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A Weekend Away Keeps the Doldrums at Bay

Leaving the Kids is Tough, but Necessary

I was so giddy when I told my girlfriend about my planned getaway with hubby that I didn’t notice my middle son, N, listening to the conversation.

When I got off the phone, he asked, “Mommy, don’t you love us anymore?”

“What?” I asked thrown by the question.

“You said you couldn’t wait to leave,” he said, blinking back tears.

“Of course, I love you,” I assured him. “But Mommy and Daddy need some couple time.”

I’m not surprised he didn’t understand. For years I didn’t either.

Whenever Fred proposed us taking a trip without the kids, I was never game. I always had an excuse. As long as we had date nights, I would argue, that was enough. I had no idea what I was missing until last year when Fred finally succeeded in dragging me to Dallas for two nights.

The whole way there I was dogged by what ifs: what if the toddler missed me, what if the kids couldn’t sleep, what if they got sick? The reality is some of that did happen (they did miss me and they didn’t sleep great while we were gone). But more important was what happened between hubby and me. We got to spend two whole days and nights devoted to each other.

Let me just say, we almost didn’t come home.

This year we couldn’t wait to celebrate our anniversary with another trip sans kiddos. We left the laptops at home and spent three nights in Vegas, but the truth is it didn’t matter where we went as long as we were together (In fact, next year we may stay home and just send the kids to their grandparents for a few days).

I’m so thankful that I finally realized that Fred and I need some uninterrupted time together to maintain and reinvigorate the connection between us. I just hope that one day when my kids are finally married with children of their own that they finally get why Mommy and Daddy need to get away.

- Kim

Reconnecting with a Romantic Rendezvous

When you’ve been married as long as we have, it’s easy to get into a rut. Between raising three kids, managing the household, and keeping other social commitments there is often little time left for quiet intimate moments.

To battle the monotony and rekindle our romantic flames, Kim and I began scheduling at least two getaways each year (in addition to our periodic dates) – one in the spring and one in the fall.

Our spring trip is typically the same each year. We book a hotel in downtown Houston for the weekend and emerge only to eat dinner, attend a Houston Rockets basketball game, and take stroll through the park.

Last year we added the fall trip and it was the first time we ventured outside of our hometown. We had some initial trepidation about leaving the kids with a sitter for the whole weekend. Although we were only 200 miles away, it took a full day for us to really relax and enjoy each other’s company without worrying about the children. By Sunday afternoon, we wondered where the time had gone and wished that our romantic rendezvous could last forever.

This year we upped the ante and took a trip to Las Vegas. Thankfully, my parents were able to stay at our house to watch the kids so we could enjoy ourselves with no worries.

We were able to enjoy nice restaurants, attend a comedy show, and renew our wedding vows. We returned home filled with endorphins and glowing like a couple of newlyweds.

I recommend that all couples find a way to spend time alone. Sometimes a candlelit meal in the living room after the kids are asleep is all it takes to rekindle the fire.

- Fred

Question: What are some ways that you reconnect with your spouse?

  • Amber

    It’s great you make time to get away with out kids. It is so important for a married couple. And a great example to your kids. My hubby and I were able to get away for a weekend a few years back and it was great. We only had one child then but it stil was very important time we needed.
    Now with the three little ones and a tight budget we have not been able to get away, but we really try to make sure we get some time alone after the kids go to bed each night.
    Great post.

    • Anonymous

      So funny you should mention the time alone once the kids go to bed. My 9 year old asked me why we needed to go on a trip when we got those hours after they all were in bed every night. I explained to her – in the evenings there are still chores to do and computers, etc. to distract us from each other.

      Whether they cost us a little (a Priceline hotel room) or a lot (3 nights in Vegas), those overnight or weekend trips have been huge for our marriage.

  • http://bloggingeverafter.wordpress.com/ {JeLisa} @ Blogging Ever After

    Aww, good for you guys! :)

    My husband and I don’t have kids just yet {though we’ll have one soon!}, so it’s really easy for us to devote weekends to each other now. Date Days are pretty consistent for us, and we escape the city and enjoy each other for hours on end. When we can get away and road trip somewhere, it’s even better. What I love about it is it deepens our friendship to experience something new or share something we really love together.

    • Anonymous

      When Fred & I were young marrieds we rarely did weekend getaways. Now that we have 3 kids, I’m thinking “What on earth were we thinking?!?”

      Good for you all that you’re enjoying your time as newlyweds.

  • Yakini @ThePrissyMommy

    You are right, it’s very necessary!
    My husband is still trying to convince me of this…. but I’m still such a new mom (two kids under the age of 2 year old) so I think I have to evolve to this place. I realize that we DO need it though. But baby steps for me – haha!!!

    • http://www.mochadad.com mochadad

      It’s not easy to take trips when the kids are young. As they get a little bigger, you will find that it is easier to get away for a few days. You and your spouse will be refreshed by the time alone.

  • http://safebeauty.blogspot.com Lynn

    Kim – reading that you almost didn’t come home had me almost in tears. I know what you mean. My kids are at the ages that they want to travel with us everywhere and don’t understand the concept of “Mommy and Daddy time”. My 5 year old does however ask us on our date nights “Are you leaving for some peace and quiet?” (At least he knows what he robs us of on a daily basis… ;o)
    Fred – the delirium I would be feeling of a candlelit dinner AFTER the kids are asleep would be enough to ruin the whole meal for me. lol. But a nice dinner would be really nice, so I completely agree.

    My best, Lynn
    *great post!

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