I can vividly remember sipping a fruity drink on my honeymoon and talking to my then-new husband about taking a special trip for our future 10th wedding anniversary. I had it all planned out – I told you I was a type-A planner! – we would travel back to Jamaica, stay at the same amazing resort, and reflect over the past 10 years of marriage/life. I hoped by then that kids would be involved, but I didn’t think twice about leaving my imaginary children behind.
Fast forward a couple of years and what I didn’t realize then was that after having two children very close together, the thought of leaving them behind was unfathomable. Since giving birth to Jack in January 2010, we have only spent two nights away from him… when I gave birth to Julianne in August 2011. While I relished the nursing care, baby monitoring, and food brought to your bed, that wasn’t the grown up vacation I had dreamed about on my honeymoon. With a toddler and newborn, the idea of a grown up vacation was slipping farther and farther away. Oddly enough, I was ok with that at the time. I knew that stage was a phase and one that would not last forever.
Since becoming a parent, my husband and I have traveled separately for work, but we haven’t both left the kids for a couples trip. We have planned things, but something always comes up, mommy guilt creeps in, or cold feet consumes me and I back out. I am not sure why I feel this way or if my thoughts will ever change. I am envious of all the pictures I see on Instagram and Facebook of friends who jet set around the globe with their spouse and do not seem to second guess their travels. Part of me wonders that once I pull the trigger, will it get easier? Or – am I just a weirdo who needs to let go? I know my kids will survive without me for a few days. I know they won’t think I deserted or abandoned them. I know that moms and dads travel for work all the time and their families keep on trucking. I know that Scott and I need spend time together as a couple without the kids hanging on our legs and dictating where we eat. Despite all of this, it is so hard for me to leave them behind.
Scott’s parents invited us to go to Hawaii after Christmas. His dad is attending a conference there and they have taken Scott’s siblings on previous trips. The time hasn’t been right for us to go – until now. With an almost 6 year old and a 4 year old – I finally felt comfortable enough to accept the invitation (even though I am freaking out a little now). The tickets are booked, my mom is on call to the keep the kids, and I even ordered new flip flops. It is a trip of a lifetime and the perfect way to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary.
There’s just one hiccup… guilt and worry is starting to invade my thoughts once again.
I am not backing out of this trip and I am anxiously looking forward to this time with Scott. However – until we land in Hawaii – I need some words of encouragement from all of you mommas out there.
Remind me that my kids will be ok – heck – I am sure they will be spoiled by my mom and won’t want us to come back. Remind me how important it is for Scott and I to spend time together as a duo. Remind me that this is also a part of motherhood – letting go. Remind me that when I get back from this relaxing trip – real life will smack me in the face and I will start planning our next Grown Up Vacation ASAP. Remind me that I am going to Hawaii… without kids… in January!