Useful Tuesday: Getting Away

This past weekend Mi.Vida and I went away for a weekend. As in we left our daughter in one place and went, without her, to another place. It was the first time I’d been away from my little girl for more than a few hours since she was born.

I have to admit, I hardly had time to be nervous about leaving Isa for 2.5 days; I was much more nervous that all our recent relationship issues would overshadow our experience, rendering the weekend a disaster. Instead of anticipating how I’d react to the separation from my baby I was hoping this weekend would rekindle things between me and Mi.Vida. And that was probably for the best because the day of our departure I was having a full on panic attack. Talk about separation anxiety.

We were very lucky to be leaving Isa in the most capable hands. She was staying at my parents’ house and my grandmother was in town to offer an extra set of eyes. This made leaving her much easier than it might have been. Of course we were still worried about her, not that she wouldn’t be well taken care of but that she’d miss us and be upset that we were gone. We were also worried we’d have no cell reception and be unreachable during an emergency.

Turned out we didn’t have much cell reception and most of the trip we were unreachable (on our cell phones but we’d given the numbers of where we were staying to my parents). The cell phone black out ended up helping us to be more present with each other and discouraged us from calling every five minutes to make sure everything was okay (it was okay, by the way).

Instead of checking in on Isa we checked in with each other, something we hadn’t done in a long, long time. Over delicious meals and breathtaking vistas we reconnected. We talked about ourselves and our lives and what we love. We laughed and joked and whispered under our breath. It was really and truly like old times.

Who wouldn’t feel better after sharing a meal here?

We only talked about Isa a little (and I abstained from watching movies of her on my iPhone until the end of the last day). Mostly we talked about silly things, we people watched and made comments, we marveled at the gorgeous surrounds and our good fortune. We spent hours deciding where we’d eat next. We had sex. We had sex again. We got drunk without having to worry about being responsible for someone when we got home. We warded off hangovers with preemptively purchased water and ibuprofen. We listened to good music and ordered drinks. We chatted with friends. We enjoyed ourselves immensely.

I don’t have to tell you that Mi.Vida and I have been struggling lately. It’s been a long time since we’ve really been happy around each other. When, before the trip even started, we realized we’d recycled a birthday card (my birthday card) with $100 cash still tucked inside I was sure the weekend was ruined. But we forged ahead despite the disappointment and managed to have a fantastic time. I think we both realized that if we didn’t, things might get really, really bad.

Even if you’re not experiencing marital troubles, a weekend away can be strong and positive medicine. Escaping from the every day trials and tribulations to reconnect with each other can do wonders for a couple. No matter what is going on at home, getting away is a wonderful thing.

Now I know not everyone has family near by willing and able to watch their kids but there might be other ways to make a weekend away a reality. If family is far away maybe you could go to them and then leave your children in their care for 48 hours while you slip away to a neighboring area. Maybe your parents can come to you for a week and while they are there you can leave for a night or two. Maybe a friend could take your little one(s) for a weekend if you promise to do the same for them some day. It might take some imagination and planning but if it’s all possible, it’s worth attempting. A weekend away can be just what the doctor ordered.

Coming home on Sunday night I was so eager to see my daughter. I even hoped she’d get up in the night so I could be with her. When she roused me at 6am I was ecstatic to see her and she seemed pretty happy to see me too. I’m sure this week I will be hugging her a little tighter and lingering longer when I swoop in for a kiss.

And while I’m sure the carefree attitude that surrounded us on our weekend away will quickly dissipate, I have faith that the healing that took place will remain.

6 responses

  1. I’m so very jealous and so very happy for you guys. It sounds perfectly wonderful to get away like that.

    We have a strenuous marriage. We’re working on it but it’s extremely slow going. I’d love to have a getaway or even just dinner out but Nav doesn’t want to not be with our boys. We had 4 weeks of family and he didn’t trust them to watch A&B for even 2h so we could go out. Our longest alone time was 20m when we needed to pick up his car. And don’t even bring up a stranger watching them. Not going to happen. My number one reason to want to go back home for the boy’s birthday is so there will be family (an even 2 on 2) so we can go out.

    • I’m sorry that Nav isn’t open to having someone watch the boys. That would drive me crazy. I hope that you can sneak away at least for a meal when you visit family for their birthday. And I hope that some day he realizes they will be fine with family while you take a weekend away. It really is amazing what it can do for a relationship. I hope you can make it happen.

  2. Sometimes even just some quiet time together while the baby is in a completely different room is a good elixir, too. Last night, instead of putting Arlo to bed in our bed, I put him down in his crib, and N and I watched a movie in bed and ate maple bacon ice dream together. It was as good as any date we’ve had, and Arlo was just a few steps away. It was really, really nice.

    Glad you two made the effort to spend time away and concentrate on having a good time together. I hope it was as restorative as you both needed it to be. 🙂

    P.S. We also ate at Nepenthe during that road trip! 🙂 (And hit up the Henry Miller Memorial Library, which I think is not too far from there….)

    • The music festival we were going to was at the Henry Miller Library. We spent all day Sunday sitting in that grove watching bands. It was great.

      I can imagine that if you’re co-sleeping just having some time with baby in the other room would be really strong medicine! I wonder if part of the reason that trip was so good for us was because we couldn’t get online. No blogs or Twitter distracting me! That was hard at first but then so, so good. Maybe we should institute no internet days at home sometimes!

  3. It would be impossible for us to get away, but this is a good reminder that we need to reinstitute our “date nights.” So often we sit in the same room without talking ,each of us on our own laptops, doing something different.

    I’m glad that you and your love got a chance to reconnect and to be attentive to each other for a change.

    • I’m curious, why would it be impossible for you to get away? No family in the area? N is still too small?

      Date nights are great and I think we’re going to try to institute “no technology” nights, though I’ll believe it when I see it.

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