We’ve just returned from the most amazing, relaxing and gorgeous no-kids vacation we’ve ever been on. Four nights of Cabo, Mexico bliss, just me and the Hubs. Coffee on the patio, endless days pool side and on the beach, and cocktails overflowing. Needless to say, re-entry has been a bitch.
We don’t get away just the two of us all that much, but we try. And over the years of traveling sans children, we’ve learned a few things. Like to hear it? Here it goes…
Ten truths I know about traveling without my children:
1. Delays and long layovers are NBD.
A long layover, or God forbid, a delay in flight while traveling with children makes my blood pump and skin tingle. You know the feeling. When the announcement is made, your first thought is, “oh shit”. To have to keep kids happy, fed and entertained in an airport without losing your squash on them may be one of the biggest parenting challenges. But a delay or long layover when traveling alone? Bring it, bitches. The airport has wine. And shopping. Delay away, my slacker airline friends, because this mama has a credit card and doesn’t have to feed anyone french fries and chicky nuggies. This is my vacation, and your delay at ORD will not kill my dream.
2. When I’m not with mine, I have no interest in OPK (Other People’s Kids)
In fact, the little fit throwers actually kind of annoy me while traveling. Don’t’ get me wrong, I will always have nothing but empathy for the parents traveling with kids. Lord knows, it ain’t easy and I have been there more than I care to remember. But when I’m traveling without mine, I like to pretend I’m just plain, well…not a mom. I am free and interesting, traveling the world cuz that’s how I roll. I’m even wearing white jeans on the plane. How cool am I? And that screaming kid is simply not my problem. Winning.
3. I really do like my husband.
And he likes me. Funny how we can be reminded of that when the smalls are not reminding us otherwise. A chance to be who we were when we first met and had no kids and were fun and cute and young and carefree…it kinda makes you fall in love all over again. And let’s be honest, when we can share a cocktail together, hold hands without someone weaseling in-between us and have an actual conversation from beginning to end without being interrupted, it’s all good.
4. The anxiety of leaving the kids never gets easier.
I don’t even think I can make this one funny because, truth. It’s almost crippling. The fear that something will happen to them or to me seems impossible to overcome. I struggle to keep dry eyes as I kiss and hug them goodbye, my heart pounding in my chest. And as my husband tosses me a Xanax like tossing a fish to a seal, it’s everything I can do to not jump out of the car while it’s moving and return to my pups. I know this fear and anxiety will subside the instant I sit my ass on the plane (and order my first mini bottle of Chardonnay—so cute!), but still, this fear is real in me, and the older I get the deeper it lies. It’s like that layer of stubborn belly fat; deep down but always puckered at the surface. And I just. Can’t. Get rid of it.
5. Having people bring me drinks poolside is what my kids must feel like every damn day.
Seriously. It’s the life. But for adults, it’s called vacation and costs a crap load of money.
6. I am addicted to cleaning.
I can’t help it. It’s what I do. Here I am, in a great hotel with phenomenal service, no kids shit lying around, no laundry to do, no dishes to wash or vacuum to run, and by day two, I’m making the beds before housekeeping arrives. OCD? Maybe. But my mind needs that orderliness, even on vacation. My husband thinks I’m insane, but I guarantee in this one, I am not alone. Toss me another Xanax.
7. My kids are not the reason I don’t go out and party.
I have spent years blaming my kids for my lack of party ability, but leave it to a vacation to show you the truth: Here we are with the chance to be out all night and sleep in all day, and what happens? We’re drunk by 8:30pm, run out of things to talk about by 9:00, and are yawning by 9:30. At that point, we battle it out to see who will be the first lame-ass that says, “wanna go back to the hotel?” And the biggest bitch of it all is, we will still wake up at 6:30am the next morning. And there’s not a kid in sight. Bastards.
8. I like to read.
Yes. A book without pictures. A book without rhymes. A book just for me, I could read it five times. A book with some sex, perhaps Shades of Grey? No Dr. Seuss here, not on this vacay.
9. There actually ARE enough hours in a day.
I’m not even sure how this one works. Our daily lives are so insanely busy, there is never enough time in a day to get everything done we need to. But on vacation!!! The days are freaking endless! Drink, nap, swim, repeat. It goes on and on. And you actually start looking at your watch, like, is it time for a meal yet? Nothing to do, and no limit on time to do it. It’s freaking glorious.
10. It’s good for your kids to miss you.
Even the most independent and attitudinal teen misses his parents just a little bit while they’re gone. After-all, nobody does it quite like mom and dad. Oh, so you like my meals, enjoy clean clothes, appreciate being picked up at the bus stop and want to hug me? Huh. I need to go away more often.