Here's the thing, when you have kids you want to show them the world, but the reality is sometimes you need a little space- and so do they. Simon and I are heading to Europe next Saturday (eeeppp!!!!) and we are going baby free!
Ive never been to Europe, and whilst living where we are (remote Queensland) we (I) decided Europe was going to be our big adventure. Being teachers, we can only go for a longer period of time in December which is the European winter. Originally we were taking Wylie without a doubt. We knew this would mean extra air fare as he is now 3, and buying multiple amounts of warm clothes etc. When we told my parents it was my dad who said, why would. you take him? His exact words were "He will only be a handbrake,". At first I was like, no we will be fineeee. We show him snow and endless joy. Then mum and dad offered to take him for the twenty days we'll be gone. Mum and dad pointed out the obvious reasons why it would be better for him to stay, and in the end I was totally agreeable. Here is why:
- Wylie is too young to ever remember this.
- It would limit where we would go, how long we could stay and what we could do.
- We can't afford to take a nanny or babysitter, or even pay for one of our parents to come.
- Wylie gets to spend time with his grandparents who (because of where we live) he barely gets to see.
- Simon and I get to have our honeymoon, two years later.
Now don't get me wrong, having Wylie is the BEST thing ever, but any parent would agree it is so hard sometimes, and even the idea of a flight without him sends a thrill down my body all the way to my toes!
My parents have taken to grandparenthood like a duck to water and are so keen to have him, as well as Simons parents. They have arranged to share him over the break and are super excited to have him. I think it's important for Wylie to spend time with his grandparents without us. He is very accustomed to it being just mum and dad all the time and when other people are around he can be very shy or reluctant to leave our sides. This will be such a special time for them all to connect and deepen their bond.
taking time to be a couple
The last time Simon and I went on a holiday, just the two of us, was America and Mexico in 2013. If you can travel with someone, you know they're the one! Simon and I travel pretty seamlessly together. He has travelled a lot over the years with his bands, and I always feel super comfortable and safe with him. Since having Wylie this will be our first trip alone, so I am super keen to embrace the time together and be together as husband and wife, not mum and dad.
Okay, I know when most people go to Europe its for at least six weeks, this was never going to happen for us, I could never leave him for that long. We are going for 20 days and to be honest, the thought of not being there for 20 days of his life makes my heart tighten and my toes feel weird. The longest I have been away from Wylie is 12 days when I went to America. This is going to be hard, but I have made sure we are visiting epic places and have booked in some amazing experiences. Keeping a fun schedule and relishing in the time alone with my husband will be what gets us through. It is so rewarding to know Wylie will be safe and happy while we are gone. We are so lucky we live in the world of FaceTime! When I went to America, the time went to quick and I was lucky to have jess, where if one of us was missing the kids the other would pick them up, make them smile. We would take a moment to look at photos, shed a tear and then talk about all the awesome things we can do in the moment without the children.
We haven't told Wylie we are leaving, only that he is going to visit Grandma and Poppy. That he'll get to see Tyler and Milo (cousins), Indy and Gracie (Nannie and pa's dogs), and he is all smiles. By focussing on the positives I'm sure Wylie will be too busy have fun to miss us all that much.
I had a friend who honeymooned without her daughter. She focussed so much on being without her that she didn't take in all the moments of her honeymoon. When she came home her daughter gave her a hug, and my friend was so happy- then her daughter was crying, needing a nappy change and spilling food on the floor- she quickly released she should have embraced her solo moments while she had them, because nappies and dinner prep and bath times will all be waiting for you when you come home!
We took some little polaroids to leave with Wylie so he will have them to look at while we are away. It was also fun to take together!
take the trip!
If you have the chance to take some time away for yourself, or with your partner, without kids- do it. We all become consumed with parenthood and we can sometimes neglect the needs of our partners. I am looking forward to taking this time to re-connect with Simon and have the freedom to do whatever we want! This time will make Wylie a more resilient and rounded person. I sure ain't no doctor, but I believe that personal space and taking time for self growth is good for the soul and all those around you. If you are contemplating a trip without your babe/s, do it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking time for yourself, as long as you know your child is being cared for and loved.
So, look forward to the Euro spam guys- because it is coming!!! In the mean time here some photos of me and my honey!
Grandma, Nanny, Poppy and Pa- look out, Wylie's bags are packed and he is ready for you!