My husband and I travel without our kids.
In fact, I’m currently sitting on an airplane (kid free) after a week long European adventure-which happens to be our 5th kid free vacation since my daughter was born almost 4 years ago.
When we tell people about our kid free vacations we typically get one of two responses:
1. That’s so awesome!
2. How can you leave your kids behind??? (This is also accompanied by a pretty judgmental “look” )
To the people who respond with the latter: it’s not a very difficult decision for us. And here’s why…
I LOVE my kids. More than anything else in the entire world and I would do absolutely anything for them. I also know that on top of taking are of them EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
I also need to take care of myself and my marriage.
I love to travel. It’s one of the few things that truly makes me happy. I love seeing the world and stepping outside of my comfort zones to experience new places and cultures. I’m so fortunate that my husband shares this love with me. We traveled the world and had amazing adventures before we had kids and decided not to let that change once we started a family. We continue to plan trips and if it works out that we can do it by ourselves, we do.
This recent week in Europe my husband and I reconnected on a level that was much needed after the very stressful year we just had. We laughed together, slept in, held hands, ate amazing food, got lost in new cities, enjoyed new cultures and fell back in love. We were able to have uninterrupted talks about our life and our future and set new life goals that we are eager to implement once we get home. Our marriage got a mini refresh which is needed for us to be the best we can be while at home with our kids.
Our travels also give our kids a chance to spend quality time with family that they either don’t see often or don’t get to spend a lot of one on one time with. They get to form their own memories with cousins and grandparents without mom and dad around which will be something they will treasure as they get older.
As the kids grow, I have visions of family vacations where we backpack through the world together. Right now, my three year old has no interest in strolling through the Louvre, admiring Westminster Abbey or climbing through the Costa Rican jungle. But I do, and I don’t think it’s fair to myself for me to put those dreams on hold just because we started a family.
Do I miss them?
ABSOLUTELY! So much!! We FaceTime everyday. My husband and I talk about them, look at pictures and watch videos before we go to bed each night. But I miss them every time I’m not with them, even if it’s just a trip to the grocery store. So, I don’t think that’s a good enough reason to not take a vacation. Our small breaks from them also give us a chance to reflect on how crazy blessed we are to have them!! We have a threenager and a teething baby. Sometimes, the days are long and we lose sight of how lucky we are to have these two beautiful, healthy kids.
We are able to miss them, clear our minds and go back to them with new goals on how to be better parents.
I love spending time with them so of course, we also take family vacations. Trips that center around them and what would make them the most excited and happy (like Disney or the beach). But I also need vacations that center around me and what makes my husband and I happy.
I want to have vacations where I’m able to completely recharge, spend quality time with my husband and be able to put myself first. So I’ll continue to book the romantic-kid free getaways.