A few months ago, I came across a blog post about how necessary it is if you are married with children to take a yearly trip without kids. Although I am very much an advocate of date nights, I was a little put off by the article because to me the author’s attitude was you must do this to have a successful marriage. She shared that you should get away for at least 5 days or more to really connect. That’s not necessarily practical for everyone, especially those with young children. Some have childcare readily available to them while others do not. Plus traveling can get pricey.
My husband and I are very fortunate to have family and close friends nearby that are willing to watch our children while we’ve traveled on short trips from overnight to a couple of days. To celebrate our 10 year anniversary, aside from a steak dinner the night of, we decided to go away for 4 nights. This is the longest we’ve ever left our kids.
I was a little apprehensive about leaving our kiddos, ages 4 & 21 months for that long, not because of how they would handle it (they did awesomely) but more for myself. Would I be okay having that much time away from them? The last trip my husband and I went on was a two-night stay in St. Louis to see a comedy show this past April. We both felt like we needed one more night to really enjoy our trip. (Not to mention the room next to us had their tv on full blast all night long. I came home feeling just as tired as when I left.)
Turns out 4 nights was the right amount of time for us. We slept in until 10 in the morning, hung out by the pool, fell asleep by the pool, went to a driving range nearby and really relaxed – just the two of us. When my husband and I have traveled in the past – family vacation or otherwise – I always tend to want to do a bunch of activities and then we end up leaving our vacation exhausted, in need of another vacation.😴 This time was the opposite. We stayed at our resort only leaving a few times. It was nice to just enjoy each other’s company and have conversations without being interrupted by “Mommy!!!” and “Daddy!!!”. We were just Jason and Jasmine. Not that we don’t like being parents, we love it and it’s a privilege but we also love being husband and wife.
While we were on our vacation, we met a married couple at the pool who lived in the area. We briefly talked to them about having kids and just needing time to ourselves. They had 4 kids ages ranging between 17 and 28. Then the wife, I wish I knew her name, said the following to me:
The best relationship advice I’ve ever gotten is to put God first, then my husband, and then my kids.
🙌🏿 Amen to that! One day my kids will be grown up and it’ll be just the two of us again. I don’t want to get so invested in my kids that when they leave the house, I look at my husband as a stranger. Our marriage takes priority over them. Of course we put their well being and what is in their best interest into our decision making but we are committed to our relationship.
Is going on vacation alone the only to achieve this? Definitely not. Although a vacation is a more concentrated time, going out on a date night or spending quality time together after the kids go to bed contributes to this as well. Taking time away allowed us to just enjoy each other’s company and remember why we fell in love in the first place but at the end of our trip we were ready to get back to our sweet kiddos.❤️