For some moms, the idea of having a night, a weekend or a week to travel away from their kids sounds like heaven…for others, it sounds like something they couldn’t even fathom doing.
Growing up, my parents traveled quite a bit. We went on family vacations, my mom had weekend trips with her girlfriends and my parents went on trips by themselves. Looking back now, I see how important it was for them and one of the many reasons why I believe they have been married for almost 48 years…they always made the time to get away just the two of them. They taught me that although family vacations are extremely important and are a great way to make lasting memories, spending time alone with your spouse is equally as important.
I have been a mom for 18 years now, and I will admit that I used to feel guilty about doing anything without my kids, especially traveling without them. But that was short lived. I’m sure what I learned from my parents had lots to do with it, but I began to see how important it was for us and how much I absolutely love not being a parent sometimes! My husband and I get away as much as we can together. Whether it’s me going with him on a business trip for 2 days, following our favorite band around the country, or him surprising me with an anniversary getaway to somewhere we have never been. For us, getting away by ourselves is crucial for our marriage.
Here are my 5 reasons why you should travel without your kids.
What do most parents wish they could have more than anything? Uninterrupted sleep!! Can you imagine getting 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep at night? No one waking you up in the middle of the night to tell you that they can’t sleep or can’t find their sock. No one peeing in the bed, having a nightmare, or waking up with a fever. No 5 am wake-up call by a kid whispering “I’m hungry” in your ear or having to jump out of bed to cook breakfast and pack lunches. Well, go away without any kids and you won’t have to experience any of those things!!! You can go to bed anytime you want and wake up anytime you want. Sleep all day? You can do that. Take a nap or two? You can do that too! It’s absolutely glorious!
Keeping an active healthy sex life when you are a parent is quite the feat. Put on an episode of Paw Patrol and hope that it distracts them long enough to lock the door for a quickie. Or wait until the kids fall asleep (if you have teenagers they can stay up WAY later than you). And if you do actually stay awake long enough you still feel like you have to be as quiet as possible so you don’t scar them for life. Who wants to hear their parents having sex? But if you are away, in a hotel with NO kids, guess what? You can have sex anytime and be as loud as you want. No distractions, no thinking you hear a kid at the door, no having to be quiet. What better way to reconnect with your spouse than being intimate? Sex is awesome, especially with the person you love. And vacation sex is the best sex!
As parents, our lives revolve around our kids’ schedules. School drop-offs and pick-ups, sports practices and music lessons, performances and meetings, homework and bedtimes. It’s endless. We very rarely get to do what we want to do when we want to do it. Well, vacations without kids mean you get to do whatever the hell you want to do! Want to get up early and do as much as possible that day? Plan away! Want to sleep in and then day drink at the pool? Go for it! Want to go out to dinner at 8 pm and not have to deal with a screaming baby, a toddler who won’t eat, kids fighting over who gets to sit where and then end up leaving with your cold food in a to go box? Enjoy every second of it and treat yourself to dessert!
As parents, we usually do everything in our power to keep our kids happy and entertained 24/7 which means having to participate in kid activities ALL the time. Being away with no kids means you can actually participate in adult activities for a change. In case you have forgotten, there are actual places to go and things to do that don’t involve animated shows, YouTube videos of toys in a plastic egg, playgrounds and anyone under the age of 18. Go see your favorite band in concert. Go to a club and dance the night away. Go see an R-rated movie. Drink a few too many adult beverages. Just do something to make you feel like you are more than just a parent.
My favorite thing about traveling with no kids is reconnecting with my husband. He truly is my most favorite person and there is no one else I would rather spend my time with. The daily routine of raising 4 kids is hard and stressful. Sure, we try to have a date night several times a month but it’s just not the same as getting away and having time to fully decompress from the stressors of parenthood for a few days. Being able to have a conversation without being interrupted 10 times, relaxing and enjoying being together is wonderful. Staying connected and remembering why you are together and got married in the first place, is a great way to keep the love alive.
Being a parent is all consuming. Our needs are always put last on the list of priorities. It’s healthy and important to put ourselves first sometimes. It’s good for yourself, for your marriage and for your kids, too. And as my fabulous sister-in-law told us a few years ago while we were away kid free, “Y’all are so much fun when you don’t have your kids!”