We’ve all read the studies and articles, some written by qualified relationship therapists, expressing how important date nights are with your spouse. We know we should make more of an effort to make the connection as a couple a bigger priority…and yet, for the majority of us, date night becomes something we keep “meaning to do”.
With life’s commitments and child-centric family obligations, too often it can seem like you and your spouse are simply business partners (running a daycare), or even just roommates who happen to share the same bed. When you have young children, quality time as a couple seems to vanish and often becomes something of a distant memory. One you look back on with fondness. It’s almost as if those memories come from another life altogether.
(In reality, they do…it’s called “life before kids”!)
Ways to Reconnect
If a weekly date night seems next to impossible to fit into an already overly packed family schedule (damn those extra-curricular evening activities), then book a vacation for just you and your spouse. A week-long vacation or more is always ideal, but when reality bites, even a mini-trip is great!
Getting away for a day or two with your spouse is a chance to see the person you fell in love with all those years ago. And not just as the person who, once again, forgot to pick up milk on the way home.
Sure you could take the kids with you, but let’s be honest, going away with your children in tow equals same stuff, different sink.
Let’s look at the benefits of going away with just your spouse.
14 Reasons Why You Should Vacation Without Your Kids
#1: It is a break from “doing”
There’s no to-do list hanging over your head, no demands from everyday life, no needy mouths to feed (except your own), no commitments, no errands to run…absolutely nothing, but exactly what you wish to do.
#2: It relieves stress
Having a break from the pressing concerns of everyday life allows you to actually enjoy the time you are having with one another. It is amazing how much less stressed one is when there are no expectations hanging over our head.
#3: It allows you to have some fun
When “quality time” together is sitting next to one another on the couch watching your favourite show on Netflix, it’s time for a change. Yes watching TV is entertaining, but it isn’t necessarily exciting. Getting away for a few days allows you to gain new experiences, create new memories, and most of all have some fun!
#4: You can unleash your ‘wild’ side
Have you been wanting to bungee jump? Partake in a wine tour? Set off into the sunset on kayaks? Well, now you can! Even if your idea of a good time is heading into a local novelty store for some new, er… tools, no matter how you look at it, being ‘wild’ is best done without kids around!
#5: It helps bring back the romance
Vacationing without your kids is a perfect way to rekindle or strengthen the romantic seed. Not to mention, time alone ensures some much-needed privacy. No longer do you have to worry about the voice in the back of your mind that’s always whispering “what if the kids walk in?”.
#6: You can communicate without interruption
Date nights are wonderful for this as well, but imagine having it for a whole weekend or week. It’s pure bliss!
#7: You can think your own thoughts
Clearly a novel concept! Seriously though, parenting often means answering a plethora of questions about everything from the location of a lost toothbrush to why the sky is blue. Often your own thoughts get drowned out. It can be very liberating being able to think about what you want when you want to.
#8: You have the ability to find some peace
It can be so refreshing being able to just sit and stare at a piece of art, a stunning sunset, the lapping waves, or the drizzling rain on a windowpane for as long as you please. Especially when you realize there will be no one tugging on your arm while whining, “I’m bored, can we go yet”. Except, maybe, if you have a spouse who is like this too.
#9: You gain back your own identity
Oddly enough, parents have their own wants, needs, and passions – and those desires don’t all revolve around coaching little league. Weird, I know. Vacationing without your kids allows you a little time (even if only for a few days) to gain back some of your identity that was lost after the kids were born.
#10: You get to hear your own name
And I mean your REAL name – I can’t stress enough how wonderful it is not hearing “Mom!” (or “Mooooommmmmyyyyy!!!”) for a few days. I don’t know what it’s like in your own family, but even my husband refers to me as ‘Mom’ when the kids are around. So every once in a while it is a welcome change to hear only my real name. Yes, the one your Mama gave you.
#11: It teaches us to let go
As parents, we know what’s best for our kids, right? As martyr-like as it sounds, we too often think that no one can look after them as well as we can. Giving the grandparents or a trusted caregiver a chance to spoil your kids (rotten) can be good for all involved. Yes, even if that means your kids will eat nothing but pancakes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, or stay up WAY past their bedtime. You have to remember, it is only for a few days.
#12: It makes you a better parent
Having a few days to yourself re-energizes you. It allows you to refuel and gain back some of the patience that was lost back at tantrum number 35 of the week.
#13: It makes you a better partner
Nothing cultivates a relationship more than being each other’s everything. Next to impossible when you are a parent, but more than doable when you make the effort to spend some time alone. The sad reality is if you don’t nurture your relationship every once in a while, you may not have one once the children leave the coop.
#14: The reunion is grand
I am not just talking about the reunion between you and your spouse (although that is great too!), but also the reunion with your children upon your return. When you come home from your time away you will find that your children are bursting at the seams to see you. And, you know, sometimes it just feels good to be missed!
So…have I convinced you to vacation without your kids?
Just do it! I promise you won’t regret it!
Have you ever taken a vacation without your kids? If so, for how long? Would you do it again?
Let me know in the comments below.
For some great ideas on where to go, make sure to check out this list: Off the Rock
If you need a reminder of this list, feel free to save this image on Pinterest for future reference.