I love my kids. But I’m just going to say the thing every parent feels at some point but rarely says out loud: Being cooped up in the house with my kids for days on end makes me a tad irritable. There. I said it. Now why is this on my mind? Because cooped up in the house was exactly how we spent our winter vacation. We didn’t have any plans. No skiing. No trips. Getting through Christmas and house guests was the strategy. I was sure the rest of the days would be full of happiness and love.
What was I thinking?
With two high-energy preschoolers, a husband who had to take work conference calls almost every day, and freezing cold temperatures outside, I was stressed out and ready for some serious drinking by day 2 (and then again by noon each day).
Have no fear. Stress or not, I abstained.
Then the Nor’easter hit. We live outside of Boston, so we had about 18 inches of snow. Great for sledding, sure, but first we had to get out of our driveway… a challenge. And then it felt like -7 degrees, so our big excursion lasted about one hour.
And that was after the hour it had taken to get on the long-underwear, snowpants, mittens, and boots. Two hours down. How many more left in the day??
But then an amazing thing happened. I got a text from a friend: “Gathering a few people tonight for dinner. Can you get a sitter?”
The light was at the end of the tunnel! Could I get a sitter?! Count on it, sister, no matter what!
OK… so maybe I’m exaggerating a little but the truth is that sometimes, I just want a brief respite to be Katie – wife and friend – not mommy, you know?
Thanks to my list of favorite sitters I’d already created on Care.com, we ended up finding a babysitter within two hours. And suddenly spirits were boosted. I felt a surge of energy. Want to have a dance party, kids? Yes we can set the living room up as a bowling alley! Sure, I’ll be Flynn Rider and you can be Rapunzel for 4-hours straight! I can’t wait! I was suddenly the parent I wished I had been over the past few days. All because I knew a break was in sight.
I know so many couples who don’t go out on dates. Maybe it’s the expense of going out – and paying the sitter. But I can tell you, from experience, the feeling of getting dressed up, and leaving someone else to the picky-eater-struggles and I don’t want to go to bed-negotiations—so you can have fun with your spouse, can feel worth every penny. My husband and I instituted date nights a while ago and we look forward to them and to our time together. But it never occurred to me that we might benefit from a date night on vacation too. Live and learn.
It’s a New Year. If you don’t do date nights (once a week, once a month, whatever!), I strongly suggest you make it a 2017 resolution. It can be a relationship boost, spirit lifter and re-charge you to be a less-stressed out Mama!
Tell me, what did you do over winter vacation? Is a date night on your upcoming schedule?