Monday, June 10, 2013

Traveling WITHOUT Toddler

As a counterpart to my post about traveling with a toddler, I thought I should write about a recent trip my husband and I took without our son.  It was our first weekend away from him, ever.  Without family closeby and because I nursed over a year, it just wasn't easy to be gone for any extended amount of time.  And honestly - although I often fantasized about sleeping in until noon - we never really felt like we "needed" it.  But we did it, a three-night whirlwind weekend in NYC, and it was pretty awesome.  Our nanny stayed with Noah (I highly recommend this if it's an option, no offense to grandparents!).  Here are some things I didn't miss while being away, and some things I did miss. 

Didn't miss....
- Being on an airplane with a toddler.  Remember when you could have a conversation with your spouse, read magazines, slowly sip your beverage (or even order one for that matter) and drift off to sleep on flights???  Oh man, was this one great.  Maybe a vacation in of itself.

- The morning wake-up call.  Unfortunately, I don't think I'll ever physically be able to sleep until noon (or even 10) again, but waking up a few times and going back to sleep, and then lazily starting the day without someone immediately asking for waffles is pretty damn nice. 

- Being high-maintenance.  My husband and I are low-maintenance travelers.  We never used to check bags, we are adept at walking or using public trans in whatever city/country we're in and can fly by the seat of our pants on trips.  Being away reminded me how high maintenance even the lowest maintenance people are forced to be when there are kids involved.  You're working around nap/bedtime schedules, you are looking for particular types of restaurants, carting a stroller, packing snacks and sippies before you can leave, and you can't just be outside all day long.  A couple days of simplicity were highly rejuvenating.

- Being regularly interrupted.  To go 2.5 entire days of talking to your spouse, to friends, to a waiter, to ANYONE without at the same time simultaneously saying "please put that down", handing a little someone a firetruck, and cutting a banana?  Yea, pretty amazing.

- My toddler.  Obviously!  I didn't cry when we left and I was happy for the time off, but damn can those rugrats invade your mind.  I can't tell you how many times we said "Noah would really love this" or "we should bring him here when he's older."  No matter what your intentions are, you spend much of your time talking about your little ones.  We spend A LOT of time laughing at him behind his back, fantasizing about his future, and wondering where he gets his smartass attitude (must be Adam, right).  Makes me miss his stinky butt when I'm away from him.

- The morning wake-up call.  As much I appreciated waking up later and lazily starting our day, is there anything sweeter than waking up to the sound  of "mama?  daddy?"  over the baby monitor?  Sorry, there isn't.  So I missed that, and I missed walking into his room and seeing his sleepy smiley face and hearing him say "hi mama" .  I didn't miss him immediately thereafter asking for milk, daddy, Mickey and breakfast (in that order), but all the stuff before it, yeah, I missed all that.

- The afternoon nap.  So it's great being able to be out all day and not tied to a nap schedule, but then you know what you miss?  Your own downtime/nap!  Turns out I've gotten rather used to being "forced" into rest-time on the weekends.  We were exhausted by dinner.

- Family time.  On the weekends, we 3 hardly leave each other's sides.  We play in bed in the mornings, we eat our meals together, we go out, we run errands together, we take afternoon naps.  We try not to have too many weekends in a row w/ external plans/parties/responsibilities because we need "us" time.  This how we've kept a life that is inherently more high maintenance as simple as possible.  So an entire weekend without one member of our threesome feels...unnatural.  I feel the same way when Adam is busy with work and Noah and I are on our own.  We're happiest when we're all together.  I still think you absolutely must have adequate one-on-one time with your spouse, whether it's making the most out of your evenings, making an effort to do date nights and trips like this are great for the relationship.  But do we need an entire weekend very often?  Nah.  I'm thinking that's a good thing.

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