My daughter just turned two this month and since she was born, my husband and I have not taken a vacation by ourselves — like, not even over night. When I actually write that out it surprises me, because it doesn’t feel like that long and when I see it on paper I feel like I should be practically imploding with stir-craziness… but I’m not.
We are lucky enough to have two sets of wonderfully attentive grandparents who live close by and are up for overnighters all the time. We’ve definitely had plenty of one-night sleep overs at the grandparents (usually at least twice a month) so my husband and I could go see a movie or just relax in the quiet of our own home without a yell-singing toddler who leaves the destruction of a toy tornado in her wake. They also take turns watching her twice a week during the day so I can work from home, so it’s not like I don’t get breaks. I get a lot of them — actually a ton -- compared to most parents. The blessing of that is not wasted on me.
But still, two years is kind of a long time, and with Baby #2 on the way come June it’s not like there’s going to be another opportunity to take a kid-free vacation for awhile. So… we’re leaving… for eight whole days on a Caribbean cruise. My in-laws wanted to take us, along with my brother and sister-in-law, and they figured it would be a nice little “babymoon” for us.
I’m super excited to have some peace and quiet on warm, sandy beaches. I’ve never been anywhere tropical and never had much of a desire because it seemed a little slow-paced to both my husband and I (for our honeymoon we went snowboarding in Whistler, B.C.). But, now that I’m a parent? I totally get the appeal. I haven’t read a book since I was pregnant with my daughter and I’m totally looking forward to that. Basically, it sounds like a dream. So, why am I feeling so emo about it?
I have plenty of friends who have left their children for a week away much earlier than two years of age and they are no worse for the wear. I’ve no doubts my daughter will be the same – she’s pretty adaptable like that and almost never gets sad when I leave her anywhere. Likewise, I don’t get sad when she has overnighters either — it’s a nice break for the both of us. Obviously, I know she’ll be fine, but for some reason I’m already getting sad about leaving her for so long and I’m trying to soak up every snuggly (and even not-so-snuggly) moment with her before we leave in a couple of weeks. Full disclosure: I may have actually cried about this last night. I know. I’m crazy. What kind of mother with a two-year-old doesn’t dream of a kid-free vacation? Apparently this mother.
Tell me I’m not the only one! Did any of you have a mild breakdown when you left your little one for a vacation the first time? Feel free to send any survival tips my way.
Lauren Hartmann is the founder of The Little Things We Do, a blog about life and adventures in Portland Oregon. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram or catch up on all of her posts here on Babble.