I can’t remember the last time I had an uninterrupted conversation with my husband. My kids are 4 and 6 years old, so I’m guessing it was sometime around 2011. My 6-year-old has learned appropriate conversation etiquette and often stands by quietly until the conversation reaches a pause before jumping in. Not my 4-year-old though. Despite constant reminders, that kid will annihilate any conversation, mid-sentence. He gives no shits. “Mom, mom, mom, mommy, mooooommm!”
If you haven’t interrupted your own train of thought by shouting, OHMYGAWD WHAT?! then you probably don’t have small children. It’s hard to have a meaningful conversation with children around. If they aren’t interrupting you every 20 seconds, they are likely mentally recording everything you say, and will later use your words to embarrass you in a public square. Yay, kids. *sarcasm font*
In fact, it’s not just conversations with my husband that I miss, I miss a lot of the things we used to do together before we became parents. We don’t intentionally neglect ourselves and our relationship, but kids have a way of taking over, and before you know it, years have passed. Sometimes we forget to be a couple, because we’re too busy being parents.
Now listen, I’m not saying I don’t love my kids, because I do. They are my moon and stars, and all that other sappy parent-y bullshit. But sometimes I prefer to love them from a distance, and that distance is them at Grandma’s house and the hubs and I living our best life as a couple. What’s more relaxing than hopping on a plane and spending a few days in an exotic location—eating local cuisine and exploring the culture? Well, nothing, but I don’t have that kind of vacation leave saved up, and also, I can’t afford that shit.
But you know what I can afford—a few nights at a hotel in a neighboring town, and a basket of breadsticks from the Olive Garden! Friends, I would like to introduce you to the low-budget getaway of your dreams. (No, I’m not kidding, just stay with me.)
Here’s how it works: First, you need to ditch the kids. Second, pick a nearby area with great entertainment. Maybe it’s an hour away, maybe it’s across town, find something that speaks to your soul, and then book a hotel room. The hotel room is really key here, and let me tell you why. You need to get away from your house. You’re attempting to fake a vacation here, and staying in your actual home makes it feel less like a vacation and more like a day off. It’s important to leave home so you aren’t compelled to started working on laundry or other nonsense. Throw caution to the wind and responsibility out the window! (At least for a few a days or so. You’re gonna have to pick that shit back up when you get home.)
Whether it’s 24 hours or a few days, spend this time with your partner doing all the things you love. Find a good book and lounge poolside, catch a movie that isn’t animated, eat at a swanky restaurant, or have all the sex. Basically, pretend like you don’t have children, and spend a few days just being a couple. Trust me, you will not be sorry.
This works, because everyone loves vacations. You don’t have to cook, you don’t have to clean, and you get to relax. Vacations are a great way to get out of our daily routine and recharge, but kids and travel tend to complicate things, so just take them right out of the equation. I know, it’s genius. Just grab your partner and go. Hell, maybe even leave your partner at home and make this a solo staycay! My fellow introverts know what I’m talking about!
Next time Grandma offers to keep the kids, let her. Book a hotel room, toss some clothes in a bag, and do your thang.