I know what you’re thinking while reading the title — how could we ever get away for a weekend? Well, Mr. Train and I just spent the weekend away and it was fantastic. It did take a lot of planning and waiting, but it was worth it. As a matter of fact this little trip took us two years to plan. Last time we were away for the night I had just found out I was pregnant with my daughter. We had planned a wine tasting weekend which had to be altered a bit after a positive test, but we still enjoyed ourselves. We really wanted to come back when I could wine taste as well. The plans started coming together for two years down the road when I would be done nursing my baby that wasn’t even here yet.
First things first, we had to figure out child care. It’s not easy to get people to agree to watch four little ones as young as mine are, but we are truly blessed to have my parents next door and my husband’s parents about two and a half hours away. They volunteered to work together to watch the kids. Four grandparents, four kids; they should be fine. I honestly can’t imagine leaving my kids with anyone other than family for the weekend so I am very lucky. I know that while the kids are with our parents they will get more junk food and will get away with everything, but I trust our parents completely with my children’s safety and well being. I didn’t worry at all while we were gone, which I think is priceless to a momma who doesn’t get away very often.
In addition to having both sets of grandparents available, we decided we needed to do this over a three day weekend. That wasn’t so we could have an extra day away; it was so that our parents could have an extra day of rest before heading back to work the following week. Let’s be honest, children are exhausting, especially my four. President’s Day weekend seemed like a good time so we decided to go for it.
We decided to go to a small town called Solvang. It’s a small Danish town about 2 hours north of Los Angeles. It is the perfect distance for me. Far enough that I feel like I am getting away, and close enough that if there was an emergency I could get back. The best part about the town is that it’s in the middle of wine country. After two years of no wine I was ready to hit the tasting rooms! There are fantastic restaurants, bakeries and a chocolate store that is to die for. All of the buildings have old fashioned Danish Architecture. It is a beautiful town to walk around and just relax, and is perfect for a parents’ weekend away.
We were accompanied by our friends who were also able to get their parents to watch their kids. On our drive up I was dumbfounded when we realized that we had never done anything before without our kids. In the 9 years we have known them, we had never been on a grown-up outing with them! It is crazy to think it. Even before our kids were born we always did family oriented things with their kids.
I can’t believe the fun we had. We went out to a fancy dinner Friday night at a restaurant that was in the movie Sideways. It was amazing to get through a meal without having to get up 15 times to help the kids. The following day we took a wine tour through the Santa Inez Valley then walked around the town in the evening. The whole time we were chatting, laughing and enjoying each other’s company.
We returned home after two nights away and I was so excited to see our kids. I was even more excited to see that my boys hadn’t tied up our parents and left them somewhere while taking over the house. The boys told me all about the things they did with their grandparents. They were very excited to tell me that Grandma Train had found the grown up costumes so we could all play Star Wars now. I knew they would have a fantastic time and I was absolutely guilt-free for leaving them for two nights. I am not sure if that was because my kids are older or because this was not my first time away, but the mommy guilt never cropped up.
I am telling you this story not because I want to rub it in that I had a great weekend drinking wine and eating tasty food. I am telling you this because times like these are important. I haven’t always been Mrs. Train, mother of four. Before that I was part of a couple. Although it’s hard to remember when I am in the midst of parenting young children, I love Mr. Train. I enjoy spending time with him. He makes me laugh. We have a great time being together. It’s difficult to remember that I have grown up friends whom I enjoy having a conversation with. I go to play dates and mom groups but I can’t remember a time that I have had uninterrupted time with my friends because we are usually surrounded by our kids. It was pleasant to have time to be me. Not Mrs. Train, the one with all those kids… just me.
I love my kids with all my heart. I want to give them the best that I can. In order to do that, I have to give them a healthy marriage as an example and a mommy who has taken the time to unwind and be herself for a minute or two .
Have you ever been able to get away with your significant other, or with friends since becoming a parent? What did you do?