The One in Which I Prepare for Vacation


We booked our trip to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic on December 3. And since then, I haven’t really thought about it.

I haven’t been daydreaming about white sandy beaches, the hot sun, the warm ocean, the poolside drinks, and the luxurious time that Husband and I will have to catch up with one another. I don’t know why, but I just haven’t. In fact, even after “officially” booking the trip, after talking about it for more than two years, it didn’t seem real.

Before I could even think about vacation, there was the whole Christmas holiday to prepare and plan for. And then I focused my attention on getting through the month of January, since it’s my most hated month of the year — so dreary, cold and blah. Not to mention that I was busy planning Bean’s first birthday party, which was the first week of February. I told myself that after Bean’s birthday, I really had to focus on planning for vacation. I thought it would seem more real then.

Hello, we’re two weeks out!! The trip LITERALLY is upon us.

And I am sooooo not prepared. It still doesn’t even seem real to me, and I’m afraid it’s gonna get real in about two seconds. I’m a huge list-maker, and I need to seriously start writing down everything that I need to do before we leave for vacation.

I guess, chiefly, my main concern is missing the girls. They will be very well taken care of by my in-laws. The girls’ Nana watches them four days of the week and my in-law’s home is like their second home. They each have a bedroom where they nap, they have loveys and blankets that are for Nana’s house only, and there are enough toys, activities and books for a regular daycare. They’re so totally in the routine of eating and playing at Nana’s house so it’s not the routine, per se, that I’m worried about.

It’s just that … they always come home. And see us. I’m not sure how Monkey will handle it. In November I spent 3 nights and 4 days away from home with my two best friends in the world. Even though I explained to Monkey over and over again before I left that I was going to be gone for a few days visiting her aunties, and she totally seemed to get it, that first full day with her daddy when I wasn’t home at night, was terrible. Husband called me to say that Monkey was hysterical that I wasn’t home. She thought I would be home that night, even though we had told her that I would be gone for several days.

When she got on the phone with me she was sobbing so hard that I couldn’t make out any words. Which then resulted in me sobbing on the other end, trying to be calm and find words to console her. But that’s kinda hard when you’re super upset because you’re kid is super upset. It wasn’t good.

Thankfully, she was better the other 2.5 days. But honestly, while she was better, I was a mess by the end of the second day. It was really hard for me to be gone from them for that long — the longest I’d ever been away from Monkey was a weekend, and Bean, only one overnight.

Which brings us to this vacation. The vacation that Husband and I have been dreaming about taking since 2009. We haven’t taken a “real” vacation since December 2005. I feel incredibly lucky to be doing this — especially because I know some people don’t ever get to go on vacation.

I’m especially grateful for this trip because l think it’s important for Husband and I to reconnect on a spousal level — something more than just being mommy and daddy. It’s so easy to get caught up in thinking of your spouse as the other half of your parental partnership, that you forget that they have a role beyond that. And a strong mommy and daddy unit makes for a strong family unit.

So yes, I do think this trip is going to be a great thing and I’m very thankful for it.

I just need to get over the whole “missing my kids” thing. We’ll be gone for 7 nights and 8 days — YIKES! We opted not to book a five-night trip because it barely costs less, and because you spend two days traveling.

So can you help me? For those of you who have traveled without your kids, can you tell me what I need to have prepared for them? The two biggest things that have popped into my head are finalizing our wills, and leaving all the girls’ doctor’s information and emergency numbers for my in-laws. What else do I need to remember or plan for?

Do you have any tips for how to help the kids cope while we’re gone? I’m planning to print a calendar for Monkey so that every night she can cross off the days until we’ll be back. We’ve started talking to her about how she and Bean are going to stay at Nana’s house while daddy and I are gone on vacation. We’ve told her that we’ll be gone for several days, but not to worry because we’re coming back. Any other suggestions?

What about tips on how to enjoy time with Husband and not spend too much time missing or worrying about the kids (aside from copious amounts of alcohol, obviously).

I also need to figure out how the whole cell phone/Internet thing works while we’re there. I’m probably going to want to call at least a couple times and I think I’m just going to have to suck it up and deal with outrageous roaming charges. My in-laws don’t have a webcam, so we can’t Skype with them.

I can’t believe we’re leaving in 12 days!


Have any of you left your young children for an adults-only vacation? Did you all survive? Any tips you have ON ANYTHING are greatly appreciated!


4 responses »

  1. so here are my three pennies worth…
    -you are right, this is ALL about you and Eric, the most important part of the family unit, because without good mommy/daddy, the rest of the family suffers. you need to connect as adults not talking about the kids all day long.
    -the kids are in excellent hands, and this is wonderful time for both the kids and the grandparents to have memories of being together exclusively. your in-laws know how to take care of kids, all three of theirs are safe, healthy, fine adults!
    -if you make a big deal out of being gone, then so will they. screw the calendar! that will jut make them think about how you are not there on a daily basis.
    -ok, i’m adding another penny here….I have met so many people from other cultures that have had to leave their kids with grandparents/aunts/uncles/whoever-else for an entire year while they finished training/job/school/ whatever, and the kids adjust great! that’s what’s great about little kids, they are so malleable and have no cares in the world as long as someone is caring for their needs.
    Now, go have a blast and drink yourself silly!

  2. Jen,

    I’ve heard that parents will leave a shirt that has their cologne or perfume on it for the kids to snuggle into at bedtime. That way they can “smell you” and feel like you are closer to them.

    Go have fun. The kids are in great hands and they will adjust much, much better than you will. So, by the time you miss them, they will be doing just fine. Don’t be surprised if when you return, they act like you haven’t been gone or give you the cold shoulder for a little while. I’ve heard that too. It was just their way of adjusting. It doesn’t always happen, but it is normal.

    Have a great trip!

  3. Pingback: Here Nuky, Nuky, Nuky « On the Night You Were Born

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