That title is a little dramatic. But being as we are a pretty frugal family of 6, it is not often (like, reaaaaaally not often) that we go on vacations. Especially without children in tow.
It’s not that we don’t love spending time with them, we’ve basically shaped our lives so that we can spend as much time with them as possible (admittedly, and I’m not super happy about this; my husband more than myself during this season of life and my business career).
You know how sometimes people say things to you that stick? Here are a couple of things that have resonated over the years.
“Take two vacations a year. One with kids, and one without. Keep having a regular date night.”
– Peggy Hayes, CNM, as she was giving us discharge instructions after having our first daughter in March 2008. She delivered all four of my kiddos, my niece and nephews, saw me regularly over the past decade and literally saved my life… twice.
So why haven’t we listened to her!? We have failed on all but one of those items, mostly out of… exhaustion? Path of least resistance? Occasional indifference? I don’t know. But I do know that there was a period of time that we barely made it out for an annual dinner. Then we increased it to anniversary and Christmas shopping. We’re getting better. I think marriage can be hard for a lot of reasons, parenting being a HUGE one of them Quote from another Mom in my life, “It’s not always roses and unicorns.” Money being another. It’s hard to budget to go out; especially when you’re making hard decisions like working from home and being self employed. But I think even if you kind of don’t want to sometimes, you should SCHEDULE (yes I said it) time with your partner.
I’m 10 years in. I feel qualified to offer unsolicited advice. 😉
So for my husband’s birthday, with the help of amazing Aunties and Grandparents, (we love you!) we snuck away for the weekend. I won’t pretend that I sobbed in the car as we waved goodbye. Nope. I needed a break and I needed it bad. We hopped in the car with minimal belongings (very minimal- I would have been very ill prepared in the event of disaster) and went about as fast as the speed limit would allow as far away as we could get.
Our destination ended up being a remote corner of the Pacific Northwest, towards the Canadian border. Our goal was to interact with as few people as possible (lol, not really but I think we both had similar feelings of discomfort the second we hit populated towns of Spokane, and then later on in our loop Leavenworth). I enjoyed the few cars on the road and put 8 hrs in behind the wheel on the first day.
(PS: I was being super lazy… and also was in such a hurry to get out the door that I didn’t even pack a coat) so most of these were taken from my warm little perch in the passenger seat. I.e. Through the windshield. Yet I claim to be a professional lololol).
We drove through snowy mountain passes. Desolate towns, and orchards with the most beautiful apples hanging from their limbs.
Right before we went around this corner, I said, “Now I just need to find a broken down old cabin with some snow on it; it will make the perfect Christmas Card.”
And there she was. A snowy little old log cabin in the woods. I made him stop for that one. It required a trip out of the car. With or without a jacket.
We were getting tired and hungry at this point and it seemed like nothing was open. So we forged on.
We ended up staying the night in Ellensburg and having a great steak dinner before heading home the next day and driving through some pretty cool storm clouds in the windmill region of the Columbia River Gorge.
I had a great time. We had zero plans, no destinations really in mind or set in stone. It was freeing. It made me remember why we, at the core of our family are a really good pair. We could finally talk without interruption, or side listening.
I think all couples and especially parents should do this. We definitely hope go adventuring again soon!