I will never forget the first time Chris proposed we get away - just the two of us.
Ann Catherine was six-months-old, just four months removed from her 68 day stay in the NICU. His company was having a Christmas party at Ross Bridge Resort in Birmingham on a Friday night. The following Saturday the guys would play golf and the women would visit the spa. He wanted to go and have Ann Catherine stay at my parents house for the night.
I looked at him like he had three heads.
No way, I said. I was not ready to leave her for the night yet. He said we needed to get away and I told him he was crazy.
So we drove to Birmingham for the party and drove back that night. And I slept under the same roof as my daughter.
We didn't get away for the first time until Ann Catherine was two and Lily Baker was nine-months-old. And he had to trick me into that vacation. He planned to whisk me away to South Beach for a long weekend after the 2nd annual Swim for Melissa. He booked the flight, booked the hotel and lined up my parents to keep the girls. And he didn't tell me until the day before. He knew I would protest and say we couldn't leave the girls. And I did.
I was a nervous wreck that night. What if something happened to my girls while I was gone? What if they needed me? I knew they were in the best hands with my parents, but still, they were my babies!
But, as soon as our plane lifted off, I felt a weight drop off my shoulders. I needed to get away. WE needed to get away.
Since then, we've gotten away four other times: two long weekends in Asheville and Atlanta, a week in Napa Valley this summer for our 10th anniversary and our recent short trip to Amelia Island.
I thought about this the other night when I posted about our recent trip. And I want to say this to the moms who read my blog, especially those with young children.
Go somewhere with your husband. Even if just for one night.
When I go away with Chris alone, I remember some of those reasons why I fell in love with him in the first place: because he makes me laugh harder than anyone I've ever known, because he always opens my car door, because he sings while he's driving like nobody's business, and because, at the end of the day, he just plain loves me.
He loved me before we created three beautiful children, and as he loves to remind our girls, he'll love me long after they fly the coop.
As much as we love our children, we all need a break. Especially those of us with small children. I joked in my previous post about not being able to go to the bathroom alone during the day, but it's true. I'll never forget that trip to South Beach in 2007. I woke up that first morning and realized something: I didn't have to do anything for anyone. I didn't have to change diapers, make a bottle, make breakfast, nothing. I just laid there and relaxed. It was awesome.
Yes, I have anxiety the days leading up to leaving my children. And sometimes I even have guilt. But when I come home, I'm ready to tackle motherhood again. The break is good for me and it's good for my kids. We've only done it five times in five years, and we should probably make an effort to get away more often. But when you have little ones, you just do the best you can.
So try to get away - even if it's just for one night. I think it makes you a better mommy, better wife and a better person.
If nothing else, you'll get to use the bathroom alone. :)