Or as Claire on Modern Family calls it “A business trip.”
We used to go on an annual vacation and it’s been a couple of years now so we are way past due.
The tradition started when our oldest was five months old. Yes, you read that right. He was five months old. And we had to get away. Not that we didn’t love our precious baby, but, well … we thought a break was in order.
And what did we get for leaving our angel? A horrifying flu the likes of which we’d never had before or since. Fever, chills, coughing … the whole nine yards. Nice. God’s way of saying, “You want a break from your precious miracle? Well, I am going to make your trip miserable. Take that!!”
Every year since then we have ducked away. The hardest part, naturally, is finding someone to watch the kids.
We have run the gamut … our absolute favorite was a gal we privately called “Nanny to the Stars” because she had nannied for a local basketball player and TV personality, and that’s as bright as the star power gets in our town. We came home at midnight and she was alphabetizing our videos. She had also organized the linen closet and the kids’ closets. I will admit she made me feel a bit shamed because *I* can’t find time to do those things … how did she?
For several years running we had our wonderful regular sitter … who would take time off from her real nannying job to take care of my kids. Though she is also an amazing caterer, she is not a huge fan of feeding the kids apparently, as she took them out for the majority of meals. We would leave money for fun, and money for emergencies, and would come home to three dimes and a penny of change. I guess she figured if we were eating out, so could they.
In a pinch one year we called the nanny service and got a sight-unseen nanny. She did great, having only met my kids for one four-hour Saturday evening stint so I could get a good look at her. And everyone was still alive when we got home.
And that’s really the key to a good child care provider. Will your child still be alive? Unless you have Nanny to the Stars, your house will probably not be in the shape you’d hoped, but hopefully it … and the kids … are still standing. If you really want to go away, sometimes you have to set the bar low.
I am just so grateful that I am past the choke-on-a-marble/topple-down-the-stairs/drown-in-the-tub stages. Now life is just about being one big taxi service and I am delighted that my mother in law has volunteered to fill in as chief lunch packer/taxi driver.
Because the truth is…we not only deserve to get away but we SHOULD get away. I know there are people who literally couldn’t bear to leave their kids, but it’s important to realize that you and your spouse were a “family” before you had kids, and ideally, still will be when the kids are gone.
You miss your kids so much it hurts on the flight out … and the flight back is physically painful because you want to get back and see them sooo bad. But the times in between?! You only think of them when you see families leaving the restaurant at 8, as you are just coming in. Or watching siblings maul each other on the beach, or beg for ice cream or more sand castle building. As you sit there and blissfully read your book.
Furthermore, if you don’t go away, do you know what you really rob yourself of?! The look on your kids’ faces when you walk back in the door. The glow fades fast, but for one glorious instant you are the most amazing person who ever walked this earth as they catch sight of you coming home.
Yes, you are loved. Yes, you are appreciated. Yes, you are missed. And sometimes it’s good for everyone to realize that!