Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Five Lessons Learned from a Weekend Trip Without Kids

For nearly three years, I have not been apart from our two kids for an overnight trip. This is mainly due to the fact that stay at home parents do not travel for work. 

Weekend Bro Time in Steamboat, CO.
Last Thursday, I  traveled to Steamboat Springs, Colorado for a three day ski trip with my brother Travis, who is currently interning at a hospital in the Denver area. We planned "Bro Fest 2014" together with road tripping and  skiing with some drinking and eating mixed in for good measure. 

Of course, when you are a stay at home parent, traveling by yourself means leaving your "full time job". Luckily, my wife Susan gladly took Friday off and watched the kids the entire weekend. 

Before the trip, I was not sure if I would 100% enjoy being away from the kids or if I would miss them and struggle to have fun. After taking time to reflect on my trip and time away from the kids, I learned the following five lessons.

Amazing Wife. Susan allowed me to take a three day trip and leave her alone with the two kids. Not only did Susan have a great time with the kids, the entire house was spotless, laundry was finished and even the entire refrigerator was clean and organized. When asked how things went, Susan said she "was a little tired on Sunday, but everything went fine." She is making me look bad!

Kids Learn New Tricks. Susan sent me this text on Sunday: Caden said "Mommy, I asked you for a wittle lemonade. You gave me a wot of lemonade. So now I have to dump this in the sink." Caden has never spoke to either of us in a scolding tone like that! Not to be outdone, Of Eloise decided to learn how to clap while I was gone:




Traveling is Not Glamorous. When Susan travels for work, I can get quite envious. Traveling with no kids! Sleep in an hotel without being  woken up in the middle of the night! My trip showed me that it is not all glamour. I missed being away from the kids dearly. I was not able to catch up on sleep as I woke up 3-4 times a night and still woke up at 7:00 a.m. every day.

Getting Away Brings AppreciationI felt fortunate to have a weekend spent reading two books in total silence, taking a shower with no interruption and skiing for three days with my brother. I appreciated it even more after having two kids. Having some time away was refreshing and revitalizing. It brought me greater appreciation of my wife, love for my kids and gratefulness for my family. 

Reality Comes Back Fast. After arriving home at Midnight on Sunday, reality smacked me right in the face. Both kids were up and ready to go at 6:00 a.m. and then a scary 4.4 earthquake hit Los Angeles at 6:30 a.m. Caden's take on his first earthquake: "The house went BOOM!" Along with that, Susan left for a three day business trip the day after I arrived back home. Revenge is sweet.

If you are a stay at home parent, and have a chance to "get away" for a weekend once or twice a year, I highly recommend it. It will help you greatly in becoming an even better stay at home parent.



Please leave your comments below or e-mail them to realsahdla@gmail.com  or tweet @TheRealSAHDLA.

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