My husband and I were looking forward to getting away for a long weekend to beat those post-holiday blues. This would be our first time, after having kids, to leave our kids at home for multiple nights! It took four years to get to this point. I was excited, nervous and anxious for our first time away from the kids.
The days prior to our trip, I spent time coordinating and over preparing to leave our two toddlers with my parents for the weekend. I did loads of laundry and finally packed my suitcase. We quickly made a last-minute decision to travel to New York City because we knew we could fly standby there and back successfully. (My husband has great flight benefits through work!) I had no idea at the time we made the decision to plan a getaway, how meaningful this trip would be for us as a couple.
On our way out to New York City, we were assigned to sit first class. As soon as we sat in our seats that morning, we melted into total relaxation. My husband became instantly accommodating to me and I had a glimpse of our past, pre kids, and how much he would go out of his way to do special things for me. We booked our hotel after landing at LaGuardia airport. We found a nice boutique hotel near Central Park. The room was modern, chic and rustic with a glass shower in the middle of the room. Our location in the city was perfect for us and we walked through Central Park immediately after arriving to the hotel. We explored the Metropolitan Museum of Art and had dinner in Times Square before a Broadway Show. The next morning, we ate breakfast in bed, spent time in the hotel gym and took our time getting back out in the snowy city. After taking the train to the Financial District, we journeyed through the 9/11 Museum. That evening, after a brisk walk through Central Park in the snow, we ate at an Italian restaurant near our hotel with traditional New York pizza. By the time we were headed out the door the next morning to come home to our babies, that we missed tremendously, my heart was full. Full of love, culture and experiences that felt amazingly unexpected.
The weekend away with my husband was so refreshing. I left New York City feeling grateful that we could get away and enjoy the adult world without our kids for a short time. During the trip, I realized how important it is for parents to get away and experience life and culture without their kids and to reconnect as a couple. How important it is to sleep in, enjoy eating out at a leisurely pace and having thoughtful conversations about our experiences away from parent life. Though the city was fast, crowded and cold, I came away from our time there with a newfound appreciation for our country and my relationship with my husband.
If you are considering a weekend trip away with your partner, wherever it may be, here are some things I discovered helpful during our first weekend away from our kids:
- Secure trusted childcare. If you don’t feel comfortable and trust who you leave your kids with, you won’t be able to enjoy being away.
- Don’t over plan your time away. Go with the flow as much as you can. Let things change and be spontaneous if it makes sense. Make sure there is time to relax.
- Stay in a place that you are comfortable in and can get comfortable in. Put on the robe and slippers in the hotel!
- Take some time for you. Even though you are there as a couple, bring a book or take some time to listen to a podcast or read a magazine that you have been looking forward to.
- Do something that is more enjoyable when it is adults only. Go to a museum, a show, a movie, a leisurely walk or a meal together as a couple.
- Talk about the kids. You will miss them, so talk about them!
- Do something you’d love to do with your partner at home that is rare because of being a parent, like watching a movie in bed.
- Before arriving home, mentally prepare yourself for being thrown back into being a parent. If you can, plan for your childcare option to stick around after you get home, so you can unpack or take a shower before jumping right back into it.
Regardless of how much time you have waited after having kids to getaway, money to spend, time to take, the experience of taking a trip with your parenting partner can be amazingly memorable. You just need to get there first. Perhaps the timing isn’t right for you to go somewhere, but you can at least commit to doing a date night in Columbus just for some time away!