Vacation, All I Ever Wanted

23 Feb

I heard a guy on the radio say something that really caught my attention, and I want y’all’s opinion.  He suggested that it is more important for Mom and Dad to take a vacation than for the whole family to take a vacation.

Now, I come from a family where family vacations were of utmost importance.  I have no idea how my parents afforded it, but they made it happen every summer.  We trooped across the country in the sta-wag with a big foam mattress in the back so we three kids could lay down.  (Seatbelts?  We don’t need no stinkin’ seatbelts!)  Our parents would wake us up in the middle of the night to get of Houston before the traffic, and by the day’s end we’d either be in Florida or we’d be almost out of Texas, depending on our destination.  One of the reasons I love Disney World so much is that it is a place that holds the most amazing memories of my family:  parents married, both brothers alive. 

In Hubs and my little family, we have made week-long family vacations a priority as well.  Some of our trips occur with other branches of the family, but we have also taken trips with just Sweet Pea.  In fact, we are planning such a trip to Florida this summer.

We have also tried to make “just the two of us” vacations a priority, but they are generally weekend getaways, and are not at the top of the list.  In other words, if something has to go budget-wise or time-wise, that’s what goes. 

I’m intrigued, however, by the idea of switching the order of importance between the two.  What if the most important thing is that Hubs and I got to take a week’s vacation alone, and if it works out to take Sweet Pea somewhere for the weekend then that’s fine, but it’s not mandatory.  Have we made our children too important?  Isn’t the relationship between husband and wife supposed to trump the relationship with the kids?

What do y’all think??

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11 Responses to “Vacation, All I Ever Wanted”

  1. Darla February 23, 2009 at 7:26 pm #

    I think husband/wife should trump family but I’m like you….our trips have gotten put on the back burner. Unfortunately.

  2. Issa February 23, 2009 at 8:09 pm #

    I am a big fan of the family vacation. I’m struggling right now with the idea that we are leaving our kids for a week in April. My family was like yours, the one thing that always happened was a family vacation every summer.

    I think that some couples say they reconnect on couple vacations. And that is important too….but for me and my husband, we make the time, we don’t really need time just for us, to reconnect. Not every year at least. So what I guess I’m saying, is too me and my family, the family vacation is the most important. My kids won’t always be the ages they are. One day, they won’t want to go on vacation with me. My husband still will.

  3. Barb February 23, 2009 at 9:06 pm #

    I think both are important. It brings our family closer when we all pack up and get away from responsibilities. But you are also right that you need to invest in your marriage because the kids benefit from that as well. Regular date nights help a lot if you can’t get out of town. If you don’t have a babysitter, you can still have date night at home. We feed the kids earlier, then send them away to watch a movie or to bed and then we have our own dinner alone. We can have just as much fun being alone at home as going out.

  4. Spring February 23, 2009 at 11:01 pm #

    Well…currently there is a mommy/daddy getaway in my future, and no full family vacay in sight. Family vacations are lovely, but if you have to choose between the two, say because you burned a lot of vacation time when your youngest daughter was in the hospital or you’re feeling completely burned out on parenting, then yeah. I’d prioritize the mommy/daddy getaway. And so I did.I don’t have any guilt about this; time off makes me a nicer mommy and that’s good for everybody.

  5. jessica February 24, 2009 at 12:14 am #

    as always, it is hard to balance the amount of time alone with each and with your child. I do believe you have to have time alone that the marriage needs that nurturing. Some people do a date night every week. Perhaps if you took a weekend every couple of months or one big trip every few months alone, I think that would go a long way. Yes, we sacrifice for our kids but in my humble opinion there is a line that has to be drawn .Where u draw it is up to you. Hope this helps

  6. Erin February 24, 2009 at 7:59 am #

    God first, marriage second, kids third, family and friends fourth, work fifth. That’s the order in our household. Adam and I take a vacation every year for our anniversary. Granted, it’s not a huge vacation and it’s only for about 4 days, but it’s still a time for us to get away and just be together. We also have a date night once every two weeks. We try to do one vacation a year with Emma, but not at the cost of our anniversary trip. I think it’s so incredibly important for the husband and wife to get out and vacate together. Don’t put that on the back burner and don’t be willing to sacrifice it.

  7. kathrynsmoore February 24, 2009 at 9:38 am #

    We are pretty good about date night, and we actually meet for lunch once or twice a week as well. But in our lives, our home is a bit toxic, so getting away for only a couple of hours doesn’t really make a long-term difference.

    As I think about it more, it comes down to this: The lasting effect of Hubs and me taking a week’s vacation would be far greater than the lasting effect of taking Sweet Pea along. A vacation with Sweet Pea still means dealing with all the issues we deal with at home…but maybe there’s a Mickey Bar in the middle of the day. If it’s just Hubs and me, we can truly leave all that behind and get back to what made us fall in love in the first place. I want that. I need that!

  8. Spring February 24, 2009 at 3:39 pm #

    Yes, Yes, Yes!

    That’s what I was trying to say, but you were SOOO much more eloquent!

  9. anymommy February 24, 2009 at 10:18 pm #

    I think your comment says it all. You two need a break, some time for just you, and it is absolutely important to prioritize that. Last year, we were feeling pretty strong, getting a lot of evening time together, etc. and we took some trips with all the kids. In the last six months, we are really feeling the need to be just us for a while and we’re not hesitating to redirect this year’s funds into a trip for two (plus a beg for help from grandma).

    Go, love, and enjoy!

  10. Trish February 25, 2009 at 10:56 am #

    What if you alternated years? One year, you and DH get the longer break and the family does a short trip, and the next year it switches? Whatever you do, I think getting regular time alone throughout the year is super important, even if it’s just going out to dinner or for a walk.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Just the two of us « funny girl - February 25, 2009

    […] kathrynsmoore @ 2:32 pm Tags: Marriage I have absolutely loved reading all your responses to the vacation question.  If you didn’t get a chance to read everyone’s comments, please do.  You are a very […]

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