My husband and I have been married for more than 12 years. In that time, we have taken some pretty great vacations. Together, we have traveled to New York, Las Vegas, California, Boston, and Alaska. We even attended Comic Con–twice! Once our boys were old enough to enjoy traveling, we took them on some road trips, and even managed to get away by ourselves a few times thanks to some awesome grandparents.
When we decided to have a third baby, we knew we would be postponing some of those epic trips. We both agreed we were OK with it. The family vacations would eventually continue. The romantic getaways would be postponed, but totally worth the wait.
Imagine my surprise when my husband came home, when I was six months pregnant, and announced that his buddy Chuck was going on a seven week road trip next year and he wanted to join in for a part of it! I laughed, but he was serious. I thought to myself, “There’s no way, when the baby is actually here that he’ll go through with it.” So I smiled and nodded, avoided a fight, and finished making dinner. As the months went by, and the trip got closer, he never wavered.
The baby was born, and true to form, he was awesome. He stayed home from work for 10 weeks (thank you amazing company policy) and made my life as easy as could be. He cared for the boys, did the laundry, went grocery shopping, and took care of everything I needed so that I could nurse the baby and recover from the delivery. Every company should have a paternity leave policy–don’t get me started on that.
A few months later, he actually had the nerve to book a plane trip to join his friend mid-road trip in Boston. It became clear he was going, and leaving me with three kids alone, for 10 days.
I realized he deserved it. He works hard, long hours, every day to provide for our family. He comes straight home from work every day and dives into whatever is going on at home: homework, dinner, dishes, bath time. He doesn’t hesitate for a moment after working an eight to 10 hour day. He just does it. He’s an amazing dad and husband. I could give him this gift.
So he went. He flew into Boston and drove with his pal up through Canada and back down to Chicago, where he flew home 10 days later.
Somewhere between New Hampshire and Vermont, the kids and I all got a wicked stomach flu. We got through it. When he called to check in, I made sure to let him know just how horrible it was at home. I couldn’t resist a tiny little guilt trip. Could you? He offered to come home, but I wouldn’t let him. We recovered after 24 hours.
When he returned home his battery was recharged. He was ready to dive back into work and home life. He had an amazing time visiting breweries and doing other guy things with his pal, but he missed us. He had a great time with Chuck, but he would have also have loved to share those experiences with me.
So when I finished nursing, a few months later, I decided that I deserved a little girls’ getaway. He didn’t hesitate when I told him I wanted to go to Los Angeles to visit my friend Mayim and go to a Big Bang Theory taping. So I went, but only for three days. I had a phenomenal time. It was just what I needed. Meals with no highchairs. Shopping with no strollers. It was 60 hours of awesome. I missed the kids and my hubby. I had the time of my life at the Big Bang taping, but I would have loved to have shared it with him. I came home jet lagged, but recharged.
Some people may not agree with it, but it works for us. We look forward to a time when we will go away together, but until we can leave three kids behind easily we’ll have to settle for separate vacations. He appreciates me more because he lived my life for three days. I appreciate him more because he encouraged me go and do this for myself.
He’ll never forget the Sam Adams brewery tour, the poutine, or the breathtaking Thousand Islands. I’ll never forget sitting in Sheldon’s spot on the set, meeting Jim Parsons, or the precious time I had with my friends in Los Angeles. I’ll also never forget surviving the stomach flu, alone, at home with three sick kids. Had to throw one more guilt trip in there…can you blame me?