There is truly no place like home – especially when your home is filled with all the little beings you love and cherish more than anything else in this world.
My husband and I came back yesterday afternoon after a 30 HOUR trip away to take part in a wedding celebration for a good friend. The wedding was held at a popular vacation spot a mere four hour drive away. Traveling without kids, alone with your spouse, has a tendency to make any destination more magical, regardless of the distance from your home.
This was only our third time away from our kids for more than a regular workday, and it turned out to be the longest timespan we have spent apart from them – at least both of us at the same time. Maybe it gets easier with practice, perhaps the void you feel as a parent (especially a mother) gets filled with fun times – I am not sure I am willing to find out if it means being apart from my kids for longer periods of time.
Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE reconnecting with my husband. Falling in love all over again, being “husband and wife” for a while instead of always “mama and dada”. It is so good for both the heart and soul to have some time to bond, laugh, make memories and experience things together without having to wrangle, silence, and otherwise manage our fine collection of little boys. BUT… there’s a big BUT… I truly miss our kids when we are away from them.
Being away from my kids really challenges my ability to live “in the now” and its perhaps something I need to practice and improve over time. But for now, while the kids are so young (7 and younger) it is something I will embrace and be proud of. I LOVE that our kids are such a big part of “who we are” – as individuals and as a couple. I am proud to say that a Disney vacation is more my speed than a trip for two to a romantic getaway. I ALMOST missed hearing “are we there yet?” from the backseat on the drive down to our destination. I found myself wishing for a table for five instead of for two when we went out to lunch. We both kept pointing out sights and activities the kids would have enjoyed, so truly disconnected we were NOT!
Of course it was really nice to get a good night’s sleep without being kicked in the face or have stinky stuffed animals shoved under my nose – it felt good to wake up refreshed. But boy did the morning seem quiet and odd without the cuddles from half-sleepy little toasty warm bodies just wanting to stick their pointy fingers in my eyes and nose.
We knew our kids were in great hands in the loving care of my mom. But I still could not help envisioning the boys and what each of them were doing throughout the day. How they were reacting to our absence and if they even noticed that we were not there. I knew Jansen (our youngest) would struggle the most, as he had never been apart from me overnight. But this trip was also meant as a test for how things will go in January when I will be in the hospital delivering their brother.
As they say “all is well that ends well”. We had a great time away, as a couple. The kids spent quality time with their “Bedstemor” – and I was reminded that travel sans kids is NOT for me, not now and not for a long while. I think the traditional “date night” is more what I need to reconnect with my husband. We can always travel alone when we get old(er).
It is impossible to COMPLETELY relax and enjoy yourself when you don’t feel COMPLETE. Traveling without kids, to me, is like leaving a vital organ (or three) at home on the couch.
Thankfully everyone made it through the weekend – even my mom. I fully embraced the feeling of HOME when we set foot in our house again. Our kids had a good time – as we did. But being back together as our five person unit was just so comforting to all of us. Our loud and chaotic house seemed peaceful and serene once again.
This post is linked up to A Mama Collective’s Currently post