Until this weekend, my husband and I had not spent a night away from our children (simultaneously) in almost 3 years. Some of you will gasp in disbelief, while others will nod knowingly. It certainly wasn't intentional. Before we had kids I swore we would still go on trips and have frequent date nights and nothing would really change (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA).
After our oldest son was born, my husband started asking when we might be able to leave him with a grandparent or friend so we could go out of town together. At the time, we were having major issues with his sleep, and in my mind it wasn't fair to ask someone else to deal with him at night when we couldn't even deal with him.
Once the sleep issues were more or less resolved, my excuse was that we didn't have family in town who knew him well enough, so I wanted to wait until he was more verbal. But even after my sister and her husband moved to Minneapolis, and he became VERY verbal, I couldn't pull the trigger. And by then I was pregnant again, so I didn't want to spend money on a trip with medical bills looming in the near future (or so I told myself).
After our second was born this past May, my husband announced we were going on a trip in late September to celebrate our five-year anniversary. He had already booked my mother and sister to watch both boys for two nights. We would drive several hours away to an adults-only resort in Wisconsin, and it wasn't up for debate.
My first instinct was to refuse. The baby wouldn't even be four months old for Christ sake!!!! I would have to pump a ton of milk (before AND during) and who knew how bottle feeding would go. What if someone got sick? What if our 2-year-old burned the house down? What if no one slept and everyone went insane? It was just so much easier to stay home.
But despite my anxiety-driven objections, I knew he was right. We were already on our second baby and the "right" time had never come. My mother and sister are perfectly capable of managing two young children for 48 hours. Even MY children. If no one slept (which isn't even physically possible) everyone would still survive.
So I reluctantly agreed. For a few months, I dealt with my anxiety by obsessively stockpiling milk in our deep freezer. More than 100 ounces for 48 hours, just in case the baby suddenly weighed 65 pounds at 4 months. The morning we left, I wrote down an extensive how-to regarding bottle feeding with frozen breast milk and did my best to map out the baby's schedule. I threw 47 outfits into a suitcase (while forgetting to bring a sweatshirt or jacket) and gave myself a migraine trying to get out the door.
But once we were in the car, I immediately felt better. Things were out of my hands, and I couldn't do anything else to prepare. We arrived at the resort and it was as picturesque as we had hoped. Our cabin was just a short walk from kayaking and hiking. Each night we got dressed up and walked to the Inn for a gourmet meal and copious amounts of wine.
Despite a momentary freakout when I realized we didn't have great cell service, I didn't really worry about the kids while we were gone. And as you may have guessed, no one died. In fact, our toddler didn't even seem to notice we were gone (although he did save up all of his choicest behavior for the day we returned). The baby had a few moments where he wasn't loving the bottle, but the three adults at our house were able to figure it out. My sister didn't get a ton of sleep, but she got enough to function.
So next time my husband offers to take me on a relaxing vacation without our children, I'm going to say HELL YES and start packing. After all, they likely won't remember (or even care) we are gone.