Why We Decided to Sneak Away Together


My Leftovers

By the time I find a moment to sit down at the computer and write, usually my brain is a lot like the leftovers from my toddler’s breakfast- mush. Sadly, the same is usually true when it comes to when I finally have time to sit down with my husband. It’s usually not at my peak. I’m usually jumbling my words and more expressive and emotional than I need to be. I’ve usually expended the majority of my mental energy on potty training, or teaching the importance of picking up our messes or keeping a tiny human from climbing to the very top of the kitchen counters and being (again) in a cast.

My husband and I love our child beyond what we could have ever imagined, but still, it would be a lie to say that that this parenting thing is easy on our marriage.

First falling in love
Our marriage was built on conversation. My husband and I were first attracted to each other because of our ability to make deep connections and talk about things we didn’t talk about with many other people. The first few nights we knew each other we would sit on my front porch and share what set our hearts on fire, our long-term passions, our views on controversial topics…  we had this instant connection through the ability to talk and laugh and connect on a personal level. It was those conversations and that ability to connect that brought us together and led us to get married a little less than a year later. This is probably true for you too in one way or another. There are ways you connected with your significant other that drew you together. Something that solidifies your connection.

One of the biggest surprises that came with the birth of our first child was how little we actually got to talk. I mean, we talked but we didn’t talk. Maybe the baby was sleeping or maybe someone was taking a shift of watching him, but most of the time that was filled with all the things that weren’t getting done whether that be a shower, a nap or cleaning up the dishes so that the kitchen didn’t get infested. It seems like spending time talking about things other than our child or managing our schedules was just unthinkable. Not only did we not have the time, but there was no brain space leftover for that kind of talk. There was definitely a price to pay for that lack of connection. We felt it throughout our marriage. The high-stress situations felt even more stressful when we did not feel seen and heard by one another. I felt like my whole purpose was serving this child- to keep him eating and sleeping and learning to do tummy time and make all the right baby sounds. My husband felt like he was only getting the gaps that were left while trying to find his role as a husband and a father in this transition period.

I don’t know if most people get the warning that a new child can be really hard on a marriage, and I’m sure we heard it a time or two before our little one came about, but it was more than we had bargained for.

Luckily those early days don’t last forever and more and more gaps of time became available for us to be husband and wife- interested in one another’s mind and soul and heart again. We became more confident in our roles and increasingly found our new and changing identities and how those worked together. So don’t let me discourage you, our son has been an awesome thing for a marriage in the long run, but when it came time to prepare for our second, we knew that we owe it to ourselves to be intentional about our connection in our time together.

Shouldn’t we save that money for the kids?

When we first talked about a little getaway trip together, it felt selfish and unnecessary. Honestly, we didn’t have a lot of extra money to spend and we felt like any extra we did have should be reserved for the baby and those early months. Add to that the fact that our child has some medical difficulties that will require surgery and looking at those bills is enough to give me a full-blown anxiety attack. However, we highly believe in investments. Whether that’s time, energy or money, we believe that it is up to us to choose how we invest. We decided to be sensible about it, but to take a babymoon together as a non-negotiable. We needed to invest intentionally in our marriage, our connection and our time together. Now that we know how much is required during the days and nights of no sleep and a constantly shifting household, we know that coming together as a couple will pay off more than any item we could buy for our baby.

So we did it – we flew out to California and had a great time. It’s funny how sometimes it just takes getting far away from responsibilities together to sit purposefully with one another. We rented a fun car and drove up and down the coast talking about our dreams, our vision, our values and all of the things that first attracted us to one another. We are able to talk about 2, 5, 10 years ahead and know that we are working together for this shared vision for our lives. We were able to laugh and cry and curse as much as we wanted without fear of a little toddler repeating us. It was good. It was simple. It was invaluable. Not only was it a gift to us, but it felt like a gift to our children as well as they benefited from her parents reinvesting in the family values and vision.

parent vacation

In retrospect, I probably would have done a babymoon with our first child, however, I would not have appreciated it as much because I didn’t know just how precious this time together would become. Again- I knew a baby would change things (everything) but I wasn’t prepared for just how much it would change our daily rhythms, our time, our conversation.

Often parents talk about the guilt they feel around being away from their child(ren). I get it- it’s often times scary and a ton of work to leave the kids with someone else. It’s easier to stay in the day to day rhythms- whether they are healthy or not. We often prioritize a nap or cleaning the house when we DO get those moments to ourselves. Spending money on ourselves instead of buying the cute new shoes for the season or that toy your kid just needs can feel selfish… but in these seasons where our kids need us more than anything- our kids need the safety and joy of the home and one of the most selfless things we can do is turn inward and connect with ourselves and our partners more deeply so that we can offer that value to our homes and families.

Whether it’s a babymoon, a toddlermoon, a back-to-school moon or just a pizza together (just the two of you) after bedtime, may you remember that it was a love and connection that created that little human and it is the love and connection that will help you all stay sane. Take it.