My husband and I are going on a trip this summer. A big one.
We’re going to Europe. I haven’t been since a family trip in 2001, and Dave was there with his dad shortly thereafter. We’ve never been together. Dave wrapped a (free) travel guide from the travel agency as one of my Christmas gifts. I did nearly all of the location choosing, planning and booking of flights and hotels, and research of what to do while in Prague, Czech Republic and Amsterdam, Netherlands. (But I’m not complaining, I love that stuff).
Did I mention the kiddos are not invited? No pipsqueak passports yet. This is an Adults Only Trip!
We started the Adults Only Trip policy a few years ago. We were leaving Seattle for the East Coast, and wanted to camp with friends as a last hurrah. We left an infant Edie behind for one night with my in-laws. We hiked and drank beer by the campfire, tossed around a Frisbee, and I pumped in the passenger seat of our car. It was a good time.
While we aren’t huge campers, we both love cities. A few years ago, I rolled a work conference into a long weekend to Philly. Leaving Edie with my parents, we took Amtrak, rented a dumpy Air B&B in an awesome neighborhood, and walked everywhere. Dave travelled the city while I attended my professional training by day, we drank classy cocktails at a speakeasy by night, and enjoyed some time off from parenting. As we listened to music and read on the train ride home to Connecticut, we appreciated our refreshing getaway to reset the ol’ marriage battery, even if on a budget.
The following year, we flew to Chicago at the tail end of my maternity leave. Contrary to my expected feelings of being footloose and fancy free, I was nearly hyperventilating as we walked from the Bradley parking garage to the terminal. When we sat down, I pulled out my phone to scan potential flights home, should an emergency arise back home. I was incredibly anxious about leaving our new baby behind for a good 24 hours. But, Dave had limited vacation flexibility, and it was now or…next year. We both suspected it’d be good for us to get away.
It was. We rented Citibikes, went on a boat tour, attended an outdoor concert, and imbibed in a few more fancy cocktails. Judicious texts from my parents indicated the kids were indeed, alright.
You see the progression? Camping, train trip to nearby city, flight to midwestern city – BOOM – Europe!
Besides being in need of a vacation from the daily grind, I endorse the Adults Only Trip to focus on what you and your partner enjoy when not catering to your kids’ interests or needs. Book a trip, near or far, and enlist a family member or friend to help with childcare. Barter if you need to. Marriage takes a shit ton of work, and kids don’t make it any easier. It’s healthy to prioritize your relationship from time to time. After your trip, your family and colleagues will wonder, DAAAAMMMN, who is this well-rested and reinvigorated goddess sitting across from me?
At least that’s what I’m going for.