We live a block from my parents who stand 100% behind our AP style of parenting. They have been great. We have been schdling "dates" for a few months now. DS in almost 7 months old, so I'd say he was about 3 mos when we first left him. We plan, plan, plan when we leave him. I feed him before we leave, and we get back before his next feeding. Needless to say, the times we've been away from him aren't all that long. Once in a while we catch a movie, but mainly we grab dinner. I still eat in like two seconds, but its nice to get a meal hot once in a while. Also, if I am missing DS too much, DH respects (and usually feels the same) when I say its time to go.
I wouldn't leave DS with anyone. They MUST respect my parenting philosophy, no CIO, no sticking him in a playpen. Therefore, In-Laws aren't real high up on my list of those who get to watch him. I also have friends who have been begging to watch DS, but I am not comfortable leaving him with them ( they are way TOO mainstream, Barney videos anyone?), so I won't.
How do I know my parents are respecting our wishes? Well, we show up unannounced to check. Also, DS is their first grandbaby, so they treat him like a king to begin with. They actually argue over who has held him more and whos turn is it to hold him. Besides that, the babe is always sooo happy to see them (he reaches for them now, doesn't for anyone he is unsure of. like mil) and always content when we show back up.
Maybe my situation is unusual. My parents have supported DH and I since the day DS was born. I think it is important for DH and I to have a few minutes of alone time. Sometimes I just need to remember why I married him, and I think he needs to see me as someone other than a mom (or housekeeper)...
You are not "keeping your baby back" in anyway. You MUST do what feels best for you. If you are not ready to leave DS for a few hours, don't. I am in no way ready to leave DS overnight or even for more than three hours now, so I won't. Good luck
PS-Don't feel bad if you do go out and you cut your time short because you miss DS! Last week I left a Dave Matthews Band Concert an hour after I got there 'cause I missed my osito(little bear).