Paradise Found

I think back to how I thought I was going to parent, how I thought things would be.
Lauren Giles
May 9, 2022
Paradise Found


Before I had kids, I had a laundry list of things that I would “always” or “never” do. You too? It is pretty laughable when I think back to how I thought I was going to parent, how I thought things would be.

When I have kids they will never act like that.”
“When I have kids they will never sleep in my bed.”
“When I have kids, I will always….”

Catch my drift?

One thing that I was adamant about? Making sure my relationship with my husband wouldn’t change, that we would always find time for each other, we would have at least a few date nights a month, go on vacations without the kids, etc. etc. etc.  Yet last month, we found ourselves on our very first vacation ALONE since having kids (over five years ago). In fact, our last vacation without kids was before I was even pregnant with our first – nearly six years ago.

This left me wondering… How did we let this happen?

Somewhere between pregnancy, nursing babies, getting babies to sleep through the night, mounds of laundry, work, getting dinner on the table, kids bathed and to bed each night, we managed to see six years fly by. Sure, we have taken family vacations. But let’s be honest – going out to dinner, clearing the table of silverware and anything that could be used as an object to launch into the air, child proofing the house or hotel room you’re staying in and waking up before the sun comes up is not really the definition of relaxation.

In the days leading up to our trip, I was anxious. I didn’t want to leave. I felt guilty. And I found myself finding anything to argue about with my husband, probably from the stress of leaving.  I almost said, “Let’s just bring the kids with us.”

But we did it. It often feels like my husband and I are ships passing in the night with our work schedules. As soon as those wheels were up on the plane though, I was in full vacation mode, realizing it was just me and him for five days and so excited to catch up on life, on our future plans and making new memories.

Last month, it was just us…
 On our own schedule.
 Dinner at leisure.
 Zip lining. 
Sitting quietly on the beach.
 Watching the sunset.

Last week, we vowed we would take a vacation, just the two of us, every year. Even if is just a weekend away or someplace nearby. We will make time for us. 

Feeling refreshed upon our return, we were, of course, excited to see the kids. But what I wasn’t expecting was how that time away made me a more patient mom and a more appreciative wife. I came back with a new perspective. A new appreciation for my husband. And excited to start planning our next getaway! Whether we stay at home and send the kids to my parents for a weekend, go somewhere local for a few days, or save up to take a bigger vacation, this will be a priority for us.

Before kids, it was just us. And I know that in a blink of an eye, the kids will be out of the house and it will just be us again. Before our roles as Mom and Dad, we were husband and wife, and I never want to lose that bond.

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