The first time we ever went away without Camden, I felt guilty the whole entire time.
Camden had just turned two months old. I know what you are thinking, “how could she leave her baby when he was just two months old?” and believe me, I thought the same thing about it. I felt guilty the majority of the trip. But we were celebrating. My husband was hitting a milestone birthday, 3-0. That was cause for commotion. I enjoyed our time together as a couple, not a newborn mom and dad, and then went home after three days and loved on my safe, healthy little nugget.
Three months after that, our first wedding anniversary was approaching. We made the decision that we wanted to start a tradition of going on childless vacations for our wedding anniversary. After all, our wedding was a celebration of us. The couple we were prior to having children. The couple that fell in love and enjoyed each others company. We didn’t want to lose sight of that. We booked our anniversary trip to Las Vegas, practically the other side of the country. Camden was set again to stay with my father in law and his wife, plus my sister in law would be visiting with them during that time. They sent me pictures and videos everyday. We facetimed often, though at five months old, Camden really had no idea what was going on. The trip was great, we had a lot of fun, and it was calming knowing that our baby was in good hands.
After Las Vegas, we had a family trip planned to St. Maarten but some passport issues arose and I refused to go away a month later without Camden. We opted for a family vacation to Chincoteague Island with Camden. A beach vacation with a six month old really isn’t as much fun as you’d think. We did a lot of relaxing and spent some quality time together. But he just wasn’t quite big enough to enjoy the aspects of vacationing.
We have spent nights or weekends away in close by cities, doing fun things with some of our friends, really just remembering that we are a couple despite all the we have going on.
Our second wedding anniversary was spent in Jamaica. This time we left behind two littles and they stayed with my side of the family. Because a 16 month old and a 3 month old together can a bit overwhelming if you aren’t used to – Cam stayed with my parents and Lily with my aunt. I received lots of pictures, videos, and calls. A comforting thing for a momma away from her babies.
While I miss our babies so much every time we go away, I now welcome childless vacations with open arms. I still feel guilty at times, leaving them behind. I know that these vacations are what let us unwind, get some rest, relax, remember who we are outside of mom and dad, and come back feeling refreshed. I also know that since my family is almost two hours away, they welcome the idea of having the children for an extended time because they don’t get to see them on a daily basis. This creates a great experience for both my kids and my family. It is a win for everyone involved really.
So, my advice to you is.. no matter how hard it may feel to leave your kids behind and do something selfish – remember that self care is one of the most important things you can give to yourself and your children. Taking care of YOU is what makes you the best parent you can be. It will be hard at first, knowing that someone else is in control of your children, but if you left your children with that person – you know inside that they have the best interest of your kids.
Take a deep breath, relax, get a massage, and enjoy that vacation!