My husband and I just returned from our first kid free vacation. As the parents of three children under the age of six, we haven’t had a lot of opportunities to get away as a couple. But my Mother recently offered to take the kids, so we booked one night away in Whistler. It was a short 1.5 hour drive from our home.
I learned a few things from this quick kid free vacation, and I thought I’d share a few of them with you.
We’re still the same people.
Shocker, right? My husband and I are still the same people we were before kids! I know this sounds silly, but when you’re exhausted, overworked, and stressed, it’s easy to show your bad side. We get cranky around the house and your partner becomes more of a room mate than the person you fell in love with. While away, Mat once again began telling those jokes that make me roll my eyes. We held hands and had good conversations without interruptions. I was able to be the care-free goof ball that he fell in love with. I sang, I danced, and I giggled. It was wonderful to be the ‘us’ that wasn’t wiping bums and taming meltdowns.
We didn’t need as much time away as I thought.
I’ve often heard parents talk about going away for three nights, five, or even a full week. It sounded glorious and certainly more affordable than paying for an extra three people. However, my husband and I found a full 24 hours to be the perfect length of time. We were able to enjoy several meals out, drink coffee at a relaxing pace, go for walks, and spend time in a hot tub. We both agreed that we couldn’t leave the kids for too much longer. At least not at this point.
We like traveling with the kids.
It was great to enjoy the things we normally couldn’t while traveling with the kids, but we did miss them. We often talked about what we’d be doing if they were with us. They’d pick that chocolate, or swim in that pool. They’d order that off the menu or climb up that hill. Making memories with your husband is awesome, but seeing things through childrens eyes is a whole new kind of fun. Plus, our kids love to travel. Seeing us pack suitcases and knowing we were staying in a hotel without them was hard for our boys. Thankfully we have a family vacation only a few months away that they’re looking forward to.
I’m glad we didn’t leave them at a younger age.
I feel like our oldest kids are just reaching that age where we can comfortably leave them. The boys are fairly self sufficient and sleep through the night. More importantly, they can comprehend what’s happening when we’re away. My husband has always said that he didn’t want to leave the children without a parent before they could understand. We were able to have conversations with them about where we were going and when we’d be back. They had no concern about us not returning. Our daughter is still young, but I know she took comfort in the fact that she had her older siblings with her.
It’s a big deal having someone else watch your kids.
If someone takes your kids for a day, a night, or longer, make sure you thank them. And then thank them again. These are not their children. Feeding, changing, and putting them to bed is a big ask. We (parents) are the ones who decided to bring them into this world and they are our responsibility. Being able to go away without them should never be an expectation, because we are in no way entitled to it. Be very grateful if someone has offered to do this for you.
Ultimately, going on a kid free vacation reminded us to appreciate what we have. I’m still glad I married the guy I did, and I’m so thankful that we came home to three beautiful children. The fact is, we love being with our kids! Being with them is the best thing ever, so it’s natural that we want to take them with us.
Ideally, I think one night away together each year would be wonderful for our marriage. At this point in time, we aren’t comfortable going away longer.
How often do you go on dates with your spouse?