harry potter parents vacations

Why Parents Need Vacations

My husband and I are about to leave on our second vacation alone since having children. The last time, we went to Florida and that was when we found out we were pregnant with our youngest a little over two years ago. This will only be the second time we leave her overnight and it’s a good stretch of time so I’ll admit, I feel very nervous and guilty for it!

Should I feel guilty for getting away without the kids? My mom said, “You know, I can’t imagine taking ‘so many’ vacations when my kids were little. We brought you on every vacation we went on.” Without thinking, I quipped, “And you got a divorce.” I didn’t mean to be so harsh but I can be that way when I’m feeling defensive. The more I pondered my reaction, the more I realized the truth in what I said. There is some stigma attached to getting away without your children and yet, the divorce rate is sky high. Could there be a correlation there? Are we truly taking the time to see our spouses as such, rather than just our child’s other parent?

We take beautiful family vacations, which is important. Anyone who’s ever taken children on a vacation knows that it’s also very stressful and not exactly a “vacation” from your everyday life. For us, they’re pretty chaotic. We have a hard time following regular sleep schedules on a family vacation and then the kids are fussy. For whatever reason, they’re arguing more. They’ve decided they don’t like the food that’s obviously more expensive than it was at home. Discipline isn’t consistent and now it’s time for a public tantrum. It’s a lot to keep up with, even though it yields amazing and unforgettable memories.

The unwinding, the relaxing, and bonding together with your partner, for those you need time alone. Someday, it’s just going to be my husband and I living in our home and I don’t want 18 years to have passed since I really got to know him. Every night, we have about two hours before we go to bed to do something without our children. Sometimes we want to have conversations where we don’t have to literally yell over the sound of our children (I am dead serious, it is often VERY loud in here!) but sometimes we also like to just vegetate on our own. He’ll play video games and I’ll find something on Netflix.

Since we don’t feel like we can fit such an important part of our relationship into a few hours a week, we like to dedicate an entire vacation to just enjoying each other’s company. If time and money allowed it, I think we would do this every year. Instead, we do it as often as we can.

It doesn’t have to break the bank. You can go to a local bed and breakfast or on a camping trip. Explore nature or even your local big city, take a hike or see a show. We have been on several mini getaways together, usually for our anniversary. We’ve stayed at B&Bs in areas with a lot of nature or shopping. We’ve gone to conventions, faires, and festivals. This time around, we’ll be ziplining and swimming in Mexico!

Our vacation isn’t just for our relationship, it’s also for our sanity. Keeping up with a bunch of tiny humans is stressful and getting time away is like hitting the reset button on your sanity boiling point. If you can afford to take a vacation alone, don’t hesitate. You deserve it and you probably need it. Get out there and honeymoon again and again.

Update: Read more about how our vacation to Mexico went, here.

Parents need vacations without the kids too!

1 thought on “Why Parents Need Vacations

  1. Love it! I definitely feel like taking the same approach to my future marriage, when kids happen! If things aren’t good between mom and dad, it shows on the kids.

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