ov eve » Tue May 10, 2011 11:05 am

Yes, and I agree as well. When I went to a show last week I made the goodbye so quick that he did not realize I was gone. Of course it made me feel sad, but what are feelings. All was well. When I returned home, and he woke up as he usually does now and then at night, there were no tears, and a huge hug exchange.

I did read that, Savannah, and have noted it, thank you thank you. I've done quite a bit of research already and feel confident. This will be quite the experience. I know the matters of prepping that I do now will not matter when I am there, so I will just do what I can now, and see what happens.

Thank you everyone.
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Postby peachandpapa » Tue May 10, 2011 11:15 am

Gen ov eve,
Your post brings back such a great memory when my wife and I left our only child for the first time. We went on a 2 week sailing trip and left our 1 1/2 old daughter with my parents. After 6 days we were finally able to make port and called the grandparents who put her on the phone. With glee we asked her how she was doing and she replied that Sponge Bob was on that she wanted to see the end. For the rest of the trip there were no worries!

If you are leaving your child with a grandparent or anyone who wants to be a part of the child's life, believe me, they will spoil the heck out of the kid to the point where they won't want to leave!

Take the plunge and come to the playa!
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