My three week honeymoon…
Blog by Amy Fitzgerald, MSW
Can you imagine? Three whole weeks of relaxation, not doing endless amounts of laundry, or having to dig up new ideas for dinner and not having to make dreaded trips to the grocery store? Finishing that dream without having an alarm clock or a child interrupt it? Exercising when you get the urge instead of when it is convenient for your family? Imagine endless date nights with your hubby? Traveling to paradise with him and having all sorts of fun? Most of the mom’s I know would say it sounds true good to be true and I’m certain most of you would agree.
This scenario was a recent experience for this twingles mom – a mother to very energetic 9 year old boy/girl twins and a singleton 6 year old daughter. My parents own a cabin all the way in Ely, MN. My mom spends her summers there ever since my youngest sister graduated from college. We are talking about the Canadian border here! This cross country trip consists of two full days of driving without kids or three full days with kids. My husband signed up for this adventure once. The first time I made the trip with the kids was with my dad, 3 yr old potty training twins, a nursing newborn and our yellow lab. When we arrived, my dad and I needed a mental health check up but luckily the calmness of Ely,MN, settled our nerves! Then I made the road trip once again with my hubby, when the twins were six years older (and potty trained), along with the three year old. We also made the decision to leave our elderly dog behind with a sitter. You do the math – yes, 3 years ago and my husband and I have not signed up for this road trip again.
Here is the superhero part of my story! My dad was determined to find a way to get the grandkids to the cabin this year and volunteered to drive all three kids BY HIMSELF to the Canadian border inMinnesota. Part two of the superhero story is about my mom and dad who took care of our kids for two weeks! The kids swam in the lake, took outdoor showers and experienced the luxury of the sauna, went to the new playground in town, explored the blueberry festival, learned how to kayak, bungee jumped (I haven’t even done that before!), visited the bear center and the wolf center and saw their babies, went on hikes, ate way too much ice cream, played with their cousins from Louisiana who they never get to see, visited with relatives, and simply had a grand ole’ time!
While my kids were having a wild time in Minnesota, my hubby and I were having a wild time ourselves. We were KID FREE for THREE WEEKS! I planned a last minute trip to Southern California for nine whole days. We had an ocean view room and we were in paradise. I visited with friends from college and made some new friends and got to go sailing. My hubby did have to work in the beginning of the trip but I had no problem entertaining myself. I ran along the beach, did outside yoga with the ocean as my background, explored the cozy beach towns, enjoyed the pool, and of course, the spa, and soaked it all in. I knew this trip was a luxury. It was one of those once in a lifetime moments.
When my hubby was finally finished with his training, the endless date nights began and we traveled all over Southern Cali, exploring Laguna Beach and heading to L.A. where we ate gourmet meals, alongside the ocean, went to rooftop bars to watch the sunset, and danced the night away in nightclubs where the average age was 25! I also had an encounter with a famous soccer player from the team Real Madrid (yes, Ronaldo) at the Beverly Hills Hotel bar. We toured Hollywood, lunched at The Ivy, saw paparazzi, fancy cars, and enjoyed window shopping along Rodeo Drive. I didn’t even attempt to walk inside the stores because I could only imagine the sky high price tags!
The end of our trip brought us to Temecula to visit with my hubby’s college roomie/ frat brother. Him and his wife and me and the hubby went wine tasting at the numerous vineyards and lived life with no worries, just like we did during our VA Tech days. We stayed at the casino and tried our luck with the slot machines with a $40 limit but did not become millionaires. The next day we enjoyed one last lunch of delicious Cali fish taco’s and then boarded the plane to go back home. When we landed, we still had one more week of honeymooning before the chaos began.
After arriving home on the red eye and climbing into bed at 3am, I envisioned the following week – sleeping in, running whenever I pleased, spending hours shopping alone, afternoons at the pool, getting together with friends without the hassle of finding a sitter, no worries about laundry piles or cooking meals. My three week honeymoon would continue.
But that last week was really difficult. I began to hate the silence. I caught myself looking for our dog to take her out. I became envious of my friends getting together with their kids for play dates. My motivation went downhill to keep on track for my marathon training schedule. My tan was fading because I didn’t want to go to the pool alone. Shopping by myself became boring. My husband and I grew tired of eating dinner out. We began to feel selfish. It reminded me how I began to feel during our first year of marriage. And this is why I blurted out one day, before celebrating the year two wedding anniversary, “I want a dog.” That feeling of being selfish is not a comfortable feeling for me. Yes, I love my “me time” and encourage every mom to carve that personal time out for themselves but there comes a time when you need to stop looking inward and start looking at the world and explore how you can make a difference.
I began to count the hours when our kids would arrive home. I find myself on Wednesday night, sitting on the porch swing, waiting for their Homecoming!
I loved how they squealed “Mommeee” coming from the rolled down windows, as soon as my dad’s car pulled onto the street and they saw me waiting for them! The hugs were enormous! They were so happy to be home! The energy level was high and they were full of excitement. We talked well past bedtime as they shared all their adventures with us! Our son even wrote us a two page letter of his Minnesota activities!
Once we got them into bed, close to the midnight hour, I knew everyone would be cranky the next day but I was up for the challenge and the chaos! I never realized before how much, my kids complete me. Three weeks is a looong time to be away from your babies!
Oh! And one last thing about my Superhero Parents – my dad had nothing but positive things to say about their road trip adventures and my mom sent home their suitcases with CLEAN clothes!! I am a very blessed momma! I’m so thankful for those three little towheads that make my life crazy and wonderful and for the life my hubby and I have together and for my most amazing Mom and Dad! I will never forget my three week honeymoon and how it changed my life with a new appreciation for motherhood and marriage and renewed energy to light the world on fire!