As I sit on a plane with my husband, sipping coffee, resting our eyes, conversing over random topics like future family vacations, I think to myself, “This feels good. I hope everyone takes adult vacations.”
I actually found it surprising that when I told people we were heading to Boston the first question seemed to be, “Is Jensen going with you?” I get it, but it also caught me off guard. In no way would I have booked this trip with just us and our 2.5 year old son. Paying to tote our child across the country only to parent just as we would at home does not sound ideal. I’d rather just keep it local, sleep in our own beds, avoid the travel hassle and avoid the added costs for family memory making that – at this point – he won’t really remember anyway. Let me tell you, there isn’t a thing in Boston that would bring any more joy than the zoo or ball pits of Austin, Texas.
I’m 100% comfortable with leaving my kid for a few days, though. And I’m lucky to have family resources to be able to do that.
At two and a half weeks old, my mom watched my son while I was at a rehearsal dinner and then a wedding the next night. At one month old, our son had his first local overnight stay while we attended a Christmas party. At two months, he stayed his first weekend with grandparents who live 2.5 hours away. At three months, I packed up and headed to Vegas for a weekend bachelorette trip.
I now realize that this approach may not be the norm, that my ability to trust and detach is pretty much on the opposite end of those who cannot detach, and that there is more of a middle lane that people tend to stay in. But I need a healthy dose of separation. I need to regularly reset, refresh and recharge to be my best self. I need to maintain my sense of self-identity and independence. I am 100% pro-adult vacation, and that means sans kids.
Other added benefits to adult vacationing?
- My husband and I get actual uninterrupted quality time.
- We get to soak up all of the potential a vacation destination has to offer.
- The people on the plane are spared of our wild, very emotional, sometimes cooperative child.
- Grandparents and family get to spend one-on-one, Mom-is-not-here-to-judge time with our son.
- Our schedule can be as flexible as we want it to be.
- We can stay up late and then SLEEP IN!
- Returning home is even more worth it.
Don’t get me wrong, I am also pro-family trip, but I prefer those to be via car, with more control of our travel situation, with other friends or family in long-distance situations, or just closer to home without. And maybe when we have older children, we can upgrade to flying on a plane.
So my call to parents: if you can dig deep down and also have the resources to do it, plan yourself an adult vacation – with your husband, with your friends, whoever that may be. It may be tough, especially if you have a hard time letting go, but I can only imagine you will appreciate the time. You will come back refreshed, and the pure excitement of seeing your kiddo(s) again after a little time away is priceless. I PROMISE on this one.
If you need to take small steps, try a staycation or get a hotel room for the night.