The idea of it was at first foreign – leave my child to go on a separate trip?! Who does this? Why? I can’t leave him! Will he be ok?
It was hard to imagine being away from our son for more than 10 hours. That’s the most we’ve been away as working parents. Just the thought gave me anxiety. However, the opportunity presented itself during our family vacation. We could take a side trip tomorrow and safely leave him with family. It was a whooping 4 nights away. I was hesitant, but agreed to it anyway.
It turns out, it was a great decision! Yes, we missed our son immensely. However, we were able to focus on ourselves a bit and recharge. I didn’t become a major tourist, nor did we try to pack in tons of activities during our time away. Instead, we choose a few activities that helped us feel like ourselves again.
Self care is important, and we often neglected ourselves to make sure our son was taken care of. By taking this trip, we realized that we needed more “us” time than we allowed ourselves. A simple activity even once a day did wonders. It’s hard to find the time as first time parents, but the concept is no less important.
So what did I do? Simple things!
- Read books – I mean honestly, who has time read? I was able to finish two!
- Spent time on the beach – no explanation needed!
- Quality time with the hubby – Usually, we are just too tired to even talk! Working parent life is tough, and any free time was focused on the baby. So, it was nice to revisit our couple status.
- Reflective time – I’d sit on the porch, stare at the ocean and just sit. It was nice not having any obligations and worries – just being thankful for what we have.
- SLEEP! – I forgot what a full night’s rest felt like. It was glorious.
All in all, it was actually a great trip. I didn’t worry about the baby as much as I thought I would. I came back refreshed and happy. It was also great for our son – he spent quality time getting to know his family and became really close to them. Win!
We can’t always have trips like this, but we take what we can get. It was a reminder that parents need time too. It doesn’t have to be a long vacation – even a few hours can help! I’ll be thinking about how I can incorporate some us time in the future !