The 5 things I learned from a getaway without my kids
My husband and I just got back from a week-long getaway to the beach and it was wonderful! I know, no one likes a person who brags, and I don’t say it to make you feel jealous, I say it to make you take a getaway, too!
I don’t think my husband and I realized how much we wanted and needed to get away! After moving two times and having two kids in the last 3 years, it has been a bit hectic. And we probably don’t take the time and allocate the money to get away for regular dates like we should. So when the opportunity to get away without the kids presented itself (THANK YOU grandparents!) we jumped at the chance! So, if you have the opportunity to get away, even for a few days at a location close by, at least think about it! And check out what I learned when I had a little time to sit back and relax:
- Your kids will survive without you – Sure, you are their parents and they are crazy about you, but guess what? They are pretty resilient and can eat, sleep and play with a grandparent, aunt and uncle or close family friend! We are so blessed with amazing grandparents on both sides, so our kiddos were probably spoiled and doted on more than they normally would be. I worried that they would struggle with seeing us when we would call on FaceTime, but no, they were so happy and content. I think I did a thorough job preparing our three-year-old in the weeks leading up to our trip and made sure he understood that his grandparents were coming to hang out and have fun! He didn’t get any sort of surprises and knew what was coming and what to expect. So, they survived and thrived the whole time we were gone! And in case you think you would be the one struggling, make sure a caregiver sends you lots of pictures and videos! It will be like you never left!
- Your spouse is super fun – Life can be crazy, stressful, monotonous and challenging. But, when you take yourselves away from your responsibilities for just a bit, it can be so nice! I joked that my husband, Jeff, became “Jamaica Jeff” during our vacation! He didn’t have to worry about email, or budgets or bedtimes. He relaxed, cut loose and had so much fun. And I think I laughed more on our vacation than I had in a really long time! Don’t get me wrong, I love life with my husband, but it is so fun to have a moment to pause and just be silly. We danced, rode bikes, went stand-up paddle boarding and ate SO much. And we promised ourselves that we would try to bring a little of that back with us to mix in with all the diaper-changing duty and household stuff!
- Relaxing is OK – I will admit, I did feel some guilt when I would see a family at the beach that brought their kiddos with them. I thought about how much fun it would be to build a sandcastle with our oldest, or watch our youngest experience the beach for the first time. But, then I also thought about the endless application of sunscreen I would do and all the sand our little one would try to eat and I sat back and enjoyed the beach breeze. It was nice to not be constantly on the run and to be able to not have a schedule. And I tried really hard to enjoy that! Because believe me, we are back in the swing of it all, so, it only lasts for a short time.
- You can ALWAYS buy more stuff, take the time to go somewhere – Yes, we could have used the money we spent on our trip to buy a new mattress or a new dining room table, but would that have given us another stamp on our passport or memories to look back on and smile about? Nope! We tend to always err on the side of experiences over possessions, but I think it is always a good reminder. I’m so thankful that my husband values this, too. Get out and see the world (even if it is a new place down the road you’ve never been!) I don’t think you will ever regret it!
- Family is so important – This trip I just came back from gave me such a renewed appreciation for my whole family. From my littles that I missed and couldn’t wait to kiss as soon as I walked back in the door, to my super wonderful husband, to my amazing parents and in-laws who took time out of their schedules to stay with our children. I am so blessed with such a great family and sometimes it can be easy to take that for granted. Nope, not letting that happen!
So, do what you can to press the “PAUSE” button on life for a bit and get away. You won’t regret it and you will come back a better, kinder, more relaxed spouse and parent!
What was your favorite getaway you’ve taken? Do you have any planned for the coming months?
-by Emily Robertson