My Kid-Free Anniversary Vacation


A woman's feet as she relaxes at the beach resort.I never thought I would type out those words together…. kid-free anniversary vacation. With three kids and two dogs, I didn’t think my husband and I would get to go on a trip just for ourselves, let alone a trip at all. Every parent knows just how hard it is to travel with children, especially small ones, and let’s be honest; it’s even harder to leave them behind, even with someone you trust. 

My mother-in-law knew I had the traveling bug. I had mentioned many times how I wished that my husband and I had more than twenty minutes each day to have quality time, and the alone time that we did have was usually talking about the kids’ schedules, what groceries were needed for the week, and complaining over paying the ever-increasing electric bill. His job always had long hours, and as a teacher turned stay-at-home mom, I was working 24/7 for free and often by myself.

Our tenth wedding anniversary was coming up, and we hadn’t taken a real trip since we went to Aruba for our honeymoon in 2013. We were overdue big time.

So, when my mother-in-law graciously volunteered to come to our house and care for the kids and dogs, I eagerly accepted. I was thrilled. I asked if she could handle all of the craziness, but as a mother of four, she was confident and assured me I should go and have fun. So, my husband and I booked a 4-day trip to Miami and packed our bags.

When we arrived, it was pure bliss—Sun, sand, and sleep. Yes, I caught up on a decade’s worth of sleep. My three-year-old still sleeps in our bed, so I was super appreciative to stretch out and have my own pillow. We were well rested, enjoying delicious meals, and even had great conversations without interruption. We got to reconnect and appreciate our time together. 

We knew that it would return to chaos, carpools, and chicken nuggets once we returned home. It made us appreciate every moment that we were there. Nothing could beat those long, hot showers where I got to breathe and re-center myself. We also enjoyed nights in bed with ice cream, jogs on the beach, and coconut shrimp with fun drinks by the pool.

One day by the pool, I said, “Hey, I kinda like you again!” as I laughed into my fancy drink. He looked at me, smiled, and replied, “I forgot how easy-going and fun you could be. I like you again, too!” We happily teased each other, and it felt like old times. We realized that the stress of work, finances, and children did a number on us, and we were so glad that we made the time for ourselves. Now if only we could arrange a couple of times more than once every decade!

How often do you reconnect with your spouse?